Made by Erard & Co. / Grand Pianoforte / ca. 1840Made by Erard & Co.
Grand Pianoforte
ca. 1840

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Creator Name: Erard & Co.
Creator Role: Maker
Creator Name-CRT: Made by Erard & Co.
Creator Name: Blake, George Henry
Creator Role: Designer
Creator Name-CRT: Case designed and executed by George Henry Blake
Title: Grand Pianoforte
Title Type: Object name
View: Detail
Creation Start Date: 1830
Creation End Date: 1850
Creation Date: ca. 1840
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Chordophone/struck piano
Materials and Techniques: Various materials
Dimensions: L. of case perpendicular to keyboard 97 1/4 in. (247 cm); W. parallel to keyboard 58 7/8 in. (149.5 cm); D. of case without lid 12 5/8 in. (32 cm); Total H. 37 1/2 in. (95.3 cm); 3-octave span 19 5/8 in. (49.7 cm); L. of longest string 70 3/8 in. (178.7 cm); L. of shortest string 1 7/8 in. (4.9 cm); L. of c2 11 1/4 in. (28.7 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 59.76
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Henry McSweeney, 1959

This grand piano's marquetried satinwood case, executed by George H. Blake, is unsurpassed in elegance and iconographic complexity. A nobleman's showpiece, the piano was commissioned by Thomas Lord Foley from the London branch of a distinguished French firm. Erard's eighty-note, double-escapement action was the most advanced of its time. The basis for modern grand actions, it accommodated the virtuosic pianism of Chopin and Liszt. The hammers are covered with felt, first used in place of leather coverings in 1826. Strings of the top twenty-six notes pass through a perforated brass bar that secures them against the hammers' strong blows. Longitudinal steel bars reinforce the open-bottomed case. The painted and gilded stand is a separate construction in the Louis XV style.

AMICA ID: MMA_.59.76
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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