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A rare and important William Southwell upright square piano, No. 40, Dublin, Ireland, (void of action and internal structure) c1798
A rare and unique opportunity to purchase a William Southwell upright square piano but void of the action and internal structure. The importance of this instrument justifies reconstruction. There are only six of these pianos known to have survived and one other example where the internal piano parts have been removed. This is Number 59 in the Mobbs Keyboard Collection, South Island, New Zealand formally part of the Kenneth Mobbs keyboard collection, Bristol, England.
This piano can be reconstructed based on extant examples as a practical and academic project by either an institution or private individual. It was made at an important stage in Southwell’s development work on the upright piano between 1794 and 1807. None of the surviving instruments are known to be in playing condition but No 80 (Private collection, London) was rebuilt some years ago. It was the intention of the present owner for this to happen but unfortunately the arrangements are no longer available. It is supplied with a set of over 400 images of other Southwell upright squares and many of these are of the internal structure, action, keyboard etc. There are witness marks within the case that provide the initial basis for reconstruction.
The other six instruments are as follows:
- Present ownership unknown. (Former Ownership: The Richard Burnett Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments, Finchcocks Musical Museum, Kent. Sold by Dreweatts Auctioneers, Newbury, Berkshire, England in May 2015 following the closure of the Museum) Former ownership Sir Walter Gilbey
- No 80, in private ownership, London
- No 22, sold by Woolley and Wallis, auctioneers, Salisbury, UK on 5 October 2016
- Museum of Ireland, Dublin
- Ownership unknown (sold at Sotheby’s in 1981)
- Ownership unknown, (sold at Sotheby’s in 1984)
The case finish was not original and has been removed to enable repairs to veneers and most of these have been completed. The two silk oval panels and the painted center panel are exact copies as found in No 80. The painted panel was undertaken by a highly-skilled professional artist who was able to accurately recreate the vanished silver gilt border as well as the painting. The case is signed by the cabinet maker, William Anderson who worked in Dublin during the late 18th century. All the case hinges and locks are present but not shown on these images.
Two Southwell upright squares have been sold recently at auction. An example formally at Finckcocks, was sold by Dreweatts Auctioneers in Newbury, Berkshire, UK on the 11 May 2016 for £19,840 including premium. The other example, No. 22, was sold by Woolley and Wallis, Auctioneers, Salisbury, Wiltshire UK on 5 October 2016 for £19,500 including premium.
In view of the specialist work required to reconstruct the instrument a nominal sum is being asked.
For further information and viewing please contact Graham Walker,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by Phone 44 (0) 1305 852756.
This piano is located near Dorchester, Dorset UK
Broadwood & Sons cabinet piano c1837
A Broadwood cabinet piano c1837 with maker’s number 6124. This instrument has been professionally restored by the Music Room Workshop, Haslemere, Surrey, England and is in good playing condition. The case is also excellent and not faded by sunlight.
The advantage of a cabinet piano over a square piano is that it has a more powerful and resonant tenor and bass section but does not take up more floor space.
Cabinet pianos are not easy to find in good playing condition but this example gives an opportunity to acquire one.
Price: Offers in the region of £3000
Please contact the owner, David Frostick email: email@example.com
This piano is in Essex, England.
Wilkinson square piano c1807
This piano has been SOLD
An early 19th century square piano by George Wilkinson c1807. The seller writes:
“Upon the eventual dissolution of the eminent firm of Longman & Broderip in 1798, Francis Fane Broderip formed a partnership with Wilkinson to continue to exploit legitimately Southwell’s landmark 1794 patent for additional notes, Irish dampers and sonovents (frets). To do so Broderip & Wilkinson commissioned Leukfeld to build Southwell patent pianos for them, though by 1806 the relationship had fallen into litigious dispute. When Broderip died in 1807, Wilkinson continued the business. This square piano, to the Southwell patent design (and thus the same as contemporary Clementi pianos), carries internal Leukfeld stamps and was likely originally constructed for Broderip & Wilkinson c.1804. (See Bozarth and Debenham ‘Piano Wars’ for full details of the Southwell patent and consequent legal machinations amongst London’s leading piano companies)”
“I have owned the piano for a number of years, but done nothing to it other than clean the interior somewhat prior to storage – this means the complete set of captive Irish dampers is not currently installed.
