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2004/84/1 Player piano, upright, timber / metal, Beale & Company Ltd, Sydney, Australia, 1927. Click to enlarge.

Player piano made by Beale & Company Ltd

Made in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1927.

Beale and Company was the largest producer of pianos in Australia from the 1890s through to the early 1960s. Being a Sydney based firm they are of particular significance to the museum’s musical instrument collection which has a strong collection of Australian made pianos including the earliest surviving Australian made piano by John Benham of Sydney dating from about 1835 through to the state of the art Stuart and Sons concert grand piano made in 1998-1999.

The Beale Company was founded by Oc...


Object No.


Object Statement

Player piano, upright, timber / metal, Beale & Company Ltd, Sydney, Australia, 1927

Physical Description

Player piano, upright, timber / metal, Beale & Company Ltd, Sydney, Australia, 1927

Beale Model No.5-1 upright player piano. Walnut veneered case on cedar core. Seven and a quarter octave compass from A to C. Keyboard fall lifts to reveal music rest on inner side. Front rail below key edge pulls down to reveal control switches for operating player mechanism. Switches from left to right are for, "loud pedal", "soft bass", "soft treble", "tempo" and "selection". Lower section of case beneath keyboard contains two sliding doors which move to reveal fold-out pedals for pumping player mechanism. Upper front of case above keyboard has sliding door which reveals two rollers and air pipe for playing music rolls. This contains controls for "transposing scale", and an on/off switch for the pedals. Squared and tapered columns either side sit under keyboard at front. Also a piano stool with sloping seat.


Nameboard at back of keys reads "Beale". Roller housing has metal badge which reads "Beale/Player Piano". Above this is an image of a woman player a lyre.

On iron frame; "Beale/All Iron Tuning System" below which is image cast into metal of blacksmith pouring molten iron into frame mould. Possibly an image of a waratah beside this.

Serial Number 58455 stamped into top edge of RHS of instrument beneath top lid.

"BLE 3" stamped into top edge of internal roller housing.



1415 mm


1670 mm


740 mm



Beale are estimated to have produced 95,000 pianos between the commencement of their piano production in 1893 and their closure in the early 1960s. A Beale catalogue, probably dating from the 1920s, states their output at that time exceeded 50,000 instruments. It is unclear when they actually began production of player pianos but the catalogue advertises the "New Model Beale Accessible Player-Piano and states it "can lay claim to possessing more desirable features than have hitherto been obtainable in a single instrument" (from The Beale Piano Catalogue, Beale & Company Limited, Sydney, no date, p.15).



This instrument was used by the donor as a domestic instrument from the late 1960s until the time of donation. The serial number indicates it was made in 1927.


Credit Line

Gift of Natalie and Andrew Seiz in memory of their grandmother Katherine Seiz, 2004

Acquisition Date

19 May 2004

Cite this Object


Player piano made by Beale & Company Ltd 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 June 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Player piano made by Beale & Company Ltd |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 June 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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