Broadwood and Sons Cottage Piano?

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ghazell
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Broadwood and Sons Cottage Piano?

Post by ghazell » 23 Aug 2005, 11:37

Hello,

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:
Wooden Frame/Soundboard,
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.

Thanks.

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Bill Kibby
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Broadwood

Post by Bill Kibby » 23 Aug 2005, 19:36

If you have logged in, you can email me. The number suggests 1880, and there should be a date on the side of the top key: See specific references to Broadwood at
http://www.pianohistory.info/victorian.html

Dark red cloth rather like velvet is commonly found, but they vary. Treakell and Creber were around in the 1880s.
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ghazell
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Post by ghazell » 25 Aug 2005, 09:30

Hi Bill,
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.

Thanks again,
Guy

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Bill Kibby
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Cottage pianos

Post by Bill Kibby » 25 Aug 2005, 10:03

Although I spend a lot of time trying, it is not really possible to place precise definitions on most of the terms used about pianos, they are not constant. We could get into a long discussion of cabinets, semi-cabinets, semi-cottages, pianinos, pianettes, piccolo pianos, etc., but what we now call an upright piano was mainly known in victorian times as a cottage piano. The date on the keys is more accurate than the general list, it is an 1881 piano. Seymour was a key maker, but Chancellory doesn't ring any bells, I'll look for it. The original dowells are not very strong, especially if they are cedar. The difficulty is replacing it without splitting the other parts, and you may want to consider whether it can be bandaged with something like a piece of paper towel soaked in wood glue.
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ghazell
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Post by ghazell » 26 Aug 2005, 11:57

Thanks for the information about naming, it certainly helps explain why it is so difficult to identify types of piano etc. especially when trying to find similar ones for reference.

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.

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Re: Broadwood and Sons Cottage Piano?

Post by Bill Kibby » 30 Jan 2017, 19:52

I had another enquiry about Treakell & Creber recently, but so far, I can only find them in 1875 and 1886. They were not listed 1894, 1899, 1911, 1914.

Joseph Treakell was on his own as a music seller in the 1850s & 1860s.
Piano History Centre
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If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

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