The honey coloured case and lid have a good and even patina, and there is little evidence of internal intervention. Ten hammers are detached but present and require re-hinging (so best to do the entire set).
There is no separation of case and baseboards, and the soundboard ribs are undisturbed. The original pedal leg and metal trap are present.The hinged green silk ‘resonance-board’ is present, as are many original strings. The nameboard frets are undamaged, though the rear corner fret has suffered.
Overall, an attractive instrument which makes a good candidate for restoration. Located in West London”.
The nameboard inscription reads: Wilkinson & Co. (Late Broderip and Wilkinson) No.13 Hay Market London.
Clementi square piano c1808 SOLD
A Clementi square piano made about 1808 in plain case with French frame stand. This piano has been fully restored in the past and although remains in reasonable condition has not been played recently and will require a little work to bring back into playing condition. It is complete with the pedal, but the inner cover is missing. The nameboard has painted decoration with leaf and flower garland decoration. The inscription reads: “New Patent, Muzio Clementi & Co., Cheapside, London”.
The date of 1808 is assessed from the work of Leif Sahlqvist, (Clementi & Co 1798–1830, Pianoforte Manufacture in London published in 2014).
Christopher Ganer square piano (made between 1785 and 1790)
THIS PIANO HAS BEEN SOLD
An 18th century square piano by Christopher Ganer in satinwood cross-banded case on a trestle stand.
This piano is in good playing condition and has a restored action but would benefit from some further work. The nameboard inscription reads: “C. Ganer, Grand and Small Forte Piano manufacturer, Broad Street, Golden Square, London”. It has a five octave keyboard FF to f3. Originally it was fitted with two hand stops for sustain and buff but these are now operated by pedals. The trestle stand is a replacement. It is of small size measuring 157cms long and 53cms deep and therefore can more easily be accommodated than later instruments.
Christopher Ganer was not only a piano maker but also an inlayer and most of his square pianos have very elegant cases that are fine examples of late 18th century neo-classical inlay work. The inlay woods include mahogany, satinwood, ebony, boxwood and purple heart. The nameboard is also inlayed with a leaf spray surrounding the central inscription cartouche. It is a fine piece of period furniture as well as an early piano.
It is reasonably priced and a Christopher Ganer square piano in fully restored condition would have a much higher value.
An important early square piano by Frederick Beck dated 1776 in excellent playing condition
THIS PIANO HAS BEEN SOLD
It is not very often that an early square piano made in the tradition of the earliest English square pianos of Johannes Zumpe comes onto the market, at least in excellent playing condition. Johannes Zumpe started making the English square piano in 1766 and this piano was made 10 years later in 1776, and is basically of the same design. There are only four known extant square pianos made by Frederick Beck that are older than this instrument as recorded on the register of early pianos, Clinkscale online. (www.earlypianos.org)
This square piano was professionally restored by Andrew Lancaster and has been maintained in excellent playing condition since this restoration. The keyboard compass is FF to f3. There are two stops, one for bass dampers and the other for treble dampers. There is a pedal for a buff stop and there is evidence of a second pedal for a lid swell that was probably fitted as an addition when the instrument was made but removed when the lid swell became out of fashion in the 1790’s. The piano measures 144cms x 50cms.
Arnold Frederick Beck (fl.1772-1794) is considered to be an important maker and was one of the so called “twelve Apostles” working in London in the 18th century.
Muzio Clementi square piano c.1801
THIS PIANO HAS BEEN SOLD
A fine early Clementi square piano made about 1801 with English double action, Irish dampers and having excellent floral sweat pea garland painted nameboard decoration.
This piano is substantially in original condition and has retained all fretwork and its original silk inner-cover. It has not seen any significant repair and it is nice to see an example such as this one that has not had any major intervention in recent times. This piano is probably one of the first Clementi squares to have the painted nameboard decoration that continued until about 1809.
The mahogany case with pedal has excellent colour and patina. The music shelf is an old but a later addition but can be easily removed if desired. The inside edge of the case is veneered in boxwood having double line that is typical of the very early examples. The nameboard inscription reads: “New Patent, Muzio Clementi & Co., Cheapside, London”.
It is visually impressive and is being sold as a fine example for restoration.