Neville’s Raymond Day-Hakker has a well known passion for the pianos of the golden era, even to the point of establishing the Golden Era Piano Museum in the historic village.
Now Mr Day-Hakker has added another piano to his fascinating collection, one that when played evokes images of fair maidens, fat friars and bandits stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.
The 1834 Collard & Collard ‘table’ grand came from the historic Tahmoor House near Picton, a building that was once called the Tahmoor Inn and which saw the likes of Hume and Hovell stay there on their expeditions south.
Mr Day-Hakker said that the piano was a perfect fit for his museum.
“It’s not just about acquiring pianos based on how far they’ve travelled or just collecting early pianos. The pianos, such as this one, have to be historically significant in terms of innovation with the techniques used in piano making at the time, and have played a substantial role in Australia’s early cultural history,” he said.
Unlike the standard shape of a grand piano or an upright, a table grand piano comes in a flat box shape, and like all the pianos in Mr Day-Hakker’s collection, it was hand made in what he describes as the golden era of piano manufacturing.
“This piano is an exquisite example of why Collard & Collard are considered one of the most successful piano manufacturers of all time,” he said.
“In the years before electricity all forms of music were acoustic and they were central to entertainment guests in the hotels and inns and this one has been doing so for around 184 years.”
Now Mr Day-Hakker wants to see his collection join those of other collectors around Australia to create the nation’s first Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) and he’d like to see it here in Blayney.
“A MIM would be a tourist attraction that would bring people from around the world to the area, and Blayney is perfect for that because we have the space close to the centre of town, and the XPT stops here.”
If not Blayney, Mr Day-Hakker believes that the old Bathurst TAFE building located in the town square would be an ideal option.
“It would be a museum of national importance and would give Bathurst not only a fine arts identity, it would give visitors another attraction to visit,” he said.
‘And it would attract then all year round as well.”