Lutyens designed Broadwood grand piano, ex. Lady Chance
Lot 1WY
Sir Edwin Lutyens A Rare Semi-grand Broadwood Piano from Orchards near Godalming, 1903
Sold for £9,375 (US$ 15,741) inc. premium
Lot Details
Sir Edwin Lutyens
A Rare Semi-grand Broadwood Piano from Orchards near Godalming, 1903
the oak panelled case supported on eight slender balustraded legs linked by stretchers, housing a Roller-Knotch action on a spruce soundboard
150cm wide, 100cm high (closed), 195cm deep, movement numbered '47729'


  • Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944) started work as an architect in 1888 and quickly became one of the most significant British architects of the late 19th and early 20th century. His public commissions include the Cenotaph in Whitehall, The British Embassy in Washington DC, the Viceroy's House in New Dehli, and Liverpool Cathedral. He also executed a large number of private commissions for which he took enjoyment in designing the furnishings alongside the buildings.

    One of Lutyens' first private commissions came in 1897 from Mr and Mrs Chance, later Sir William and Lady Chance. Originally they had commissioned the architect Halsey Ricardo to design their home, however they were uninspired by his designs. Walking from their site, situated near Godalming, the Chance's saw a house nearing completion - this house became known as Munstead Wood. The on-site architect delivering orders to the workmen met their approval as did the house in front of them. Lady Chance later described Munstead Wood as "a revelation of unimagined beauty and charm". Lutyens was approached and taken on as architect with a workshop set up for him at Munstead Wood. After three years, Lutyens had completed his design for a house that was to be "larger and a little grander and in the Surrey picturesque". The gardens were planned by Gertrude Jeckyll. The 'Orchards' was completed in 1901 and appeared in the August issue of Country Life magazine that year.

    During this time, the prolific Lutyens contributed to the British Pavilion at the 1900 Paris Exhibition. It is here that he first exhibited the design for a piano for an 'oak drawing room in the Jacobean style'. Lutyens described the task of designing the piano as 'awfully difficult'. The piano was executed by John Broadwood & Sons, London, who produced a total of ten of these 'Drawing-Room Grands' between September 1903 and July 1907, at a price of 350 guineas (£375.50p) each. Another example, with more of a shaped undertier, is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection.

    The John Broadwood & Sons Porter's Book records in some detail the delivery details of the 'Orchards' commission:

    Serial No 47729

    13th October 1903
    Lady Chance, Orchards, Nr Godalming

    A No 2 Overstrung Semi Gd Pf a to c Made to Mr Lutyens' design in Oak Case, panelled on stand with six legs, to order. No 47729 for £108 net delivered to do. Charge carriage £2 10s. Michell. Memd. Done by Van on rail. Pad Carriers £1 10s. Railway fare 5s 8d. Horse hire 10s 6d. Allowance 3s 6d. Mrs Seymore Whalley Comm 10%

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