Conserving Agatha's piano

A volunteer playing the piano in the Drawing Room at Greenway

Agatha Christie was a trained (but very shy) concert pianist, and she regularly played on her Steinway privately. The piano travelled with her to London when Greenway was requisitioned during the Second World War, where it survived a bombing raid. It's now beloved of volunteers and visitors alike, who regularly play it. This summer it will fall silent whilst specialist conservation work is carried out, to ensure that it continues to fill the house with the sound of music for years to come.

Conservation in action

Work began on Monday 23 July, when a Restorer and Tuner of Antique and Modern Keyboards checked over the mouldings, looking for any loose veneer to repair. The strings were gently cleaned up, as werethe sound board. This work was all done in situ in the Drawing Room. 

 

The next steps

The action, dampers, damper lift system and pedals have all been removed and taken to the studio for stripping down and rebuilding. The Restorer will be keeping as many original parts as possible, and any replacements which are needed will be authentic to the period of the piano. Agatha's Steinway, which is a Boudoir Grand Piano, dates back to the late 1800s. 

 

For ever, for everyone

While this work is going on, you'll can still see the body of the piano in the Drawing Room at Greenway. The work should take about two months, seeing the piano fully restored just in time for the anniversary of Agatha Christie's birthday on 15 September. The project has received some very kind donations, which are covering over half of the cost. And of course, every time you visit Greenway you're helping to care for this special place: thank you.