top of page

An English square piano  late 1760s  belonged to the famous Danish painter Carl Holsøe (1863-1935 )





This piano was purchessed from the Bruun auctions in Copenhagen on 28.02.2012. 

The auction house writes :


''The Carl Holsøe piano; A George III mahogany and satinwood hammer piano. Marked Adam Beger, Londini, fecit anno 1788. England, late 18th century. H. 80 cm. W. 148 cm. D. 50 cm. Provenance: This hammer piano belonged to the Danish painter Carl Holsøe (1863-1935) and appears repeatedly in his paintings of interiors. For example, auction 822 lot 33 (Sept. 2011),"Interior with a woman seen from behind". The hammer piano was acquired by the current owner family at ABR in the 1950's.''



























In the followng 9 paintings of Carl Holsøe you can see the special shape of the piano. Its stand is particularly unlike other contemporary English pianos.


Square piano Tafeklavier piano carré
Square piano   Tafelklavier   Piano carré 

It has 5 octaves without FF#, English simple action and 2 kneelevers for raising dampers and for buff stop.


​As you see on the nampe pluque, the calligraphy is not like any other piano made by the great English maker Adam Beyer (probably he also came from Germany like most other English piano makers!)

For pianos there were much less forgeries as there were in the late 19th century for harpsichords or like all times for violins.

But in some rare cases some pianos which had dates on the name pluque, they were altered to a later date to be able to sell them as an actual piano of that day. Pianos were changing annualy.

Another similar piano is in a friend's collection. A lovely square piano by Kirckman made in 1777 but the 7 is altered to 9 so that the fraud could sell it as a new piano in 1797!


Unlike violins that were made in for instance 1830s or 1930s and were labeled Stradivari anno 1712...these pianos had no use for musicians because they could not be altered for new musical requirements as violins and cellos did. So there was no need to alter these pianos' name pluques to sell them as older piano because there was almost no interest.

Even after the revival of early music and harpsichord, it took several decades for the fortepiano to shine a bit and remind us another golden age. Specially English square pianos were made in many more fabrics and still today it is not so difficult to find.


This pianos has been fully restored. The bridge was original as well as the whole action and dampers and buff stop etc. but the soundboard was not original and was in bad condition.

Besides, the seize, compass (lacking FF#) and hammer seizes and scalings of the piano shows that it must have been made even earlier than 1780.

bottom of page