Reconstruction of a Broadwood & Sons piano

Reconstruction of a Broadwood & Sons piano from the 1850's

This rare and very small piano by one of the once leading manufacturers, John Broadwood & Sons, including a contemporary bench, is visually wonderful and historically preserved since its restoration and plays up-to-date, thanks to a modern interior.

The requirement was to use a limited budget to integrate a modern small piano while maintaining the very compact size of only 1.25 m in width, because the targeted location allowed that much and only that much – and, of course, to maintain the original appearance. This was based on a historical John Broadwood & Sons piano –after extensive search and various attempts, a modern Bentley small piano that had exactly the dimensions required for installation, while meeting the expectations to sound and systems among the available baby pianos.

 

Installing new piano in old piano

Fitting the small piano in an old case

The renovations were difficult and carried out by one of the specialized restorers. The very different fine dimensions of the mechanism and keyboard were the main challenge due to 120 years of difference between these two pianos. The length of the keys differed already by 14 cm and the height of the lockrail by almost 10 cm.

Case rebuilding work - fitting the keyboard

Tuning height tuning stability in old pianos

The results show that the intensive works have paid off. The piano with its rare original candlesticks and the typical look of the 1850's fitted perfectly into the niche where it belonged - and it also sounds nice with a contemporary 440 hertz concert pitch tuning. This special instrument is now standing in a house at a marvelous lake deep in the Swiss mountains.

Pictures of the rebuilt piano