"Here is a
bundle of letters on this very important and engrossing theme.
We give them
in the order of dates, suppressing nothing, nor annexing ought in malice."
To the Editor of the Musical World.
"Sir, — The article on the Great Exhibition, in The Times of Wednesday,
erroneously ascribes to the late Sebastian Erard an improvement which you
justly characterize as the most important one ever applied to the
pianoforte. I allude to that invention by which the immeiiBe strain of the
strings is taken off the wood framing, and transferred to strong parallel
I have now before me the specification of the patent enrolled in April,
1820, by my late father, William Stodart, of 1, Goldensquare, which clearly
proves that to him belonged the merit therein expressed, of" removing the
strain of the strings from the wood frame, and distending them upon metallic
rods, bars, tubes, or plates, &c.
Another invention, viz., that of the inverted or harmonic bridge, by means
of which the bearing of the strings li upwards, instead of downwards, was
also my father's original idea, and adopted by him in 1822; the subsequent
application by Mr. Erard of the studs spoken of in your article, being only
intended to produce the same result.
Your invariable readiness to rectify inaccuracies induces me to beg the
favour of your inserting this letter.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Matthew Stodart, (for William Stodart and Son.)
1, Golden-square, May 8.
To the Editor of the Musical World.
Sir, — In roply to the letter of Messrs. Broadwood, published in the Morning
Post of the 7th instant, I beg permission to send the following statement
which I can substantiate.
There is no doubt but that metal bars may have been applied to pianofortes,
in some instances, previous to Messrs. Thorn and Allen's patent for
compensation tubes, since, otherwise, their patent would have secured to
them the sole right of bracing with metal, and would have prevented Messrs.
Erard and Broadwood from practising that method of bracing. But a complete
system of metal, of nine solid bars, over the strings of the pianoforte had
never been applied to a grand pianoforte previous to Erard's new patent
action in 1824.
The model which served for Messrs. Erard's men to work upon,
is still in the possession of Messrs. Erard, and may be seen at their
warerooms in Great Marlborough-street. It was not until Erard's patent
repetition pianofortes met with great success that Messrs. Broadwood began,
so late as 1827 (from their own admission), to manufacture pianos with the
solid metal bars over the strings. Before they adopted this, which is the
best plan of bracing, they had been, for some time, placing the bracing bars
under the sounding board of the instrument, which mode of bracing was not
near so effective.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, London, May 8, 1851. Pierre Erard.
To the Editor of the Musical World.
Sir, — We thank Monsieur Erard for reminding us that we used solid iron bars
under the sounding board. Solid steel tension bars were applied by us above
the strings in 1808. Combined with these, the solid iron under-bars
introduced at a later period, formed our earliest system of metal bracing.
The metal string plate applied by our workman, Samuel Herve to the square
pianoforte in 1821, was soon adapted in the grand; and together with the
upper and under bars, completed onr system of metal bracing.
Our plate was fixed. Messrs. Stodart's plate had mortices, and slide-on
balls fixed to the bent side.
We have said enough to dispose the priority of application of tension bars
above the strings, as claimed by Monsieur Erard, by the writer in the Times.
We had our own bracing; Messrs. Stodart theirs, no doubt; Messrs. Collard,
and Monsieur Erard had their own system.
As to the number of bars, 4 or 9, the greatest improvement in our most
powerful modern grands has been effected by the reduction of the number of
bars to three, and even two. To this fact we invite the attention of all
We shall be most happy to explain our present diagonal iron bracing, metal
rest plank, and suspension bar, to any curious in such matters.
We remain, Sir. , 33, Gt. Pulteney-street, Your obedient servants,
9th May, 1851. (Signed) John Broadwood & Sons.
To the Editor of the Musical World.
Sir, — In the first article of the Times, credit was given to Messrs. Erard
alone for the application of metal tension bars above the strings.
We have shown that so early as 1808 we applied steel tension bars above the
In 1820, Messrs. Stodart took out their patent. No one grudges Messrs. Erard
their share of merit for the application in a different form of the metal
bars, already in use.
We have now in our house a piano of our own, constructed in 1823, with steel
tension bars above the strings.
It is true that we took out a patent in 1827 for a combination of solid
metal bars with a fixed metal string plate. This does not disprove the fact
that metal tension bars had been many years in use.
It is clear that Messrs. Broadwood, Stodart, and Erard, had made distinct
applications of the same principle.
In our first letter we did not mention M. Erard's name. We certainly did
claim justice for our own countrymen. We do so once more; in the confident
hope that whereas in the Times of Saturday, exclusive mention is made of the
names of two foreigners of eminence, Thalberg and Liszt, you will permit me
to chronicle those of J. B. Cramer and Sterndale Bennett, who can play on
our repetition grand pianos, patented in 1837.
We remain, Sir
33, Gt. Pulteney-street, Your obedient servants,
May 10th, 1851. John Broadwood & Sons.
To the Editor of the Musical World.
Sir, — In the contest which has arisen out of the able review in the Times of
the pianoforte department of the Great Exhibition, I was earnestly desirous
to abstain from interfering; I feel it, however, due to truth and to the
memory of my uncle, Sebastian Erard, to whose genius and labour the musical
art is so much indebted, to supply some more facts in connexion with the
questions which have been raised.
Mr. Stodart, in his letter which appeared
in your journal of Saturday, claims for his father the merit of improvements
attributed by the Times to the late Sebastian Erard. It will suffice to
compare Messrs. Erard's pianofortes with those of Messrs. Stodart, to be
convinced that the principles of their construction are totally different.
In Messrs. Thorn and Allen's patent, upon which Messrs. Stodart's pianos are
constructed, one end of the bracing bars or tubes only is fixed to the wood
frame, the other end being attached to a moveable string plate, to allow
them to expand or contract, according to the changes of temperature and of
In Erard's pianoforte both ends of the bars are firmly fixed to
the wood-frame of the instrument, with the intention of giving to that frame
a sufficient strength to carry better proportioned wires, producing
consequently greater strength and better quality of tone. When Erard's
pianofortes first appeared, from 1821 to 1824, grand pianofortes were
generally made with metal arches from the rest-plank to a rail across the
centre of the instrument, called the belly-rail.
construction consisted from the first of a general system of improved
arches, then called long arches, which were prolonged from the rest-plank to
the bent side or extremity of the case. Those long arches or bars, with
posts to prevent them from bending, were eight or six in number, according
to the size of the instrument.
They formed a complete system of bracing
over the strings in the bass as well as in the treble. It proved so
beneficial, that it was soon imitated by all the other pianoforte makers,
both British and foreign; but it does not appear that Messrs. Thorn and
Allen's patent of 1819 was adopted by any pianoforte maker, except Messrs.
A second claim was made by Mr.
Stodart in favour of his late (father for the inverted or harmonic bridge,
by means of which flie bearing of the strings is upwards, instead of being
downwards, as practised by him in 1822. I am not aware that this improvement
was patented at that time, but what I do know is, (and Mr. Stodart may
easily ascertain the fret at the Enrolment
office) that a patent was taken out by the late Sebastian Erard in 1808,
where the upward bearing with the stud-bridge is drawn in full.
The stud is
a piece of metal wire, bent of the shape of a buckle, under which the string
passes, the ends of the wire being driven into the wood. This principle was
followed up and improved upon in our patent of 1821. The drilled bridge-stud
is there specified with a stem tapped to screw into the rest plank, always
with the upward bearing.
This drilled bridge-stud, and the construction of
the rest-plank dependent on the application of upward bearing, is now
practised by all the pianoforte makers in England and abroad, as may be
ascertained by looking into the pianofortes of all nations exhibited in the
The above-mentioned facts may be corroborated by our patents, models, and
instruments, which are open for inspection at our ware-rooms in Marlborough
Street, to any one who may wish to investigate the subject.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
18, Great Marlborough Street, May 12.
We are much mistaken if Messrs. Kirkman and Son, of Soho Square, could not
throw some light on the matter. Why does not that ancient and respectable
firm say its say, and vindicate its rights, for the honour of English
manufacture? Our columns are open, — they could scarcely close upon ll subject
of more interest. Step up, Messrs. Kirkman and Son, we shall be glad to see
you, and discuss the point."
The Musical World, Volume 29, 17/05/1851,
"The question is not yet settled. The
great houses of Stodart and Collard have put in their claims to some
consideration. We shall wait till the letter writing is exhausted, and then
compare notes and offer a few observations of our own.
To the Editor of the Musical
Sir, — After your kind insertion of my letter proving my father's right to
priority in the metal bracing of pianofortes, it may seem ungracious to seek
to trespass on your columns again; but the general tenor of Mr. Erard's
reply so neutralizes the effect of his abandonment of the question of
priority, that I cannot help begging permission to say that my father's
patent provides for all, and more than all, the improvements contemplated by
Mr. Erard's metal bracing; and that there is also no conceivable tension of
string that it would not counteract. My father's bracing entirely removes
the strain from the wood frame by being detached from it at one end. Mr.
Erard's does so but partially, owing to its being attached to it at both
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
1, Golden Square, Matt. Stoddart,
May 14th. For W. Stoddart and Son.
To the Editor of the Musical
Sir, — As we find in your columns of to-day that the subject of the
pianofortes at the Exhibition is again brought under notice, we, in common
with others, feel it a duty to remonstrate against the manner in which the
merits of English pianoforte-makers have been overlooked. We therefore beg
the favour you have already accorded to two other firms, namely, tbe
permission to say a few words as to our own share in the improvement of this
Had the reviewer in a morning paper given a more comprehensive view of the
present state of the art in England, and noticed less exclusively the
various improvements made in it from time to time, we should have had no
right to complain of any preference he might have expressed in favour of any
particular firm; but what we do complain of is, the almost entire omission
of the improvements of the English makers; and, as regards ourselves in
particular, we think it an extremely hard return for upwards of 50 years'
indefatigable exertions in the cause, that we should only be mentioned in
connexion with one of the most insignificant parts of the manufacture, that
of external decoration.
We beg to enumerate the following as a few of the improvements which have
originated with our house:—
1. The present method of stringing, by which the old defective system of the
loop or eye was entirely superseded. This was patented by us in 1827, and is
now (the patent having expired) almost universally adopted, and its
importance acknowledged, wherever the manufacture of pianofortes is carried
2. We are the originators of
the grand square pianoforte, a form of instrument which has done as much to
advance the reputation of the English manufacture as any of the improvements
of modern times. Antecedent to this change the square pianoforte was almost
useless, except for the purposes of the school room; but it has ever since
become a valuable and important instrument, where space is an object, it has
been invariably accepted as the best substitute for the grand.
3. The first application of the repeating action to the vertical or upright
form of pianoforte (erroneously claimed by your reviewer for Messrs. Erard)
is due to us; and we have good reason to believe that the attention we have
devoted to this class of instrument, particularly in its smaller varieties,
has contributed essentially to procure for the vertical pianoforte the high
place it at present holds in public estimation.
4. We originated and patented an action for the grand pianoforte, the
peculiarities of which it is unnecessary here to detail, beyond remarking
that, for extreme simplicity of mechanism, for unerring certainty of touch,
for quality of tone, and for general durability, these instruments are
placed by the public favour, as well as by professional opinion — the usual
tests of excellence, — in so high a rank as to render it unseemly in us
further to allude to the subject.
These are some of our contributions to English pianoforte making, which are
surely of sufficient importance to deserve special notice; not to mention
many other modifications in form, framing, mechanism, touch, &c-, for which
our house is well known.
We claim, however, with
peculiar emphasis, the credit of such a constant and unremitting attention
to, and gradual improvement in, the details of the manufacture, as has
enabled us to insure the production of instruments second in quality, and,
we believe, in reputation, to none that can be brought forward either in
this country or elsewhere.
Permit us to observe, in allusion to your remark, that certain pianists of
great reputation prefer Messrs. Erard's instruments, that others of equally
high renown use and approve those of other makers, ours not excepted; but we
are free to confess that it is, and ever has been, our aim to produce an
instrument fitted rather for the requirements of chamber music, and for the
refinements of the drawing-room, than for public purposes.
We remain, Sir, your obedient servants,
Cheapside, May 14. COLLARD & COLLARD.
Meanwhile, Messrs. Kirkman
and Son obstinately guard silence.
Since writing the above another letter has reached us, which, as the
question is one of such general interest, we insert, without pretending to
fathom its meaning. The line of our intelligence, indeed, is not long enough
to reach the bottom of it.
To the Editor of the Musical
Dear Sir, — The question whether the late Sebastian Erard did, or did not,
originate all improvements in the Grand Pianoforte, has been Bo completely
set at reBt by the assertions and reassertions of the Times, that I will not
again enter upon it; but permit me to call your attention to the fact, that
of one invention at all events, Mr. Pierre Erard is unquestionably the
author. I allude, sir, to the "Metallic Concert Name Plate." The maker's
name, hitherto known to the performer only (concealed as it was under the
cylinder), or at most, suspected by a discriminating public, is by this
contrivance made manifest to every individual present, at any concert where
Erard's instruments are played, Bo much so, that he who runs may read.
Now, sir, I do think that the credit of an invention so admirably calculated
to further the progress of music should be awarded unhesitatingly where it
is so justly due. In fairness to the eminent firm above named, I trust Mr.
Editor, that you wjll give publicity to this communication, the accuracy of
which is vouched for by your constant reader, himself.
London, May 17th, 1851. A Pianoforte Maker.
In addition to the above we
have this moment received a letter on the subject of the pianoforte
controversy from a well-known English composer, which we shall insert next
The Musical World, Volume 29, 24/05/1851,
"The following letter was
promised in our last.
We insert it without comment :
To the Editor of the Musical
Sir,—Without presuming to offer any opinion on the purely mechanical points
in dispute between the Messrs. Erard and the English manufacturers of
pianofortes, or upon those which relate to patents and the dates which prove
priority of invention, will you allow me, as a musician of some experience,
and one whose attention for the last twenty years has been particularly
directed to the pianoforte, to make a few remarks in reference to a point of
view which, materially affecting the importance of the question and the
interests of the disputants, has been entirely overlooked.
Far be it from me to arraign the Times on a ground where, by the
acknowledgment of the whole world, it stands unrivalled—I allude to its
means of acquiring information on all subjects—still less would I think of
doubting its impartiality, which is equally placed beyond the possibility of
My only object in addressing you is this :—from the general tone which the
discussion has assumed in the Times and the other morning papers, although
comparisons have been avoided, it is more than probable that the majority of
readers may arrive at a conclusion with reference to the respective merits
of the instruments manufactured by the great French and English houses
greatly prejudicial to the latter, and especially to Messrs. Broadwood.
Now this, allow me, Sir, respectfully to urge, is a matter not merely for
taste, but for knowledge to decide; and not so much mechanical and
historical as musical knowledge. I think I am not saying too much when I
assert that, for quality of tone and durability, — certainly the two most
valuable requisites in the manufacture of pianofortes, — the instruments of
Messrs. Broadwoodare unequalled by those of any maker in Europe; and in this
opinion I may safely assert I am only uttering the sentiments of the
majority of innsicians.
By musicians I do not mean
exclusively pianoforte players, but those whose particular walk in the 6tudy
of the art renders it essential that they should be thoroughly acquainted
with the nature and peculiarities of every musical instrument, and whose
authority must necessarily be of greater weight than that of the executant,
mechanic, manufacturer, or even scientific acoustician.
The preference shown by M- M.
Thalberg and Liszt for the pianos of Erard, in their public performances, is
derived materially from the peculiar character of their music, which, in
many particulars, differs altogether from that of the "classical masters,"
as they are termed. The works of Handel, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven,
Mendelssohn, &c, and, among pianoforte writers exclusively, — Dussek, Wold,
Steibelt, Pinto, J. B. Cramer, Clementi, Chopin, Stephen Heller, Sterndale
Bennett, Ac, depending less on mere brilliancy and dry feats of manual
dexterity, which, you will own.
Sir, can scarcely be placed
among the higher qualities of artistic expression, are better suited to
instruments which promote facility by the singing quality of their tone, in
giving force to the beautiful cantabUe phrases, the rich and impressive
harmonies, and the endless variety of colouring that distinguish the
compositions of the great masters, from the fantasia and variation school of
writers, in whom but too often want of invention and baldness of design are
ill concealed by quantities of notes, endless forms of arpeggios, and other
figures of bravura passage, by which some inoffensive tune (rarely their own
property) is tortured into such odd shapes as to be scarcely recognizable to
It is worthy of remark that
Chopin, the chief of the "Romantic School," and the only one who fonnded his
fantasias on themes of his own invention, invariably, when in England,
played upon the pianos of Broadwood, and in Paris on those of Pleyel, who
has been denominated, not unappropriately, the French Broadwood.
It would, however, be a waste
of your valuable space, and a needless application of "tu quoque" to prolong
this letter by a list of the names of those eminent pianists who have (in
many cases exclusively) performed on the pianofortes of our great English
manufacturers, without as their undiminished fame has demonstrated, in any
way "risking their reputations."
I may, however, state, as
directly supporting my position, that the performance of Beethoven's trio in
B flat, by M. Charles Halle, which was so justly eulogized by all the London
press in their reports of a performance at the Musical Union, some time
since, was upon a pianoforte of Messrs. Broadwood; that, last year M.
Stephen Heller, whom all the English press, echoing the opinion of the
continental critics, pronounced one of the most finished pianists of the
day, during his visit to England last season, invariably played upon the
instruments of Broadwood; and that Madame Plcyel, pronounced by Liszt
himself to be the greatest pianist in Europe,"
throughout the entire season upon the pianos of Erard, made, as may be
proved by a reference to your own columns, the greatest sensation she ever
produced in London at her last appearance in the Hanover-square Rooms upon
one of the pianofortes of Broadwood.
Knowing your impartiality and love of justice, and feeling assured that
nothing would give you greater pleasure than according credit where credit
is due, and having experienced in your generous encouragement of the efforts
of our own composers and performers (in whose ranks I may presume to place
tnvself as an humble member, though not one of the least grateful for the
services you have rendered us by your powerful support) that you take no
one-sided view of the important question of the progress of art in England
as in the other countries of Europe, I have addressed you fearlessly on the
subject which cannot fail to be of the utmost interest to all connected,
either by taste or avocation, with music and its influence.
Should you consider these observations worthy the honour of a place in your
columns I shall feel most flattered, but in any case I am sure you will
appreciate the motives which induced me to submit them to your
consideration, and, under the circumstances, excuse this intrusion on your
time and attention. I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant and constant reader,
Edward J. Loder.
Manchester Street, May 14.
We have received so many
letters on the subject that we are compelled to decline their insertion,
unless the names of the writers be appended."
The Musical World, Volume 29, 31/05/1851,
THE PIANOFORTE CONTROVERSY
"Messrs Collard and Collard
have sent us the following document, which we print without hesitation, as a
corollary to our remarks, in a late number, on the distribution of the prize
medals in the matter of Broadwood and Sons. It may be remembered that we
ourselves testified to the injustice done to the Messrs. Collard, and stated
that they were unanimously awarded the Council Medal by the first, or
The rescinding this verdict
by the second or group jury, who were quite incapable of giving any opinion
on the subject, naturally excited the indignation of the Messrs. Collard,
who had every just reason to feel themselves aggrieved. and they made their
The document below, however,
originated in the desire to set aside the erroneous impression created in
the public mind by the omission of the Messrs. Collard in the Jirst protest
to the Royal Commissioners by the musical jury, all of whose names will be
found appended to the protest in favour of Collard and Collard, as in the
case of Broadwood and Sons, whose name alone was included in the first
In fact, two protests were
issued by the musical jurors; the first in favour of Broadwood and Sons, the
second on behalf of Messrs. Collard and Collard. Of course the latter firm
was not mentioned in the first protest, but many who had read it were led to
the conclusion that the musical jury awarded the Council Medal only to
Broadwood and Sons. Hence the publication of the accompanying document.
To His Royal Highness Prince
Albert, K.G., President, and to the Royal Commissioner! of the Great
May it please your Royal Highness, My Lords and Gentlemen, With reference to
the memorial which the undersigned members of the Musical Jury, Class 10a,
bad the honour of addressing to your Royal Highness and the Royal
Commissioners on the subject of the reversal or non-confirmation of their
awards of the Council Medals for pianofortes at the Great Exhibition, they
beg most respectfully to state, that the eminent firm of Messrs. Collard and
Collard was also returned by the unanimous decision of the Musical Jury, as
entitled to the Council Medal for their various improvements in pianoforte
making, and for the general excellence of their instruments.
The memorialists would
respectfully beg leave to impress upon your Royal Highness and the Royal
Commissioners, that the arguments already adduced by them in the memorial
referred to, apply with equal force to the house of Collard, which, from an
early period, has been most honourably distinguished in connexion with the
manufacture of the pianoforte, and whose important improvements have had a
beneficial and lasting influence on this branch of our manufacture: in
confirmation of which and of their own awards, the undersigned would
respectfully refer your Royal Highness and the Royal Commissioners to the
accompanying list of Patent Inventions which have been introduced by the
house of Collard, and which, in the opinion of the memorialists, fully
entitle them to the award of the Council Medal.
They have the less
hesitation in thus again addressing your Royal Highness and the Royal
Commissioners, as they find that public opinion has already called into
question both the justice and the correctness of the awards for this section
of the Exhibition, recently published under the authority of the Royal
Commissioners; and that the musical public in particular attach to the
memorialists the responsibility of such decisions.
While the memorialists will be ever ready to defend the integrity and
soundness of their own decisions, they cannot but protest against being held
responsible for those of other bodies — from whose opinions they
unequivocally differ, and who however competent on other subjects, have not
evinced on this the requisite knowledge to justify the reversal of the
decrees of those better qualified, both by professional experience and
scientific acquirements, for the more effective discharge of such duties.
Henry R. Bishop, Knight, (Chairman and Reporter),
The Professor of Music at the University of
Dr. Schathautl, Commissioner from Bavaria and Juror, Member of the Royal
Academies, and Professor and Head Librarian in the University of
Le Chevalier Sigismond Neukomm
William Sterndale Bennett, Professor in the
Royal Academy of Music and Queen's College.
Cipriani Potter, Principal of
the Royal Academy
of Music, London. George T. Smart, Knight, Organist and Composer
of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal.
CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE ROYAL COMMISSIONERS
(Copy, No. 1.)
"To His Royal Highness Prince Albert, K.G., etc., etc.. President, and to
the Royal Commissioner! of the Great Exhibition.
"May it please your Royal Highness, my Lords, and Gentlemen,— It has been
intimated to us that the jurors, consisting of eminent professors of music,
appointed to make the awards for the musical section of the Exhibition, had
decreed to us a first class prize in respect of our pianofortes, and,
moreover, that that decision had been unanimously arrived at by that body.
We also learn that another jury, termed the Group Jury, consisting mainly of
nonmusical members, to whom that award had been subsequently submitted, had
thought proper to reverse the decision, and to assign us a prize of a
"Assuming these reports to be authentic, we lose no time in recording our
protest against this proceeding, and in stating our resolution to reject any
award, but the one decreed to us by the Musical Jurors—the only tribunal
recognised by the musical exhibitors, as competent to form a correct opinion
of the relative merits of musical instruments, and of pianofortes in
"It is not for us to canvass the propriety of inviting a body of eminent men
to devote their time and their talent to the discharge of an onerous and
delicate duty, and afterwards of empowering another body, incompetent by
reason of their non-musical acquirements, to review and reverse their
decisions; nor do we seek to obtrude the merits of our instruments, to the
disparagement of those of our competitors. It is sufficient for us that a
body of gentlemen, known to the world for their high character and eminent
professional attainments, have done us the honour to return our names as
worthy of the highest distinction, and it is satisfactory to us to feel,
that their verdict has been generally concurred in by a large body of the
public, among which may be cited the names of some of the most eminent
native and foreign professors of the age.
"At an early period we had occasion to protest against the acts of
partiality evinced in favour of a foreign competitor, by the Executive
Committee, or its subordinate officers, indirect violation of the prescribed
regulations,—regulations which we ourselves had most rigidly observed. Our
remonstrances remained either unheeded, cr received no other than a mere
formal official acknowledgment; and we owe to the courtesy and friendly
feeling of the Coalbrook dale Company, rather than to official justice, a
position in the Exhibition for the display of our manufactures, equal to
that officially conceded to our more favoured competitors, although denied
"Ft has never been intimated to us, that it was incumbent on us to bring
under the notice of the Group Jury, either the number or the character of
the improvements we have introduced in our pianofortes, secured to us by
patent right. Had this principle, as the ruling guide of the jurors, been
promulgated (which it was not) we should have beep prepared to have shown
that, either for their number, or their character, or for the more recent
date of introduction, our position in all these respects was in no degree
subordinate to that of our competitors; but we imagined (delusively, as it
would now appear) that the test of merit would alone be the intrinsic
excellence of the instruments exhibited; Slid that due merit was accorded to
us on that score, is sufficiently shown by the fact, that the unanimous
verdict of the Musical Jury was in our favour.
"Feeling strongly that an act of injustice has been, perhaps
unintentionally, inflicted upon us, we beg respectfully to urge that the
decision of which we complain may be re-considered, with a view of securing
to us the award, to which, after the decision of the Musical Jurors, we feel
we are justly entitled; or we would respectfully request to be heard before
any competent tribunal, to substantiate our claims, not only by reason of
their intrinsic merit, but by our numerous patent inventions, all of which,
we submit, have tended as much to the permanent improvement of the
pianoforte as to the maintenance of the traditional superiority of England
in this important branch of the industrial arts—a superiority which we fear
not will still be sustained, notwithstanding the effect that may be produced
by this temporary discouragement of English claims.
"We have the honour to remain,
"May it please your Royal Highness,
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"With profound respect,
"Your obedient humble servants,
(Signed) "Coxxabd Akd Collard.
"26, Cheapside, Aug. 7, 1851.''
(Copy, No. 2.)
"Exhibition Building, Hyde Park, August 13, 1851. "Gentlemen—I am directed
by Her Majesty's Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851 to acknowledge the
receipt of your letter of the 7th instant, on the subject of the jury award,
which you State it has been intimated to you has been made in respect of the
pianofortes exhibited by you.
"In reply I am directed to acquaint you that the Commissioners have at
present no official cognizance of the awards of the various juries, the
whole of the proceedings of which have been strictly confidential; and they
arc therefore not in a position to entertain the question raised in your
"I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,
"Your obedient Servant,
"Edgar A. Bowling, Acting Secretary. "Messrs. Collard and Collard."
(Copy No. 3.)
"To His Royal Highness Prince Albert, K.G., etc., President, and the Royal
Commissioners of the Great Exhibition.
"May it please your Royal Highness, my Lords, and Gentlemen — We have the
honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication, dated the 13th
inst., under the signature of your acting secretary, Mr. Bowring, reforming
us that, the awards of the juries not having come officially under your
notice, you are not in a position to entertain the question raised in our
"We trust when the decisions are brought officially under your cognizance,
and it should be found that our anticipations in respect to the awards are
well founded, we may not be considered unreasonable in again respectfully
soliciting your attention to the facts laid before you in our letter of the
7th inst., especially as we have since learued that no less than three great
medals have been awarded among the few organs exhibited; while for
pianofortes, one of the staples of our commerce, and of which there are
nearly two hundred specimens, contributed by upwards of one hundred
exhibitors, the award has been limited to one great medal; an anomaly which,
we conceive, is perfectly irreconcilable with the comparative commercial
importance of the two instruments.
"We beg to tender our most respectful apologies for again trespassing on
your attention, and
"We have the honour to be,
"May it please your Royal Highness, "My Lords, and Gentlemen, "With profound
respect, "Your most obedient humble servant, (Signed) Collard and Collard.
26, Cheapside, Aug. 18, 1851."
Appended to the paper is a list of the dates and particulars of patents
assigned to Messrs. Collard and Collard, the period of which ranges from
1829 to 1847."
The Musical World, Volume 29, 15/11/1851,
THE PIANOFORTE QUESTION.
"We have this week received
two letters on the all absorbing subject of the Pianoforte controversy, from
which it would appear that we have not been sufficiently clear and explicit
in our remarks, prefixed last week to the protest of Messrs. Collard and
Collard against the decision of the Councilof Chairmen.
"In a momentous matter of
this kind," writes one of our correspondents, it is necessary that every
thing should be distinctly understood and plainly expressed."
Good! We shall, therefore,
simplify our present remarks, and render them so legible that all who run
We stated last week that there were two protests from the first or
professional jury against the decision of the Council of Chairmen — one on
behalf of Broadwood and Sons, the other in favour of Messrs. Collard and
So far correct; but we neglected to add, that the protest on behalf
of the Messrs. Broadwood and Sons was the only bonajide one drawn by the
professional jury of their own accord, and sent to the Royal Commissioners;
while that of the Messrs. Collard and Collard, was transmitted some time
after to the Commissioners, and did not proceed directly from the first
jury, being drawn up by themselves, and signed at their request.
It is true that the
professional jury unanimously awarded a Council medal to the Messrs. Collard
and Collard, and it is also true that they signed the protest; but the
distinction should have been marked between the spontaneous issuing of the
protest by the jury, as in the case of Broadwood and Sons, and that sought
for and obtained, as in the case of Messrs. Collard and Collard.
It appears to us that the
Messrs. Collard aud Collard should have directed the battery of their
protest against the second or group jury, not against the Council of
Chairmen, who had no voice in the matter, the verdict of the first jury
having been set aside before it reached them.
We trust now we have made ourselves sufficiently clear, and that our
Liverpool correspondent will have no further occasion to object to our
lucidity — at least, in the matter of the Pianoforte Question."
The Musical World, Volume 29, 22/11/1851,
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