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Cabinet Piano John Broadwood and Sons c. 1835


Date: 1835

Origin: London

Serialnumber: 6853

This elegant instrument is one of the representatives of the so-called “Cabinet Pianos” a form of upright piano which were very popular in the early 19th century. Due to smaller rooms various forms of smaller pianos where needed but with no losses in the sound. Because of their enormous size these Cabinet Pianos have the same sound characteristics as grand pianos but need much less space.

The case of the instrument is made of solid mahogany and is richly decorated with wooden applications. The front is covered with the original red silk. The entire instrument is held in the typical “Regency Style“.

The keyboard is made from ivory and ebony and the instrument has two wooden pedals (dampers and una corda).

The hammers are covered with leather and the instrument is double strung. The action is a form of the English double action with abstracts.

The nameboard is decorated with brass inlays and bears the signature:

“John Broadwood and Sons. / Makers to His Majesty and the Princesses /

Great Pulteney Street London Golden Square”

The serial number is handwritten on the first key and reads: 6853. The tuning pins are at the top. Beneath the keyboard are two small doors.


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 John Broadwood and Sons:

  • 1827/28 Cabinet Piano (No. 3538) – Gemeentemuseum, The Hague The Netherlands
  • 1828/29 Cabinet Piano (No.4042) – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York USA





Length: ---

Width: 114 cm

Height: 186 cm

Circumference: 6 octaves (FF – f4)

Mechanics: English double action with abstracts

Pedals: 2 pedals (dampers and una corda)

Signature: "John Broadwood and Sons. / Makers to his Majesty and the Princesses /
Great Pulteney Street London Golden Square"