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Piano

Piano

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1869 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    John Broadwood & Sons (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Planed and joined mahogany case, open fretwork mahogany panel , ripple-moulded edging to the lid at the back of the instrument, gadrooned edging at the front of the keyboard. Ebony sharps, ivory-covered naturals, brass pedals

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Edmundson

  • Museum number:

    Circ. 144:1 to 4-1957

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

By about 1860, upright pianos were mass-produced, and John Broadwood & Son of London were one of Britain's leading manufacturers. Because they were so much smaller than grand pianos, these instruments were particularly useful in compact living spaces, ranging from terrace houses to yachts. This example was made in 1867 for the royal yacht Victoria and Albert, which had been launched twelve years earlier. It is carved with open fretwork, a popular form of furniture decoration at that time.

Physical description

Upright piano, with a range of eighty-two notes CC - a4, with mahogany case, spiral-twist front legs and open fretwork panel at the back. Pair of brass pedals at the base of the instrument.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1869 (made)

Artist/maker

John Broadwood & Sons (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Planed and joined mahogany case, open fretwork mahogany panel , ripple-moulded edging to the lid at the back of the instrument, gadrooned edging at the front of the keyboard. Ebony sharps, ivory-covered naturals, brass pedals

Marks and inscriptions

John Broadwood & Sons, London
Inscription on inside of the keyboard lid.

30818 B
Serial number on the wrest-plank of the piano.

Dimensions

Width: 126.3 cm, Height: 102.8 cm, Depth: 50.5 cm

Object history note

This piano was given to the Museum by Mrs Edmundson of Gidea Park, Essex.

Descriptive line

English upright piano, mahogany case, John Broadwood & Sons, 1867.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Howard Schott: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part I: Keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), pp. 131 - 132.

Labels and date

UPRIGHT PIANO, John Broadwood & Sons, London, 1867.
Mahogany casework, ivory naturals and ebony sharps and flats. Keyboard Compass of eighty-two notes, CC-a4, with a check action.

CIRC.144-1957
Keyboard catalogue No. 53

The piano was formerly on the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert which was launched in 1855.

Given by Mrs Edmundson. [pre September 2000]
PIANO
ENGLISH: 1867

Made by John Broadwood and Sons, London
Mahogany
Circ.144-1957
Given by Mrs Edmundson

John Broadwood was a Scottish cabinetmaker who sought his fortune in London in the 1760s. His master was the Swiss harpsichord maker Burkat Schudi from whom Broadwood inherited a highly successful business through marriage. Broadwood realised pianos would replace harpsichords and his innovations in the action of the instrument made him the most sought after maker by composers. Beethoven's favourite instruments was reputedly the piano presented to him by the company.

By 1823 the company had outgrown its original Soho workshop, which was retained as a show-room, and began large-scale production in a factory at Horseferry Road, Westminster. By the middle of the century Broadwood pianos were shipped all over the Empire and the Americas. This piano was made specially for the Royal Tacht 'Victoria and Albert', which was launched in 1855. [June 1994 - September 1994]

Materials

Mahogany; Ebony; Ivory; Brass

Techniques

Edging; Moulding; Joining

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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