John Broadwood and Son 1800
The instruments of John Broadwood were in the late 18th and early 19th centuries much sought after. As a result a large number of instruments were produced.
The case of the instrument is made of mahogany with revolving band inlays in different woods. The instrument itself rests on a “french stand” and “music-shelf” under the instrument. On the sides are brass applications for covering the screws of the frame. The keyboard is made in ivory and ebony.
The instrument has a pedal for using the dampers. The action is a simple single action with leather covered hammers and the typical Broadwood underdampers (these dampers were patented by Broadwood in 1783). The instrument is double strung and above the action and soundboard is the original dust-cover (covered with green silk). On the underside of the dust-cover are different handwritten entries. There are poems and small diary entries about everyday life in the countryside. The name “Betsy Ellis” appears more often. It is likely that the instrument comes from her possession and has been described over the years by her.
The nameboard is made of different woods and is signed in a cartouche with:
“John Broadwood and Son.
Makers to His Majesty and the Princeses
Great Pulteney Street London 1800 Golden Square.”
Under the dust cover is the serial number: 5507.
On the right side of the case are the initials “B. L.” imprinted. The 58th key is handwritten signed with a “B“.
John Broadwood was born on 6th October 1732 in Oldhamstocks near Cockburnspath in Scotland. He learned the profession of being a cabinetmaker like his father before.
In 1761 he started working for Burkat Shudi (1702 – 1773) in London and in 1770 became his business partner. In 1771 he opened his own shop on Great Pulteney Street in London. In 1769 he married Burkat Shudi’s daughter Barbara in her first marriage and had four children with her. After his wife’s death in 1776 he married Mary Kitson in 1781 and had six children with her. He died on 17th July 1812 in London.
Other surviving instruments by Johannes Broadwood and Son:
- 1798 square piano (No. 4200) – National Museum of American History, Washington USA
- 1791 square piano (No. 1552) – Kenwood House, Hampstead UK
- 1795 square piano (No. 2844) – Collection Richard Burnett Finchcocks, Goudhurst UK
|Circumference:||5 ½ octaves FF – c4|
|Pedals:||1 pedal - dampers|
„John Broadwood and Son.
Makers to his Majesty and the Princeses
Great Pulteney Street London 1800 Golden Square.“