In a recent letter to the owner, the record keeper at John Broadwood & Sons revealed that this piano, bearing the serial number 16336, “was manufactured at [the] Horseferry Road workshops, Westminster, London, and completed on the 24th day of February in the year 1845”.
The price for such an ornate creation in the rococo revival taste was a huge £262 and 10 shillings with the buyer listed as John Henry Gurney (1819-1890), a member of the Norfolk banking family and a future Liberal party MP for Kings Lynn.
The records note that his piano was taken by the porter, Mr Wren, to St Catherine’s Steam Wharf on the river Thames, where it was loaded onto the steamer Ailsa Craig for delivery by sea to Norwich. A matching stool and a canterbury was provided in the same shipment.
The auction took place on September 23.