Broadwood grand fortepianos before 1837
This list of more than 280 instruments has been compiled from real sightings rather than from old publications, so hopefully all of these pianos still survive. The objective of the list is to be able to locate the instruments for research. BEWARE: survival rates do not correspond with manufacture: eg 6 1/2 Octave instruments were being built in 1811, but no survivors have yet been found earlier than 1820.
PLEASE SEND ME ANY CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONS. Please send as much information as possible - especially date and serial number, compass and address of present owner (and whether your name can appear in the list. Please contact us to agree a level of privacy). Dates are to be found either on the nameboard inscription, or in ink on the wrest-plank at the treble end. Serial numbers are usually found in ink on the wrest-plank at the bass end, stamped on the rear of the music desk and top of the lyre or top of front rail of stand: occasionally on the inside of the casewall under the wrest-plank in pencil.
Addresses are, for security, kept on a card index, and those of privately owned instruments will not be revealed without permission, but you can apply for it through us.
Where there is no entry under country, the address is unknown.
A star in the last column indicates the instrument has been inspected by the David Hunt.
Dates are from the instrument or are date of delivery. Dates in Italics are not confirmed.
The Broadwood Company Archives survive in the Surrey History Centre Woking, though some books are missing. From 1819 they are indexed, so finding an entry is fairly easy.
I have included some dates of delivery for post 1819 pianos. I have used UK convention - 3/4/19 is 3rd April 1819
This register was originally compiled over some 25 years with the generous help of Margaret Cranmer (and many others) by David P Hunt. The maintenance of the database is now undertaken by Cesar Hernandez.
I have cross referenced this list to some of the entries in the book 'Makers of the Piano' by M N Clinkscale; see column 4, but for an updated reference I strongly recommend to consult Clinkscale Online: earlypianos.org.
The website Clinkscale Online is now being maintained by John Watson and Tom Winter.
Beethoven's Broadwood piano
The answer to a frequently asked question: To be considered a 'Beethoven' model, so to speak, the serial number must be between 7000 and 7800 (information kindly provided by David Hunt who did extensive research on the matter).
Click in the file to open the list of Broadwood Grand pianos in Excel
Last addition: January 2024