Collector Alec Cobbe was looking to purchase a piano of Chopin's time. But what he got instead was worth much, much more...
Jean-Jacquest Eigeldinger, a leading Chopin scholar from the Geneva Conservatoire, identified a piano that had been played by Frederic Chopin within a British collection. The owner of the rare piece, Alec Cobbe, was simply looking to purchase a piano of Chopin's time. He knew that Pleyel pianos were Chopin's favorite, and he purchased one to add to his collection.
Little did he know, the Cobbe Collection, currently housed at Hatchlands in an 18th century house outside of London, was about to get much more valuable. The piece would make the second Chopin-played piano in the collection. Cobbe also owns a Broadwood piano made in 1847 which was played by Chopin in recitals in London.
It was discovered that Chopin sold the Pleyel piano to his friend Margaret Trotter, and it stayed in her family until the 1970s. The piece is one of only three Pleyel pianos known to exist that was played by Chopin. Chopin is widely recognized as being one of the most famous, influential and prolific piano composers in history.