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Graham WalkerThis is the website of Graham Walker, Dorset, UK who has had an interest in the early piano for over 30 years. He has undertaken the restoration of instruments for private collection and has also carried out research on early pianos and their makers over this period. This has been done alongside a career in management consultancy and performance management. Early retirement in 2007 enabled him to become more involved and he commissioned a cloth manufacturer to produce an authentic keyboard cloth. This cloth is the nearest match to an early 19th century piano cloth that can be made within modern manufacturing processes. It was initially produced for his requirements but it soon came in demand by others.  Further types of cloth have been replicated by request from makers and restorers.  These cloths can be purchased from the online shop on this website.  He has also undertaken some research into the leather used in early English pianos and is currently working in liaison with the Institute of Creative Leather Technology, Northampton University, UK with the objective of determining specifications. He is involved in supporting interest in the early piano and is passionate about ensuring that our heritage of early pianos collections in the UK can be maintained for the future.

Southwell, William

Piano maker in Dublin from 1783 and opened a business in Lad Lane London in 1794. Southwell was a prolific inventor.  He filed for several patents including improvements to the pianoforte in 1794. This patent was for improved dampers (known as the “Irish” or “dolly” dampers), extension of keyboard compass from 5 to 5 ½ octaves, and fretwork panels in the nameboard and inside the instrument. The earliest known Southwell square piano with fretwork panels in the nameboard was made by him about 1793. This piano is exhibited at Croft Castle, Herefordshire, England (National Trust). There is also a patent for an upright square piano in 1798.

Updated on 7 April 2013

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