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Welmar Pianos #2737299
05/16/18 10:53 PM
05/16/18 10:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,701
Kuwait
PhilipInChina Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
PhilipInChina  Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,701
Kuwait
I saw a picture of a Welmar piano. On one corner of the fallboard it says:

MANUFACTURED
IN LONDON BY
BLUTHNER & CO. LTD.

Does anybody have anything to say about this?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
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Re: Welmar Pianos [Re: PhilipInChina] #2737459
05/17/18 01:30 PM
05/17/18 01:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,918
J
joe80 Online content
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joe80  Online Content
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J

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,918
Yeah that's an easy one to solve.

Blüthner and Co Ltd were set up in the very late 19th or very early 20th Century by Whelpdale, Maxwell and Codd, three piano sellers or tuners who set up their own company (Whelpdale Maxwell and Codd Ltd).

They set up Blüthner and Co Ltd in order to be an importing company for Blüthner in Leipzig. In fact Blüthner's at Berkeley Square in 2003 was still the London firm and not the Leipzig firm.

In order to be able to offer a more affordable, but still good quality instrument, Whelpdale and Maxwell had the idea to manufacture there own pianos under the name Welmar (from Whel... and Ma...). The pianos were good and somewhat loosely based on the Blüthner designs. Some of the grands from the 1930s onwards were very similar to the Blüthner grands, and there was a concert grand that looks indistinguishable from the Blüthner of the same period (the similarity ends with the looks....).

So, it wasn't inaccurate to say Welmar made by Blüthner and Co, but it was inaccurate to say Welmar made by Blüthner, which was always a different company. Does this make sense? It's pretty confusing and actually it took me ages to work it out.

In 2003, Whelpdale, Maxwell and Codd (which was the financial side of Blüthner and Co Ltd) was liquidated, and as such the factory near London was closed. The marques produced under Whelpdale Maxwell and Codd were at that time Knight, Welmar, Bentley, and I think there were a couple more - Woodchester might have been one, and there may or may not have been some overlap with Broadwoods although Broadwoods always remained a distinct company from WMC.

The Blüthner workshops in Perivale on the Central Line were bought outright by their manager, Colin Leverett, and became Piano Restorations Ltd, in 2003, and they are still used as Blüthners main rebuilding centre, but the production of new pianos ceased.

The Blüthner showroom was closed down by Roger Willson (CEO of Whelpdale at the time), who was made Managing Director of Blüthner Piano Centre in London, which in 2003 was a new venture opened by Chris and Knut Haessler, who own the company along with the Blüthner factory in Leipzig and the Blüthner centres in Dresden and Vienna.

Roger retired in 2012, and Peter Corney, who had worked their since 2009, became the MD until about a year or two before his death, spending his final months working for countrywide piano centre.

Hope that potted history helps answer your question

Re: Welmar Pianos [Re: PhilipInChina] #2737470
05/17/18 01:53 PM
05/17/18 01:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,701
Kuwait
PhilipInChina Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member
PhilipInChina  Offline OP
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,701
Kuwait
Thank you, Jo, as always.

What is your opinion of the Welmar as a piano?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Welmar Pianos [Re: PhilipInChina] #2737529
05/17/18 06:01 PM
05/17/18 06:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,918
J
joe80 Online content
2000 Post Club Member
joe80  Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,918
They're generally well built pianos, some very good uprights. The models with the Renner action are very good, the Langer100 action isn't so good. We have both types in both my school and university. They generally have good tone but of course with the youngest Welmar now being 15 years old, most of them require some level of reconditioning.

On the second hand market they tend to fetch high prices, and for the same money you could probably find a good Yamaha U1, which would be better.

Re: Welmar Pianos [Re: PhilipInChina] #2737535
05/17/18 06:30 PM
05/17/18 06:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,075
H
huaidongxi Offline
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huaidongxi  Offline
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H

Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,075
very good information, and now the source of the Brit-made Knight brand and others is clarified.


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