Spark & Co., Worcester?

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katelaw
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Spark & Co., Worcester?

Post by katelaw » 30 May 2011, 14:56

This weekend we became the owners of a beautiful piano, it had been sanded some years ago, in need of some work and is terribly out of tune, but it was a the kind gift from an internet auction couple whom we had never met before to our son, who is 6 and has been learning to play piano with his Grandma for 2 years

It has a metal name plate with the name Spark & Co Worcester on it, we have done a fair bit of googling to find out some information about the history of the piano maker, but we don’t seem to getting very far.

The only reference we find is an article on a Church Music Site about composer and music seller Caleb Simper of 54 High Street Worcester.

http://www.cul.co.uk/music/compx.htm

Excerpt from the web page
As far as we know Simper had no formal musical training, though his first job that was recorded (certainly not his first employment) was as manager of E. J. Sparks & Co, a music warehouse based at 12 High Street, Worcester (just two doors away from Elgar Brothers, the music shop owned by Edward Elgar's father and uncle). It has been assumed that he moved to Worcester shortly after his marriage in 1879 to Emily Yates, a 30-year-old Australian who was living at the time with her aunt and uncle in Wilton, just a few miles from Barford. These details from Caleb and Emily's marriage certificate show, in fact, that Simper was already in Worcester by then:

And this really is it, we have no idea how old it is, if it’s a one off or the history of Spark & Co company, really hope you can help us, who doesn’t love a good mystery!

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Bill Kibby
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Spark & Co Worcester

Post by Bill Kibby » 30 May 2011, 15:30

I have Simpers in my family tree, (and lots of whimpers) so that's interesting, but probably not much help with Spark & Co. The vast majority of piano names are not listed on the net, so it is unwise to jump to any conclusions about rarity. I have over twenty thousand on file, many are fictitious aliases used by retailers on pianos bought in from anonymous wholesalers. These are often characterised by a cast metal nameplate screwed onto the iron frame inside the top.

The earliest reference I have to Spark & Co. is an Edward Spark piano bearing the date 1873 on a label. Edward was still around in 1914. In the twenties, they were Spark & Co., and in the thirties Spark & Co. Ltd.. They were still around in 1951, but the name tells us nothing about the individual piano, so without photos, I can't really help except for the link below.
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If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

bilbo
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Re: Spark & Co Worcester - Can you shed any light ?

Post by bilbo » 14 May 2019, 13:40

I am most interested in this conversation. My paternal grandfather was James Percy Little (aka Percy James). My understanding is that he was the manager of Edward J. Spark's premises at High Street Worcester in or about 1911 (the business stamp appears on a page of my grandfather's compositions). I note that there is no longer a music shop at that address.

William J. Little

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Spark & Co Worcester - Can you shed any light ?

Post by Bill Kibby » 14 May 2019, 17:02

If you email me I may be able to help more.
I can't help wondering whether you are connected with the Little piano firm, or with Billy Little, one of my instructors at college?
Piano History Centre
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Email bill@pianohistory.info
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

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