When clients look at our pianos on viewing days one of the frequently asked questions is, “Can you tell me the history of this piano?”

For this walnut cased Steinway D, dating from 1875, the answer is, “Yes, we certainly can!” A plaque set into the piano commemorates some members of the Larkworthy family and gives three sets of dates; 1877 to 81, 1874 to 77, and 1887 to 91. The dates can be traced to Marlborough School, representing the time spent there by the three Larkworthy brothers. From there the present owners were able trace Mr Peter Larkworthy, whose maternal great-grandfather, Mr Alfred Bell bought the piano new from Steinway . Mr Bell’s passion was music and he bought the piano to grace his music room in his mansion, Bayford House, in Hampstead London.

A book by Mr Larkworthy speaks of the soirees held by Mr Bell at Bayford House where many luminaries of the day are said to have taken part, including; Sir Arthur Sullivan, Abbé Liszt, Sir Gilbert Scott and many others.

Sometime in the early-twentieth century the piano moved within the Larkworthy family to Kensington before being donated, in the late 1930s, to Marlborough school. In 1998 it was renovated and sold to its present owner, since when it has graced a notable Somerset house.

12 June 2014 sale: Estimate £22,000 - 28,000

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