A very Special Brinsmead Grand

We currently have in our showroom this intricately decorated grand by John Brinsmead and Sons.

John Brinsmead was a member of the National Academy of France, a chevalier of the Legion D'Honour and a Knight of the Portuguese Royal Order.

Brinsmead supplied pianos not only to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII but also the kings of Italy, Sweden, Bavaria and Portugal, The Shah of Persia and The Pope. A decorated grand was given to Queen Mary as a wedding present in 1893.

Brinsmead pianos were used exclusively by P&O liners due to their resistance to changing climate.

High quality decorated pianos like this are very scarce and would have been hugely expensive in their day. It would be nice to know in which stately pile this piano began it's long life.

We've just added a lot of new pianos to our stock page, including some that haven't left the workshop yet!

When you visit we're always more than happy to show you pianos that are in the process of being reconditioned in case there's something to suit you.

What width is an average piano?

The maximum width for an upright piano is 5ft. An average 7 octave piano will range from 50" - 58" wide. The space needed for your piano must be away from a radiator and on the ground floor*, come in and see us and we can find the perfect piano for your chosen spot.

We do sometimes have a 6 octave piano in stock, which are on average 45" wide, so it's worth calling us if you have very limited space. We would always recommend a 7 octave piano however as they offer a broader tonal range and cost the same as their smaller friends.


*if we are to deliver it: you'll need a specialist mover if you wish to put the piano upstairs: we're happy to recommend a good one in your area

A note from The Boss

Pianos: the situation at present

A piano has a similar life expectancy to ourselves and appreciates being kept in similar conditions: not too hot and dry, not too cold and damp.

Occasionally one will encounter a centenarian piano which can give a good account of itself but many more are poor, frail old things - only suitable to put ones family photos on. People get very sentimental about the old museum pieces.

At present we are reaping the benefits of a huge enthusiasm for the piano in the Far East. Capable instruments are being produced at prices below that at which our British manufacturers can make them. It's sad but true that our once great piano industry has gone for good. We are one of a handful of small businesses dedicated to stocking British pianos in order to offer our customers the choice they deserve and to keep the knowledge base alive for future generations.

In short: we have lots of high quality, second hand pianos from both Asia and Great Britain. I've never been prouder of our current stock, do come and see us if you need a piano.

Choosing a piano: Touch and tone

We have generally enough pianos in enough different colours and styles to suit most peoples whims and fancies.

What about the musical instrument inside!?

We must think about TONE and TOUCH!

The TOUCH must be even across the scale: each note must have a similar resistance and response. A similar amount of pressure will produce a similar amount of sound from all keys.


When it comes to TONE I find it can help to have some pictures in the mind . . . I like to imagine a huge Disney cave with stalagmites and stalactites with drips and drops that make the loveliest clear notes. This is how I like the trebles to sound. If it sounds like bicycle spokes it is a poor piano.

Bass and mid range notes need to sound like an opera singer, not someone holding their nose.

This is the sound profile we like our pianos to adhere to

Happy New Year from all at Pianoman

Hoping you had a lovely festive period and wishing you all the best for the new year.

We open again on January 3rd but if you're about before then you can call Richard on 07801549333 to see if he's in at the shop.

p.s. Learning to play the piano would make a great new years resolution - and would be much more enjoyable than giving up chocolate.

Perspex fronted piano

Every now and again an orphan piano arrives in our workshop without a vital part of it's anatomy. This Seibelhad managed to shake it's front panel loose while making an audacious escape attempt from an uncaring home. " What a lovely interior" we said. So with that in mind we had a perspex panel specially made and now you and your friends can enjoy the hypnotic nature of piano hammers moving backwards and forwards while discussing Brexit.

13 ways to decorate around a piano

Here's a very fine gallery from Apartment Therapy: pianos looking amazing in people's homes. There's something very heartwarming about a piano in a home, it's a very fine focus for a room and comes into it's own when you have visitors. We sell a wide range of modern and Victorian upright pianos so we'll have something to meet your tastes both visually and musically 

ps - We here at Pianoman would consider it a cardinal sin to put a plant on top of a piano though, just so you know.

(Vase of dried eucalyptus is acceptable, no water involved)