Work in Progress
Longman & Broderip
A Longman & Broderip Square Piano, built in 1796
It is possibly the first six octave square piano ever made. The decoration is attributed to Julius Caesar Ibbetson - a self-taught painter from Yorkshire who painted a couple of landscapes in the collection of Restoration House in Rochester, Kent where the piano resides.
Ibbetson was commissioned by Lord Mansfield to do a painted scheme for the music room at Kenwood House in Hampstead, including wall panels a chamber organ and a harpsichord. The decoration of the square piano is clearly part of that same scheme but Kenwood have no record of the square ever having been at the house. So it’s possible it was completed but never delivered, according to the owners of the piano.
Restoration house (in normal times) is open to the public and they run a series of concerts on period instruments. Please see: restorationhouse.co.uk.
Beck Square Piano 1780
Australian First Fleet Piano
We are proud to have been chosen to be the restorers of this historically important instrument. Originally belonging to the surgeon on one of the ships in the first fleet, it landed in Botany Bay in 1788. It now belongs to WAAPA-Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia and is being restored to playing condition for use in their extensive early keyboard collection. Due to the pandemic, the piano has been entrusted to us temporarily until travel conditions to Australia are satisfactory.
Beyer Square Piano 1777
Horniman Museum, London
In 2019 we finished the restoration of an Adam Beyer square piano of 1777 for the Horniman Museum in Dulwich, London. This instrument was bought with lottery funding from the Finchcocks collection and from September this year it has been used for concerts, along with 5 other early keyboard instruments, in what is called their ‘hear it live’ series.