WORK IN PROGRESS
1. The instrument is relatively untouched, but not in a playing condition.
2. The instrument was terribly dirty, covered in typically English coal dust.
3. It was very hard to loosen the iron frame due to rust and dirt.
4. After the iron frame was disengaged, the next step was to unglue the soundboard.
5. Soaking the edges of the soundboard.
6. Here the soundboard is out.
7. The removed soundboard..
8. …is being measured by means of a frame.
9. The old varnish was carefully scraped off the soundboard…
10. …so that, diluted with alcohol, it may be used again.
Felt cut off from old piano hammerheads
and cut thinner.
See result: The right hammer with new old felt
Soundboard in all its seperate pieces.
The ribs are being glued back.
Here the soundboard is glued back.
The strings are put on using the original pins.
Now the instrument is completely strung.
BROADWOOD, LONDON, 1856
Our current work at progress is a John Broadwood, 1856, serial number 18544. The instrument is typical of its time, with several iron bars and a hitchpin plate in the construction.
We are restoring the instrument for its present owner, who bought it at the end of the nineteen eighties. It transpired that the instrument is one of a series of 10 concert grands, used by Broadwood himself to rent out for concerts. There is even a theory that Clara Schumann played this particular instrument during her concert tour in London.
The instrument is in its original state, but not in a playing condition. There have been no major repairs – only a few broken hammer shanks have been rather clumsily replaced.