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1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
#3012494 08/10/20 11:11 PM
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Hello all!

I recently bought a 'new-to-me' 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand Piano. It's in shockingly good shape and I've had it tuned and it sounds beautiful. It's got a rosewood finish. I have a few questions and I'm hoping someone with more knowledge can help me smile

1. My tuner mentioned I should get some sort of oil or polish to moisturize the rosewood - I can't find a consistent answer online about what I should use. I've polished with microfibre and it does bring the shine out, but is there a polish anyone recommends? I've heard not to use lemon oil.

2. Since it still sounds good I'm sticking with the current harp and soundboard for a few years, however I do have 2 broken tuning pegs (both in top octave so not too worrisome for me). My tuner mentioned the peg board is antique and therefore unusual in that the pegs are actually threaded into the board. Does anyone know if these types of antique pegs can be made/bought anywhere (preferably in Canada)?

I've tried to link the photos but am new to this picture process so apologies if they don't come up. Thanks in advance for the help!

[Linked Image]
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Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3012516 08/11/20 01:55 AM
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Beautiful instrument. As a point of comment though, all piano tuning puns for well over 100 years are threaded. Yours might be more coarsely though. Chances are high that your piano is a candidate for a whole new pin block. That would then be drilled and fitted with ‘modern’ fine threaded pins.

-Bill


-Bill L.
Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3012561 08/11/20 07:17 AM
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I have worked on these. The pins have a proper thread on them, not the hair fine thread on normal pins. It's a widely spaced, open thread. It works like this. The plate is thick and threaded. There is a wooden plank underneath but the thread engages in the plate.
For just one pin if you can get it out, it's possible to very carefully drill out the thread in the plate, rebush and use a modern pin. The tuning pin heads are probably oblong? So a modern pin will look most out of place. Better to try and find a used pin of the correct type ...try asking local tuners if they have salvaged any from discarded pianos. I have a few, for instance.
I once rebuilt one of these pianos and it was a nightmare. The designers forgot that a metal screw into metal screw thread is not designed to be constantly moved back and forth, it's designed to screw up tight and be left alone.
Beautiful to look at though.
Nick

Last edited by N W; 08/11/20 07:19 AM.

Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3012563 08/11/20 07:33 AM
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Old English?

Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3012567 08/11/20 08:02 AM
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The only polish I would use on furniture of this age is beeswax and I wouldn't use any any sort of finishing oil.

Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3012794 08/11/20 07:07 PM
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Have you spotted that the fretwork on the music desk spells Broadwood? It's ornate and condensed - look carefully!

Broadwood serial numbers are difficult - there were so many different series. I think that your piano may well be a bit older than 1892, judging by the pedals, the pedal lyre, the frame bars and the parallel stringing.

You might get some useful information from www.broadwood.co.uk The Broadwood brand is owned now by Dr Alistair Laurence, a 6th generation piano maker whose family has a long history of involvement with the Broadwood company. Dr. Laurence did not want the old English brand name to be snapped up by a Chinese company (as has happened with other old European piano names now appearing on Chinese pianos).

Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
tend to rush #3012934 08/12/20 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by tend to rush
Old English?
Broadwood is the oldest piano name in the world.

Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3012953 08/12/20 08:11 AM
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I agree not to use a standard furniture polish. I would contact Corycare, which manufactures piano products. Looking at their website, there may be a couple that are appropriate,

https://www.corycare.com/productcat/piano-care-products/


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Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
David Boyce #3013021 08/12/20 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Have you spotted that the fretwork on the music desk spells Broadwood? It's ornate and condensed - look carefully!

Broadwood serial numbers are difficult - there were so many different series. I think that your piano may well be a bit older than 1892, judging by the pedals, the pedal lyre, the frame bars and the parallel stringing.

You might get some useful information from www.broadwood.co.uk The Broadwood brand is owned now by Dr Alistair Laurence, a 6th generation piano maker whose family has a long history of involvement with the Broadwood company. Dr. Laurence did not want the old English brand name to be snapped up by a Chinese company (as has happened with other old European piano names now appearing on Chinese pianos).

Although there are lots of Broadwood pianos that were made in the far East out there in homes in UK. Lots before Alistair bought the name.


Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
David Boyce #3013035 08/12/20 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Have you spotted that the fretwork on the music desk spells Broadwood? It's ornate and condensed - look carefully!
I've stared at that long enough to convince myself I can't see it, or actually I'm convinced I could use my imagination to see anything written there. Are the letters the full height of the fretwork? And is the word "wood" superimposed over the word "broad" so they both fit?


