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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.

1767 Vietor Coelestin d’Amour 1778 Beyer Square Piano 1794 Buntebart Square Piano 1796 Stodart Grand Piano 1814 James Ball Cabinet Piano 1827 Stodart Grand Piano

Welcome to this informative website about early English pianos that gives findings from independent research.  There are interesting articles about early piano makers, their pianos and useful advice.

You can also purchase authentic early keyboard materials from the store not only for early pianos but for other early keyboard instruments such as harpsichords, spinets and clavichords.  These materials are commissioned by us and are not available from other suppliers.    

Early pianos are offered for sale from private clients.  

We hope that you enjoy your visit to this website.

2 July 2019 –   A New green “Early Keyboard Cloth”

We always aim to produce the most authentic cloths possible of the highest quality and improvements  have been made already to the damper cloth that now has a much higher weave count making it easier to cut into the very small pieces required for square pianos.

The green Early Keyboard Cloth is seen as the most appropriate for early keyboard instruments but it is being replaced.   We have worked closely with our cloth manufacturer to produce a new cloth that is even more authentic in the type of wool yarn it uses, the weave and weave count, and most importantly, the finishing process that gives it a felted finish.  One of the considerations in producing the new cloth has been to make it as acid-free as possible in meeting the requirements of museum conservators.  It is not a production line cloth but one that has been specifically designed and made for the purpose.

The new cloth should be available in August 2019.  It has been more costly to produce and therefore it will be a little more expensive to purchase than the present cloth, but the advantages are worth the extra cost.

Our stock of the present cloth is currently low and unfortunately, we are not able to meet orders for larger quantities until the new cloth arrives.  The present cloth remains available for single instruments or as part of single instrument sets.  More information about the new cloth will be given when available.

3 July 2019 – A new book about Zumpe and his pianoforte

2019_05_09 Presentacio llibre Zumpe 02
The presentation of the book at the Museu de la Música de Barcelona, Spain.

Until now, no book had ever been written exclusively about Zumpe and his pianoforte. So, this is the first publication devoted solely to this maker and his formidable instruments. It was sparked by the Barcelona Music Museum’s restoration project for the 1776 Zumpe & Buntebart pianoforte after a lengthy process of research and study carried out by the German restorer Kerstin Schwarz.   Read more information about this book

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If you have an early piano that you wish to know more about, we are happy to provide advice about the maker, age and value of your instrument. If you are considering restoring an early piano, we do not undertake private commissions but there are excellent restorers who may be able to do this for you.  A list of  professional restorers in the UK who undertake this work for private and commercial clients is given.  Alternatively, you may have an early piano that you wish to sell.  We can provide advice and you are welcome to offer your instrument for sale on this website for which there is not a charge.

We would be pleased to hear from you.  Please get in touch with Graham or use the Contact Form on this website.

The logo image used on this website is: “Miss Harriett and Miss Elizabeth Binney” by John Smart painted in 1806.  This watercolour shows the Binney sisters by an early 19th century grand piano.  This image is used under licence from V&A Collections.

This website is maintained by Graham Walker, Dorset UK.

 

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