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|Letter 36 "Eight for my piano....
Written by JulieW
(9/19/2007 1:01 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Moving & auction…, penned by Robbin
Jane's Piano was made by made by Christopher Ganer.
The trade directories of the late 18th century have him at the folllowing addresses:
Ganer, Christopher, piano forte maker music (m) Broad street, Carnaby Market, London (Bailey's Directory, 1785)
This is what Margaret Crammer has to say aobut him in the Grove Dictionary of Music:
(fl 1774–1809). German piano maker, active in England. He came to England from Leipzig, settling at 47 Broad Street, London, in 1774 and staying there until the end of 1809 (he also took on the neighbouring premises at no.48 in 1782).
Letters of denization were granted to Ganer on 11 February 1792. He started getting in arrears with his rates from 1805 onwards, possibly an indication of financial difficulties.
Ganer mainly made square pianos. His earliest surviving square piano is marked ‘Christopher Ganer Londini fecit 1775’, and has a compass of nearly five octaves, from G' to f'''. This Latin inscription appears again on a 1778 square piano: until the mid-1780s he used either Latin or English inscriptions. Later models, such as the one at the Russell Cotes Museum in Bournemouth, have a striking Battersea enamel plaque bearing the inscription in capital letters.
In outward appearance Ganer’s square pianos vary; some are more attractively inlaid than others. The earlier ones tend to be plain with a simple trestle stand whereas later models are Sheraton in style, with brass medallions covering the bolts in the tapered legs of the trestle.
Musically, however, the instruments vary little: a compass of five octaves or slightly less, single action with overdampers, and two or three handstops raising the dampers and engaging a buff stop. The piano maker John Broadwood hired out Ganer’s pianos. A descriptive catalogue of extant Ganer instruments is given in M.N. Clinkscale: Makers of the Piano, 1700–1820 (Oxford, 1993).
Here is a picture of a rather fine example: JA's may have looked a little like this one, which was made circa 1780:
I think the Austens changed their minds about bringing their own beds to Bath, unless those offered for sale were all surplus to requirements?
I really think there may be a grain of thr Dashwoodas about James and Mary. Diredre Le Faye in A Family Record sepculaes that Mary may have been the person who persuaded George Austen to retire to Bath while Cassandra and Jane were absent from Steventon.
If only JA had kept people's opinons of S+S ,as she did with" Emma" and "Mansfield Park." I wonder if Mary recognised herself in Fanny Dashwood at all?
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