Pohlman Square Piano


Undated square piano by John Pohlman (the story that he was a German immigrant has no grounds), FF-f3. The nameboard reads: “Johannes Pohlman Londini Fecit / Great Russel Street, Bloomsbury”. Pohlman appears to have dated his instruments until at least 1782 (a privately owned instrument in Germany). After 1784 he no longer used a simple trestle stand. These facts provide the parameters for dating the instrument. The piano as obtained had more than a century of dust on the inside. The old strings were still present and most of them held after restoration by gebroeders Kobald in 2004. Most of the hammers still have their original leather. A few hammers have been replaced. Pohlman was the most important maker of English square pianos after Zumpe. These instruments became, after their invention in ca. 1766, immensely popular in London and Paris. Pohlman used a full five octave compass very early, at least from 1773 (an instrument in the V & A collection), although a 1771 instrument in RNCM has GG, AA – f3.