The Collard grand

The Collard grand

In Brief

Father Cowley recalls an 1895 concert in which Professor Goodwin's alcohol habit interfered with his work of piano accompaniment: "There was a slight difference of opinion between himself and the Collard grand." Collard & Collard was an English company that manufactured pianos throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th. Their pianos were exported all over the world. This one probably traveled to Holyhead, Wales by train and thence to Kingstown by ship.

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In Multiple Joyce: 100 Short Essays about James Joyce's Cultural Legacy (2022), David Collard understandably devotes one short essay to Collard pianos. He writes: "F. W. Collard was a director of the company Clementi & Co., a well-respected piano manufacturer founded by the pianist, composer and music publisher Muzio Clementi around 1800. When Clementi died in 1832 the firm was renamed Collard & Collard and soon became one of the great British piano makers of the 19th century. The modest 'cottage style' of the kind acquired by the Pooters in The Diary of a Nobody (1892) by George and Weedon Grossmith were small uprights, although the company also made concert grands. The make of piano in Ulysses not only seems right for the context but also offers, in this most musical episode of the novel, a satisfying echo of 'Dollard'" (84-85).

The two sounds do chime together, because Ben Dollard is part of the conversation with Father Cowley and Simon Dedalus in this part of Sirens. His slight difference of opinion with some borrowed concert trousers occurred at the same concert.

JH 2022
A restored late 19th century Collard & Collard parlor grand piano.