Dating a square
A typical early name plaque Atypically, James Longman had a tradition of NOT putting the date on the name board, such that Longman and Lukey/ Longman and Broderip are typically undated.
Only in their last two years of production do we find L&B pianos occasionally with the date of 1796. A second general style sat the piano on a “French Frame” or apron stand that fully enclosed the bottom edge of the piano, and often allowed a lower shelf for music or similar.
Style and construction are strong indicators of the general period a piano was made.
The earliest pianos are all petite in appearance, generally shallow in case height, and less than 5 feet long.
18th century serial numbers Serial numbers from 1800 to 1820.
Serial numbers from 1820 to 1866, and the last Broadwood square produced.
Serial numbers give us plenty of room for interpretation sometimes, depending on shop practice.
The use of serial numbers as a general shop practice widely held began around 1783 or so.
Harvard Batch 06 suddenly garnered headlines because the youngest millionaire ever Mark Zuckerberg came from that batch.
They are now having a TED talk in order to in find out who the second most successful person in the batch is since everyone knows who the first is and it is by a wide margin.
They are often on trestle stands, which may or may not be original, and the nameboard inlay may use a traditional ogee point outline.
Such a piano, a Frederick Beck of 1773 is given below with a guideline for when the general trestle stand was in style.