We offer a specialist restoration service for square pianos. The piano may need restoration due to wear caused by age, or because of previous inappropriate restoration. It may look to be in reasonable condition; it might look dreadful. It is easy to assume from the appearance that the piano must be beyond repair. This is usually not the case!
The soundboard may be dipped and cracked,there may be some hammers and dampers detached - or totally missing! Most instruments can be brought back to play and sound much as they originally did when new.
Our aim is to retain as much of the original material as possible, consistent with returning the piano to fine playing order. With this in mind the requirements of both the instrument and client are paramount.
Square piano restoration
Badly worn keys on an Astor of c.1805. It had been played so much that many ivories were worn completely through.
Clients are frequently astonished, when their square piano is returned tuned and playing, by the beauty of the sound. The precise, light action is also always commented on; these pianos when correctly restored are a joy to play on and thoroughly addictive.
The tone is exactly suited to a domestic setting and transports one back in time in a way that little else can do.
Fitting strings and hammers to a 1779 Adam Beyer square piano.
Click here to see more pictures of square pianos being restored and their various parts.
Many materials are used in the manufacture and therefore restoration of square pianos. Various woods, ivory and the metal for strings spring to mind, obviously. But there is also whalebone, for the damper springs on the early square pianos, wool for the various cloths used, deer skin and goat skin leathers for the hammer coverings, leather for the hinges of the hammers and underhammers, elk leather for the damper pads of the early instruments, and so called fish glue, boiled down from the bones and skins of animals.
Many of these materials perish and eventually need replacing. It is important to source materials as near to those used originally as possible.