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Square piano

1831
Origin: America, Maryland, Baltimore
Net dimensions exclude lid, stand and projecting moldings. All dimensions in mm except where noted. Length: 1,722 mm (net 1,693 mm); Width: 811 mm (net 803 mm); Height: 915 mm (net 333 mm)
Mahogany: case veneer (crotch figure), stand; Plain light hardwoods: nameboard veneer (some with burl figure), bridge, key fronts, hammers, hammer shanks; Softwoods: bottom; Basswood(?): key levers; Beech: nut; Spruce: soundboard; Ebony: sharps; Ivory: natural key tops; Brass: pedals, lid hinges, lock plate; Iron: tuning pins, damper and escapement springs
Museum Purchase, Carolyn Weekley in honor of Lida Duke Stokes Brock
Acc. No. 2010-62
CASE DECORATION: The case is veneered in crotch-figured mahogany with thin bands of lighter veneer forming rectangles (one each on the sides, and one each on the rounded front corners). Darker bands of veneer set off the bottom edge of the case, and an elaborate brass lock plate is centrally located on the bottom of the front panel. Large, black-and-gold painted drop finials descend from each corner of the case.
KEYWELL: The keywell is decorated in rectangles of burl-figured light hardwood set off by rosewood bands. The central inscription is surrounded by four print-transferred architectural images; all were created by transferring the ink from engravings onto a clear coating and then removing the paper, perhaps by wetting and abrading it. The images, by Thomas Barber, are of “Clarence Terrace,” The Union Club Hotel, “Gloucester Lodge,” and “The Late Duke of York’s House, St. James.” The key slip is painted black.
LID: The lid is mahogany with a band of rosewood veneer around the edge and a narrow band of rosewood framing the main rectangle in the center. The lid is hinged in three panels. The flap which covers the keyboard has 3 rectangles surrounded by string banding and two large, round, stamped brass handles (2011 reproductions).
STAND AND PEDALS: The mahogany stand consists of two large columns and splayed legs with carved leaves and ending in claw feet and casters. The connecting trestle is turned and painted black with golden leaf stenciling. The matching pedal column is shaped as a lyre and decorated with metal leaf stencelled leaves, a lyre, and two eagle heads.
INTERNAL NOTES: The strings run at an angle from right rear to left front with the tuning pins on the left and an all-wood hitch-pin plate, which is veneered with mahogany.
COMPASS: FF–f4 (6 octaves)
STOPS: There are four pedals: for bassoon (FF–f1), dampers, moderator, and Janissary (drum and bell)
Provenance:It is likely that the piano spent most of its life prior to 1950 in or near Aberdeen or Baltimore, Maryland. Mrs. Goodenough, a Baltimore socialite then living in Aberdeen, gave the piano to her grandson Phil Goodenough's college roommate Walter Pennfield Boyd sometime between 1949 and 1953. Walter Boyd subsequently taught English and Chorus at the military academy in Fork Union, Virginia during the last half of the 20th century. Upon Walter's death, the piano was consigned to Harlowe-Powell Auction Gallery, where it was purchased by CWF in May 2010. (This information was provided by Dale Boyd in 2010.)
Mark(s):• "E. NEWMAN" in pencil on D-sharp key (note 11)
• "Wm R Talbott / August 27, 1831" in pencil on underside of soundboard (observed through fiberscope)
• "EN" stamped on trapwork pivot block under piano
• "EN" stamped on bottom within two inches of dovetail block that holds pedal lyre
Inscription(s):“Joseph Newman, / BALTIMORE.” printed on nameboard