Fredericus Beck, London 1780
Frederick Beck was one of the German instrument builders that came to London mid-18th. century. He started making pianos in the style/after Johannes Zumpe and they like these, were renowned. They were exported to amongst other France, Portugal, Germany and Sweden where this one turned up some 40 years ago. Inside the case a pair of pliers was found. Michael Cole quotes in his book (The Pianoforte in the Classical Era) somebody’s writing: “I ordered you a Zumpe piano with a hammer and a pair of pliers to twist your wire with.”
The miniature is of an unknown gentleman by Jeremiah Meyer, ca. 1780.
The piano is in almost original condition. The register stops are missing, having been replaced at some stage with a knee lever and a pedal.
In the restoration process the soundboard was taken out and rebuilt with all its original parts. The upper layer of the cracked pinblock was replaced, and the orginial pins were put back. The action was regulated.