The BURLOCK-DECKER Concert Grand Piano (serial 5034) was almost certainly one of four produced by Decker Brothers for display at the 1876 Centennial Exposition (World’s Fair) in Philadelphia. The NEW YORK TIMES reported in September 1876, that the Decker Brothers exhibit was awarded First Place in the American piano division.
The instrument was privately acquired by John Lucas of Lucas Paints (later Sherwin-Williams) in Philadelphia. When Lucas passed away the Estate sold the piano to Duffy and Hughes Pianos of Philadelphia.
During the 1950’s W.L. Schryer, a piano lover from coastal Virginia, discovered and rescued the piano from the Duffy and Hughes warehouse and began the work of restoration, refinishing the original Rosewood in black lacquer.
In the mid 1960’s Frances Berman Burlock acquired it and it remained in the Burlock home in Poquoson, Virginia, for nearly fifty years where it was carefully maintained and regularly tuned. Warren Seale of Oakville, Ontario studied with Mrs. Burlock in the 1960s and took lessons on the instrument. After Frances Burlock’s death, the Burlock family decided that Seale-a musician and teacher in Oakville- should have it.
John Hall of the Canadian Piano Museum moved the piano from Virginia and undertook a complete restoration in preparation for it’s first concert performance in more than a century at St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston on November 17, 2013. This historic instrument is now part of the permanent collection of Warren Seale at Ed-Vintage Studios in Oakville.