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3013043 08/12/20 01:49 PM
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Yes and Yes

Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
N W #3013322 08/13/20 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by N W
Although there are lots of Broadwood pianos that were made in the far East out there in homes in UK. Lots before Alistair bought the name.


I didn't know that, Nick. I knew that a Chinese company was wanting to register a trading name with "Broadwood" in it somewhere, and that Alistair was fighting it. I don't know what the outcome was.

Do you think that the Broadwood grand in the photos here, is as late as 1892? It looks a bit older to me.....

Last edited by David Boyce; 08/13/20 06:41 AM.
Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3013338 08/13/20 07:32 AM
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Broadwood pianos are advertised for sale by the makers of Cavendish pianos and it makes me wonder if a new Broadwood would be made at the Cavendish workshop. According to their website the Broadwood headquarters relocated to near Whitby in North Yorkshire UK, but this website seems to be almost ten years out of date. I had a look for some recent used Broadwoods on the web yesterday evening and noticed that those produced in the 1990's had been fitted with Langer 100 actions, which is the same as in my own Kemble piano.

Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3013358 08/13/20 09:25 AM
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Alistair was "up north" when he revived the barless frame but later moved to Kent, to Finchcocks when it was still open.
I think he took charge of instrument care there. I think he is still there, but I'm not sure. There was talk of training tuners there but I don't think it came to anything. All that said from my memory which has been known to be wrong!

David, it looks older to me too for the reasons you state. If the op could give us the number from the paper label almost certainly still stuck to the soundboard, we could know for (reasonably) sure. In the 80s I remember loads of these models which had reached the end of their lives, being sent to USA by container load, mainly to decorate big houses as they look so stunning, but also to have the beautiful veneer stripped off the tops.
Re far east Broadwoods. Sadly I just can't remember his full name but xxx Card (I think it was) who had been in charge at Kemble, went over to supervise the frame, scale length at the factory which I think was Korea but may have been China. I'll try and remember....
Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3013361 08/13/20 09:38 AM
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I've remembered. It was Tony Card who had a long history, first at Broadwood, then Kemble, then back to Broadwood if memory serves. In the 1990s he was out in China where he supervised the "new " Broadwoods. They didn't sell all that well I believe and the name became dormant again until Alistair revived it. But really, you don't see many of Alistair's pianos actually out in the world; I think it's quite a theoretical business..... I'm quite open to being shown to be wrong of course.
Nick

PS the OP pictured Broadwood here looks quite short to me, for one of those, what do you think?

Last edited by N W; 08/13/20 09:41 AM.

Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3013363 08/13/20 09:40 AM
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There must be some tie-up between Alistair Laurence and his son Sam, and the Cavendish company. Cavendish are not a piano factory as such, but an 'artisan' producer of pianos. Quite how the various processes are brought together and the finished instruments produced, I am unsure.

The "Chatsworth" upright from Cavendish, looks like an Alistair Laurence piano. Dr. Laurence's family connections with the Broadwood piano company go back generations. He owns the name and company now, and can do what he likes with it.

Cavendish offer two models of grand piano. I suspect that substantial components of there are bought in from China - I doubt if anyone in Britain is casting grand piano plates these days, or operating rim-bending equipment.

Langer was one of the brand names owned by piano action and keyboard maker Herrburger Brooks, now sadly out of business. There actions were as good as anyone's I think. Back in the 1980s I went to one or two technical classes by David Martin, their technical director and latterly CEO. I still have two Herrburger Brooks catalogues.

Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3013366 08/13/20 09:44 AM
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I'd not heard of Cavendish, thanks for that.

I quite like the langer actions, they are nice and light.

I just added a PS to my previous post, what do you think?

Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
shaycave #3013410 08/13/20 11:27 AM
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This video shows the building of a Cavendish upright at their Skipton workshop. https://youtu.be/iUQZLtRTWL4
More information is found in the thread
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...sh-pianos-has-anyone-ever-tried-one.html

Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
N W #3013459 08/13/20 02:59 PM
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Hello!

First of all thanks everyone for the info I am not very knowledgeable with all the history so this has been interesting! I am guesstimating the age based on the Broadwood website and my pianos serial number but could very well be off. I might end up going through their archival service, apparently for a fee Broadwood can tell you when and where the piano was made and who they sold it to originally.

For interest, the serial number on my piano is underneath the body and says 42453. There is no paper tag in the soundboard that I can see!

Re: 1892 Broadwood & Sons Grand
keff #3013486 08/13/20 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by keff
This video shows the building of a Cavendish upright at their Skipton workshop. https://youtu.be/iUQZLtRTWL4
More information is found in the thread
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...sh-pianos-has-anyone-ever-tried-one.html
Interesting. Thanks for posting this.
Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
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