Sunday, April 6, 2014
Peter and I have been on the hunt for some seminal pieces of furniture for the manor e.g. a billiard table for the billiard room and a grand piano for the music room. This weekend we managed to secure one of the pieces - a grand piano. Peter is off to look at a billiard table tomorrow.
The piano is a John Broadwood & Sons model, made in 1880. It is fashioned out of mahogany with ebony and ivory keys....
Above and below: The piano in situ in the vendor's house.
Above: Notice the original fretwork is still in excellent condition, spelling out the name "Broadwood". The rest of the woodwork is in good condition, it just needs a decent polish, and musically there is nothing that a tune and a service won't fix.
The size is known as a 'drawing room grand' and would have cost 160 Guineas new (even though the last guineas were minted in 1813, guineas still continued to be referred to, indicating a cost of 21 shillings. The term retained aristocratic overtones and professional fees, payment for land, art, horses, furniture and luxury items were often still quoted in Guineas until decimalisation in 1971). The average income at the time was Ca. 1 Guinea per week).
Broadwood is perhaps the most prolific maker of pianos in history, definitely in British history.
He was given a royal warrant by almost every monarch between George II to the present, and many composers owned Broadwoods.
I have been listening to a lot of Elgar lately, so I was pleased to discover he owned a Broadwood...
So all in all a good choice for a period English country house. Now we have a few more pieces to find for the music room, such as nice piano stool, a lyre shaped music stand and a harp.
Above: A nice lyre shaped music stand.
We already have a darling little music Canterbury for storing sheet music, similar to these ones...
Peter plays the flute (a fact I discovered only when I came across his flute when we were packing up the house a couple of years ago) and we both play the piano, so we are working on an Elgar duet for the opening: Elgar's Chanson de Matin...
More pictures of music room inspiration...
Above: The oldest grand piano in England, shown here in Apsley House, London (The Duke of Wellington's Residence).
and modern rooms: