home Pianoforte-makers in England

17 may 1851

"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."

I. 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 metallic bars.

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.

II.  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.

III.  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 piouoforte makers.

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.

IV.  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 strings.

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.

V.  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 atmosphere.

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.

Erard's improved 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. Stodart.

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 Crystal Palace.

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, p. 306-307


24 may 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 World.

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 ends.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

1, Golden Square, Matt. Stoddart,

May 14th. For W. Stoddart and Son.


To the Editor of the Musical World.

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 instrument.

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 on.

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 World.

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 week." The Musical World, Volume 29, 24/05/1851, p. 323-324


31 may 1851


"The following letter was promised in our last.
We insert it without comment :

To the Editor of the Musical World.

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 dispute.

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 the ear.

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,"

 after playing 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, p. 340-341


15 nov. 1851


"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 professional jury.

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 protest accordingly.

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 protest.

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 Exhibition.

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 Munich.

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.


(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 secondary character.

"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 particular.

"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 to us.

"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 letter.

"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 letter.

"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, p. 725


22 nov. 1851


"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 may read.

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 Collard.

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, p. 739

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