The Cobbe Collection of Historic Keyboard Instruments

Includes the largest group of instruments owned or played by famous composers to be seen together anywhere in the world.

What is especially magical is that the collection is maintained in playing order to allow artists and audiences to experience the sounds that inspired composers. We are most grateful to the generous donors who have contributed to our Adopt an Instrument scheme.
We are especially grateful to The Chopin Society, London, for their generous undertaking to adopt Chopin’s piano for fifteen years and to The Elgar Society for their continuing adoption of Elgar’s piano.


Keeping instruments in playing order is an expensive business. We feel that it is vital that The Cobbe Collection Trust continues with this ideal, support us and donate today.

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Adopt an Instrument invites you to underwrite the maintenance and tuning of a particular instrument for one or more years.

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Donation for Annual Maintenance during 2018

  1. Ruckers Harpsichord, 1636 - Mrs C. Rolls in memory of Rev’d. T. Rolls
  2. Zenti Harpsichord, 1622 - The Meakin family
  3. Virginals by John Player, 1664 - Adopted by Mr Peter Gillman
  4. Snetzler Organ, 1759 £200
  5. Zumpe Piano, 1769 £250
  6. Spanish or Portuguese clavichord £400
  7. Zumpe/JC Bach Piano, 1777-78 - Adopted by Mr Christopher Goode
  8. Spinet by Ferdinand Weber, 1780 £350
  9. Southwell half-moon table piano, c.1782-85 £350
  10. Hoffmann Clavichord, 1784 - Adopted by Mr Christoper Gold
  11. Marie Antoinette’s Piano, c.1786 - Adopted by Lady Lipworth CBE
  12. Shudi/Broadwood harpsichord, 1787 - Adopted by the Meakin family
  13. Hancock Piano, ‘Warranted by Mr Dibdin’, c.1790 £200
  14. Grand piano by ‘pupil’ of Stein, c.1790 £500
  15. Southwell Square Piano, c. 1793-94 £250
  16. Piano by John Bland, 1794 £350
  17. Anton Walter Piano, 1815 £450
  18. Broadwood Piano signed by Cramer, 1816 - The Meakin family
  19. Conrad Graf piano, 1819-20 £400
  20. Nanette Streicher grand piano,1823 - In memory of Rhoda Arnold
  21. Mahler’s Piano, 1836 - Adopted by an anonymous donor
  22. Jane Stirling’s Erard piano, 1843 £400
  23. Elgar’s Broadwood piano, 1848 - Adopted by the Elgar Society
  24. Erard piano, signed by Thalberg, 1845 £450
  25. Chopin’s Pleyel piano, 1848 - Adopted by the Chopin Society
  26. Broadwood, 1847, played by Chopin - Adopted by Mrs P. Littleton
  27. Steinway Grand Piano, 1864 £600
  28. Bizet’s composing table piano, 1855 - Adopted by Lady Lipworth, CBE
  29. Haydn’s Longman&Broderip piano, c.1794 £750
  30. Harpsichord by Ferdinand Weber, 1746 £750
  31. Piano by Ferdinand Weber, 1774 £350
  32. Grand piano by J. Becker, St Petersburg, c.1879 £750

If you should decide to take part in this scheme, your adopted instrument will be displayed to the public with a notice stating that you have supported its maintenance and you will receive a complimentary pair of tickets to a concert of your choice (subject to availability).
Your name will appear as the adopter of the instrument in the succeeding published list of concerts and in the programme of any concert in which it is used.