On Offer is a rare
Robert Wornum & Sons
'Piccolo' Upright Piano
in an Oak cabinet with a wooden frame
Robert Wornum (1780-1852), an important and inventive piano manufacturer and best known for introducing small 'Cottage' and 'Piccolo' upright pianos, is credited with the invention of the 'tape check action', patented by him in 1826, which is considered to be the predecessor of the modern upright action.
The title plate, seen in image 12, reads:
Royal Letters Patent
1811 1820 1826 1828 1842
Robert Wornum & Sons
MUSIC HALL, Store Street, Bedford Square, LONDON
(The five dates relate to the five patents by him.)
I've done some research but I can't give a precise date of manufacture, as there are three different stamped numbers, but its safe to say it is between 1842 and 1878 which is when the family business closed.
Number '10546' is present five times, number '10524' is stamped once, along with initials 'T.B.' and 'R.R.R.' (image 21) and number '5898' also once (image 19). In image 14 the brass lock plate reads: Regd May 56.
The next patent I can find was by his son, Alfred Nicholson Wornum, in 1856, making further improvements to downstriking actions. That date isn't included on the title plate so perhaps the piano was made prior to this but i can't be sure.
The paper label seen in image 17 begins:
Directions for Regulating the Piccolo Piano-Forte Action
Invented and Patented by Robert Wornum in 1828
The piano itself is structurally sound but is in need of some attention, both mechanically and cosmetically. Still sounds fairly bright, although obviously out of tune, and will require work to bring it back to its former glory.
Scratch mark and stains to top lid (images 5 & 6) and stain to keyboard lid (3). Splitting and some lifting to the wood and the veneer to the strip of wood beneath the top lid (19 & 20). Scuff marks to the top edge where the sheet music rest's metal clips make contact (7). The rest itself has loss to its two outer ends. Marks along the underside of the keyboard lid, which also bears an etched name (12 & 22). Wear to the wood backing to the keys (13). Sections of veneer missing to the right front curved edge (4) and a little to the left (3). Legs very good with brass ends and castors. Both wooden pedals and action move, with the right pedal sustaining the note but the left doesn't seem to dampen the notes. All but one string is attached (18). Original keys yellowed and all return (some just) except third black key from right. Four keys have chipped front edges (13). The silk front panel has been replaced with a later piece of wood. There is general wear as expected, like the backing cloth being torn, with plenty of old darkened marks.
The piano measures 43.75" high x 48.75" wide x 23.75" deep.
Collection in person from Lyminge, near Folkestone. CT18
Cash preferable but Paypal accepted.
Any questions please ask.
Thanks for looking and happy bidding!