Grand piano by John Broadwood & Sons

John Broadwood & Sons1799

Royal College of Music

Royal College of Music
London, United Kingdom

This piano has a compass of F1 to c4, 68 notes and is triple-stringing throughout. It has two pedals, one raising the dampers and the other an 'una corda'. The outside of the case has mahogany veneer in framed panels with maple stringing. The keywell is decorated with strongly figured satinwood veneer surrounded with ebony and holly stringing. It has an English Grand action, as may be seen in the action model displayed nearby. A hopper or escapement lever is attached to the keylever, and acts directly on the hammer butt. As the key rises the hopper accelerates the hammer toward the string until a point is reached where the changing geometry of the hammer and hopper enables the hopper to escape over a step in the hammer butt. Regulation, so that the escapement occurs just as the hammer is on the point of striking the strings, is accomplished by means of a screw and a leather-covered wooden button. To avoid it bouncing up against the strings again, the hammer is caught in the check, a piece of leather attached to a wire fixed to the tail of the keylever. As the keylever rises it also raises the damper, which consists of a small slip of pearwood guided in a set of upper and lower guides, like the jacks in a harpsichord, with three layers of woollen cloth at their tops. The dampers are prevented from rising too far out of their slots by a mahogany damper rail lined underneath with woollen cloth like a harpsichord jackrail. A dogleg at the bottom of the dampers can be engaged by a lever to raise all the dampers using the pedal. The hammer heads are covered with several layers of leather.


  • Title: Grand piano by John Broadwood & Sons
  • Creator: John Broadwood & Sons
  • Date Created: 1799
  • Location Created: London, England

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