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I have a piano made by Broadwood and Sons that I believe to be a cottage piano. I have checked the serial number against the list on the Broadwood website and this indicates it was made between 1880 and 1885.
I am trying to find photos of it, or a similar piano so that I can restore the cloth to as close to the original design.
I am also interested in finding any historical information about the piano that may be available.
Details that I currently have are:
Serial number on upper right corner of soundboard is 51785,
Serial number upper centre of soundboard is 250.
Seven octave A to A,
Remains of apparantly original red silk cloth in bottom front frame.
Two plates on the inner face of the keyboard cover are:
Made especially for Messers Treakell and Creber, Portsmouth and Southsea.
John Broadwood and Sons London.
Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.
Dark red cloth rather like velvet is commonly found, but they vary. Treakell and Creber were around in the 1880s.
Thanks for the reply.
I have had a brief look around your site and will definitely go back for a further full read.
Since my previous mail I have disassembled much more of the piano for a clean, and indeed there are dates written on the top key.
They are March, May and October 1881. These are written in pencil, and I assume they are some sort of indication of stages of construction/testing being completed.
In addition, the name Seymour (Chancellory?) is imprinted in the side of the same key. I assume this is the manufacturer of the keys.
I am still not sure if the piano sould be called an upright or a cottage. Is it purely the physical size that makes the difference?
The only other task I have is to replace three hammer shafts that have broken. Is there a special wood (hardwood or the likes?) I should use, or is standard dowel strong enough for this task?
The original cloth is definitely a fine red satin, and very fine. So it is off to a material outlet for some replacement.
I will check the second name on the key again when I clean them properly. It is less distinct than the Seymour, but appears to be stamped into the key in the same way.
Talking of which, what is the best method for cleaning the keys? I was just going to use a damp cloth with a very mild soap solution as I dont want to remove all the appearences of age and use, just the surface dirt etc.
As for the hammers, I initially wondered about a splint/wipping repair, however they are broken so close to the bottom of the shaft that there would be no strength unless there were large quantities of glue about! So I intend drilling the ends out of the head and base with fine drills, and gluing the new dowel in place. I will let you know how it goes.
Joseph Treakell was on his own as a music seller in the 1850s & 1860s.