London, 1875, Serial No. 624
Cottage Grand Piano
Broadwood & Sons pianos began when John Broadwood married Burkat Shudi’s daughter and took over Shudi’s keyboard workshop in 1777. The company had begun by experimenting with and building harpsichords, but began experimenting with pianos in 1778. Broadwood & Sons are one of the oldest English piano manufacturers, and continued to be run by Broadwood and his sons and extended family until 2008, when it was taken under the direction of Dr A Laurence.
This instrument was made when Broadwood were making straight-strung grand pianos. Modern grand pianos have the bass note strings strung diagonally so that the strings cross over the soundboard, to create a centralised sound. However, on the Broadwood Cottage Grand, the strings ran parallel. Thus, the tone is broad and dry, and there is a very distinct difference in sound between the treble and bass registers.
This grand was originally owned by Ms Julie Bof, and came from her grandparents, who purchased it from Nicholson’s (Piano Buyers), Sydney in 1926. It was donated to the ANU Keyboard Institute in 2010 by Ms Bof.