Collard's Patent Escapement Action

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Bill Kibby
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Collard's Patent Escapement Action

Post by Bill Kibby » 25 Jul 2019, 17:00

Over the years, I have taken a great interest in the history of Collard & Collard pianos, but there are always new things to learn. When Barry Balcombe sent photos of his Collard cottage piano, it seemed at first glance to be a typical model from around the 1860s, with carved leg tops, and the number suggests that it was made in 1857. Unusually, the missing sconces seem to have been supported in the centres of the pierced fretwork, and there are several features which indicate a French influence. Firstly, there is only one pedal, and I was intrigued to know what it was for, but despite the ornate, almost gothic look of the huge pedal foot, it is connected to a very ordinary damper lift. Inside, the strings are oblique (diagonal) which I often say only applies to something like one in a thousand English pianos. The “Patent Escapement Action” is not what one expects either, it has tall wooden dowels supporting a fairly short underdamper action, very much a French influence, but with the checks on wires outside the hammer rest rail, acting on the tops of the hammers. I had never seen or heard of one of these in 66 years, so this is a rare occasion when I would refer to a piano as “rare”, not that rarity usually has any monetary value.

Can anyone cast any further light on it?
And what is going on with attachments here?
Attachments
1857~Collard#64434_Balcombe238u.jpg
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email via my website.
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, they should refer to pianohistory.info

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