The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
87/1159 Grand pianoforte, wood, gilt, metal, ivory, Chappell & Co, London, c.1915-1916. Click to enlarge.

Grand pianoforte made by Chappell & Co

Made 1915-1916
This concert grand piano by Chappell & Co is an excellent example of high quality piano manufacture and is significant for its uniqueness and rarity. It is likely the instrument was either made as a one-off item commissioned from Chappell or was one of a very limited number of this type that were produced. As such it is a fine representative example of the peak of English piano manufacture during the first two decades of the twentieth century.

In the context of the Museum's broader piano collection this instrument helps to describe the evolution of piano manufacture and innovation in England from the earliest English piano represented, a square by Zumpe and Buntebart dating from 1773 (H9480), through important examples by Stodart, Kirkman, Broadwood and Wornum to later nineteenth century and early twentieth century instruments when German and American manufacturers tended to dominate the industry.

The piano is also important as it has a long connection with Australia and may have been commissioned and owned by the Anthony Hordern family who ran one of the largest and most well respected retail department stores in Sydney.

Michael Lea
Curator, music & musical instruments
March 2012.


Object No.


Object Statement

Grand pianoforte, wood, gilt, metal, ivory, Chappell & Co, London, c.1915-1916

Physical Description

Grand pianoforte, wood, gilt, metal, ivory, Chappell & Co, London, c.1915-1916.

Chappell Grand Piano; Queen Victoria Commemorative Model; Veneered timber case with maple inlay and darker wood stringing, five painted cartouches featuring figures and musical instruments, all in Louis XV style; ivory and ebony keyboard; two pedals; elaborately carved gilt stand and matching stool. Seven and quarter octave compass from A to C.


Underneath keyboard fall; "CHAPPELL / LONDON"

Serial No. 57494.



1200 mm


1540 mm





Possibly specially commissioned or a limited production model made by Chappell of London. Decorated by J. Herriman.

The serial number, 57494, suggests the piano was made in about 1915. It has been suggested that the instrument was a Queen Victoria commemorative model but uncertainty exits as to whether this is correct and what date it is commemorating as Queen Victoria lived between 1819 and 1901 and came to the throne in 1837.



It is thought this piano was commissioned by the Anthony Hordern family from Chappell & Co. The Bebarfald name on the piano also suggests it had at one time been sold by the new and second-hand furniture retailer Bebarfalds, which was in business in Sydney from the early 1870s to the early 1970s. Bebarfalds also had regional stores including Lismore but it is not known which store this instrument was sold from and when. The vendor eventually bought the piano in a private sale in the Grafton area in 1984. Prior to the Museum acquiring the piano it was housed at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, Goulburn, New South Wales. Since being at the Museum the piano has been used in numerous performances including being played by internationally acclaimed Australian pianist, Roger Woodward.

Cite this Object


Grand pianoforte made by Chappell & Co 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 August 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Grand pianoforte made by Chappell & Co |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 August 2020 |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.

Know more about this object?


Have a question about this object?