John Broadwood and Sons 1814
This elegant “Regency-Style” square piano from 1814 is a typical early 19th century instrument found in very wealthy households.
The case of the instrument is made of mahogany and rosewood with revolving band inlays in brass. The instrument stands on 6 original turned legs with fire-gilt bronze rings. The entire instrument is made in typical “Regency-Style“. The keyboard is made of ivory and ebony. The instrument has a wooden pedal for the dampers. The action is a double action with leathered hammers and single dampers. The instrument is double strung.
The nameboard is made in different woods and signed in a cartouche:
“John Broadwood and Sons.
Makers to His Majesty and the Princesses
Great Pulteney Street London Golden Square.”
The serial number is located on the inside of the instrument and reads 18242. Based on this serial number the instrument was made in 1814.
The company John Broadwood produced various models of square pianos. Depending on the design and the used woods the prices varied. This piano has to be one of the expensive models. The standard versions were mostly held in mahogany and simply decorated with some ribbon inlays. The uses of rosewood and brass inlays are clear signs of a high-priced instrument.
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 Sons:
- 1814 square piano (No. 8666) – Stanford University Department of Music, Stanford USA
- 1816 square piano (No. 20108) – Banchory Crathes Castle, The National Trust for Scotland, UK
- 1816 square piano (No. 20953) – Tredegar House, Newport UK
|Circumference:||5 ½ octaves (FF – c4)|
|Pedals:||1 pedal controlling the dampers|
„John Broadwood and Sons.
Makers to his Majesty and the Princesses
Great Pulteney Street London Golden Square.“