I receive many enquiries about The Hallet & Davis Piano Company (spelled “Hallett & Davis” in earlier years). Whilst I know a fair amount about the CUMSTON family I can’t help on the identification of individual pianos! I have added further details on my website at
The Company is one of America’s more historical and illustrious makers. The firm was originally established as Brown & Hallet in 1835, and their factory was located on Washington Street in Boston. In 1843, Brown retired and George Davis joined the firm. Davis retired in about 1847, and Hallet became part of Hallet, Cumston & Allen. Allen resigned from the firm, and in 1850 he formed the Brown & Allen Piano Company. With Allen gone, Hallet & Cumston formed partnership, building pianos under both the “Hallet & Davis” and the “Hallet & Cumston” names. In about 1879, the business was incorporated as “Hallet, Davis & Company” and the “Hallet & Cumston” name was dropped.
The Hallet & Davis Piano Company was known for building very high quality, expensive pianos during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. They offered a full line of square, upright and grand pianos until about 1890 when they discontinued the square piano and increased production on the ever more popular upright. After the turn-of-the-century, they built a full line of high-quality player pianos under the brand names of “Virtuolo”, “Underwood & Sons”, and “Bowan”. After the Great Depression, Hallet & Davis became part of the large Aeolian American Corporation, and the Hallet & Davis name was built by Aeolian until the 1980’s era. Today, the Hallet & Davis name is being applied to Asian import pianos.
If you have one of these pianos and want to know more do contact The Antique Piano Shop at http://antiquepianoshop.com/online-museum/hallet-cumston/ to see if they can help you.