Grand Piano

Description (Brief)
This grand piano was made by John Broadwood & Son in London, England in 1794. It is identical to one that Broadwood put at the disposal of Franz Joseph Haydn during his visit to London in 1793-1794. This piano has been restored to playing condition. The serial number for this grand piano is 715A and it has a compass of FF-c4, an English grand action, leather on wood core hammers, brass and iron strings, 3 strings for each note, 2 pedals: una corda and damper lifter, wood frame with iron gap spacers, straight-strung, and a mahogany veneer case.
This beautiful piano, veneered in the best English tradition, has a range of five and one-half octaves, a rather advanced compass for its time. It is triple-strung throughout, and has two pedals mounted on its trestle stand. The right-hand pedal raises the dampers from the strings, while the left-hand pedal shifts the keyboard slightly to the right so that the hammers strike only one (una corda) rather than two (due corde) strings for each note. The large label visible on the soundboard reads: "By special appointment to H[is] M[ajesty] King George III."
Broadwood was for many years England's largest piano maker, and the company's pianos were famous for a big tone. In 1817 the company presented a grand piano to Beethoven. This Broadwood grand dates from the year of one of Haydn's visits to London, and is the type of instrument for which he wrote his last piano sonatas and trios.
Object Name
date made
John Broadwood & Son
Physical Description
brass and iron (strings: material)
leather (hammers material)
iron (strings: material)
wood (frame: material)
wood, mahogany (case: material)
overall: 91 cm x 104.3 cm x 222.5 cm; 35 13/16 in x 41 1/16 in x 87 5/8 in
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
serial number
accession number
catalog number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Broadwood & Son Grand Piano
Credit Line
Gift of Hugo Worch
Additional Media

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