16: Grand Piano
The boudoir grand piano in the drawing room at Mount Edgcumbe dates from August 1906 when it was purchased from John Broadwood and Sons for Mrs Edgcumbe at a price of 105 guineas. Mrs Edgcumbe was Caroline, the second wife of the 4th Earl, William Henry. The couple had married earlier that year.
William Henry and Caroline were cousins, childhood friends and supposedly childhood sweethearts. William Henry’s first wife had died in 1874 and he remained a widower until 1906. Caroline’s husband, the Earl of Ravensworth, had died in 1904. Records show that the Ravensworths spent long periods of time staying in the Winter Villa in Stonehouse as guests of the 4th Earl.
Following their marriage at Cotehele the Earl said “We have agreed to spend the remainder of our lives together, short though the time may be, in the hope that we may be made not only happier and less solitary but also more useful, at least for a little while”. Sadly the couple made few public appearances as the Earl was unwell from 1907 onwards although he lived until 1917. Countess Caroline sadly died in 1909 at the age of 70 and was buried with her first husband.
John Broadwood and Sons is the oldest and one of the most prestigious piano companies in the world and the holder of Royal Warranties to the present queen and nine previous monarchs. Broadwood pianos have been played by some of the world’s greatest composers including Mozart, Haydn, Chopin, Beethoven and Liszt. The present owner of the company has ties with Broadwood going back to 1787.
The piano in the drawing room was rescued before the fire of 1941 reached the garden end of the house. Pianists who visit Mount Edgcumbe House are welcome to play it and perhaps use some of the music specially written for the countess.
“Broadwood pianos have been played by some of the world’s greatest composers including Mozart, Haydn, Chopin, Beethoven and Liszt.“
- 01: Winstanley's Light
- 02: Brothers George and Richard
- 03: Electric Fire
- 04: Jardiniere
- 05: Saluting Guns
- 06: Wallet and Letters
- 07: Bronze Age Irish Horns
- 08: The Great Harry
- 09: Boulle Desk and Bureau
- 10: HMS Royal Oak Casket
- 11: Cookworthy Jars
- 12: Edema Painting
- 13: Esau Cabinet
- 14: William Henry
- 15: Prieu Dieu
For further information about the story behind this object, click on the link below
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