J.&J. HOPKINSON PIANO

Ask questions on piano history and the age of your piano.

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BRYNDAVID
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J.&J. HOPKINSON PIANO

Post by BRYNDAVID » 18 Apr 2018, 14:50

I have a piano made by J.&J.Hopkinson, London, it has an inscription on it that says "made for William Haugue, Town Hall St Sowerby Bridge". Could anyone tell me anything about the history of this piano
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Gill the Piano
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Re: J AND J HOPKINSON PIANO

Post by Gill the Piano » 18 Apr 2018, 16:31

Could you take a photograph of the inside of the piano for us please? The top opens up and each end of the inside of the top door there should be a swivel peg that will allow you to remove the top door. Specifically, we are looking for a serial number stamped amongst or above the tuning pins. The pic looks about 1880s, but Bill's the expert, and if you find a number it'll help him date it more precisely.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

BRYNDAVID
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Re: J AND J HOPKINSON PIANO

Post by BRYNDAVID » 18 Apr 2018, 17:24

Thank you for your speedy reply, I have attached more pictures with serial numbers,do you think it is worth restoring as I have rescued it from going to the tip.
regards Jane
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BRYNDAVID
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Re: J AND J HOPKINSON PIANO

Post by BRYNDAVID » 23 Apr 2018, 06:47

When i said is it worth restoring hope you all didn't think i was interested in value just looking for a bit of history
will be keeping this piano all the family love it
doing some research on the chap who owned it
thank you for the info so far

chrisw
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Re: J.&J. HOPKINSON PIANO

Post by chrisw » 23 Apr 2018, 12:51

Hopkinson piano serial numbers are tabulated here
http://www.besbrodepianos.co.uk/pianose ... kinson.htm
which puts your piano in the late 1870s, so Gill the Piano was very much correct with the date.

Whether or not it is worth restoring is very much up to yourself and how much money you wish to spend on it. Is this piano loved because of its looks, or the way it plays, or that people just like to play it even though you think it needs restoring ? I am not a tuner or piano technician so can only advise from the point of view of being an amateur pianist. Unfortunately your photographs do not show the piano frame which would show the string damping mechanism and whether or not it is straight strung. Has the piano been tuned and does it stay in tune for a number of months ? As a pianist I like the sound and touch of a modern piano and that is how I would invest my money, but of course that is a personal choice.

If the piano is loved because of its looks, one method of restoring it may be to have the frame, strings and keys stripped out and the internals replaced with an electronic piano. Vale Pianos ( https://valepianos.co.uk) in Worcestershire do this conversion but the piano has to be wide enough to accommodate a 88 note keyboard.

Edit. A more careful look at the photographs does indicate it is straight strung and I suspect given the age it is over damped (meaning the string damping is not particularly good for the higher notes). Therefore wouldn't personally consider restoration as an acoustic piano but if I wanted to keep the original case I would enquire about electronic piano conversion, expecting a £2000-£3000 bill at the end of the process.

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Bill Kibby
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Re: J.&J. HOPKINSON PIANO

Post by Bill Kibby » 30 Apr 2018, 13:52

This is a history forum, we don't reject pianos just because they don't conform to modern specifications. Most of the pianos in my piano history museum (under construction) will not conform, but if you like the piano, and want to keep it, you will probably spend more on tuning than it is worth. Some people solve this by installing a Yamaha £400 keyboard inside, if it's wide enough, keeping the outer appearance. Others do work gradually. Are you anywhere near me at Lincs? I can often find ways of making such pianos more useable without paying thousands of pounds to a restorer. It's not that they overcharge, they do a huge amount of precise handwork, but this often costs more than an old piano is worth, so it's a labour of love.

I will see what I can find on William Hague. If you want to search inside the piano for clues, have a look at
http://www.pianohistory.info/datemarks.html

For general information, see
http://www.pianohistory.info/victorian.html
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
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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Bill Kibby
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Re: J.&J. HOPKINSON PIANO

Post by Bill Kibby » 04 May 2018, 16:45

I found the retailer, his name was Haigh. The following information suggests that he doesn't seem to have started until the 1890s, but it simply means he was not listed in directories, and we have to assume that he sold it new in the 1870s, because it says "made for", and the serial number suggests about 1879.

1886 Not listed.
1894 Kelly's Directory; Pianoforte Makers & Warehouses include William Haigh, 34 Town Hall Street, Sowerby Bridge.
1899 Kelly's Directory; Pianoforte Makers & Warehouses include William Haigh, 34 Town Hall Street, Sowerby Bridge & 13 Wainhouse Road, Halifax.
1911 Kelly's Directory; Pianoforte Makers & Warehouses include William Haigh, 34 Town Hall Street, Sowerby Bridge.
1914 Music Trades Directory; William Haigh, 34 Town Hall Street, Sowerby Bridge, Pianos &c.
1928 Not listed.
1938 Not listed.
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
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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NewAge
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Re: J.&J. HOPKINSON PIANO

Post by NewAge » 08 May 2018, 16:29

An interesting, informative reply above from Bill. :)
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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