From The Blog Of Ric Overton...

Have you ever seen Collard and Collard

Years ago I saw my first one and was totally taken by it.  I’m talking about Collard and Collard pianos.  Being from the south I had to smile at the name because in North Carolina collards are greens that are cooked with fat back and extremely delicious.  However, after some research I learned that this was not only a fantastic piano but a wonderful design as well.

Collard and Collard Pianoforte 1835

F. W. Collard was born sometime around the year 1772.  At age fourteen in 1786 he traveled to London and began work for a music publisher and pianoforte builder named Longman, Lukey and Broderip (LL&B)

 

LL&B was a publisher who published the music for a local celebrity known as Muzio Clementi.  Clementi had risen to great fame and fortune at that time and was growing in popularity and was a large part of their business.  Unfortunately, their success was to be short lived and by the year 1799 they had run into some financial problems and offered their company for sale.

 

By the latter part of 1800 a brand new company emerged that was primarily owned by none other than Muzio Clementi.  Along with a  very stable F.W. Collard as well as three other investors.  The new piano was to be named Muzio Clementi and Company.

 

It’s not clear exactly what year the minor investors left the company but in 1817 F.W.’s brother W.F. Collard became a partner.  Business continued to grow and in 1831 the relationship with Clementi came to an end because Clementi’s contract had expired.  In 1832 the famous Collard and Collard piano was born as a joint venture between F.W. and his brother W.F. Collard began.

 

Collard and Collard Grand 1851

Collard and Collard Grand 1851

In 1842 after 10 very successful years William Fredrick Collard retired and Frederick William (yes, the names are the same except in reverse) became the sole owner of the company.  At this time in need of help F.W. made his nephews Charles Lukey Collard and F.W. Collard Jr. a partner in the firm.

 

The years ahead were met with some changes.  One of the major changes that took place was the new partnership decided to get out of the publishing business entirely and would have liked to get out of the musical instrument business making brass and stringed instruments but because of some contractural agreements were unable to.  It seems that years before they had signed an agreement to build instruments for India and had to continue until India was transferred to the Queen and they were released from their contract and could now give their entire efforts over to building pianos.

 

The next few years brought many triumphs and tragedies.  Among the many success were numerous awards because of F.W.’s brilliance as an engineer and piano designer. They were also ahead of the curve in building extremely popular models that were very lucrative products for the company.

 

In 1807 the Tottenham Court Road factory was completely destroyed in a devastating fire and later in 1851 the Oval Road factory in Camden Town burned to the ground.  Then in 1860 F.W. passed away in the same house on Cheapside where he had originally lived when he first got to London and had lived in the same place since he was 14.  In 1866 W.F. passed away.  By this time Collard and Collard had become one of the most celebrated companies in Europe.  It’s destiny as a family owned company came to and end in 1929 when ChappellPianos of London purchased them.  Collard and Collard remained in production until 1960.

Collard and Collard Upright

Collard and Collard Upright

 

My hope for each of you is that you have the opportunity to see and hear one of these pianos.  They are a nice playing piano but an incredible looking piano as well.

 

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

 

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One Response to “Have you ever seen Collard and Collard”

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