For me it’s a Broadwood grand.
Quote: ‘Broadwood pianos that make it to the USA are wrecks brought over in containers in the 60s and 70s and sold by piano vultures to naive mothers on the strength of the candelabra, the fine wood and the fancy English nameboards while inside they are neglected, with dried up glue joints, bad tuning pin blocks and trashed actions.’ Lol. Evidently they do very well if they stay in damp wet cold GB.
I personally am coming around to the idea of a nice Broadwood barless semiconcert grand in an art case. If I could find one I would probably snap it up in a jiffy. After all, they sold for more than the European/Steinway pianos did in their heyday and I know some of that might have been national pride but they had to be good to command those prices. The nice thing about this project is there's no rush. The kids have a great piano to play on and I have all the time in the world to do the one piano right!
A good choice! Broadwood Barless grands are fantastic pianos. I have had the luck to encounter two of them.
The first was in the Colt Collection in Bethersden, Kent. The Colt collection consisted of over a hundred very early pianos. Mr Colt collected them in the 1950s through to the 1970s; then unfortunately he died, leaving the collection in the ownership of a Trust as a sort of Sleeping Beauty, which could be visited by arrangement, but rarely was. The Broadwood Barless was a concert grand of nearly nine feet, in a rosewood case on turned legs. Dating from 1889, it was a relative youngster in the collection. I played it briefly on a visit to the collection. It had a wonderful rich enveloping tone. A magnificent instrument. When the collection was sold in 2018, the Barless was estimated at £1000 to £1800; the actual realised price was just £620! A wonderful buy for whoever bought it.This
is the link to the catalogue entry.
Piano Auctions Ltd runs a quarterly auction in London. Their September 2020 sale included a Broadwood Barless. This was special in several ways - it was an "art-case" piano, with the case in panelled oak designed by the famous British architect Edwin Lutyens (who designed the Cenotaph in London). And in addition, it had been meticulously restored. I played Haydn and Schubert on it at the viewing for the sale, and it was absolutely gorgeous both in its sound and its looks. I would have been very tempted to bid if (a) I had any room for it, and (b) the estimated price had not been £40,000 to £50,000. As things turned out at the sale, there was not a single bid, and the piano was not sold. It reappeared in the December auction, with an estimate of £18,000 to £22,000 - in other words, the reserve had been reduced. But the piano remained unsold. I would expect that very likely, it is still available. So, Aritempor, perhaps you should make an offer...This
is the link to the original catalogue entry.