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Square Piano

1805-1810
Origin: England, London
Net dimensions exclude lid, stand and projecting moldings. All dimensions in mm except where noted. Length 1.818 mm (net 1.789); Width 619 mm (net 610); Height 868 with reproduction casters (net 227 mm)
Mahogany: case exterior, jack hoppers, spring guards, stand, hammer-cap rail, lid, spine; Tulipwood: keywell crossbanding; Maple or Sycamore: keywell ends; Satinwood(?): nameboard veneer, case banding; Beech: bridge; Softwoods: bottom, nameboard substrate, spine substrate; Spruce: soundboard; Holly: nameboard veneer; Limewood: key levers; Ebony: sharp veneer; Ivory: natural key tops; Marble: oval inlays on case exterior; Lead: key weights; Brass: hopper springs, lid hinges, lockboard thumb latch; Tinned brass: balance pins, front pins, bridge pins, nut pins, hitch pins
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2011-67,A
CASE DECORATION: The mahogany case has large-radius corners and complex inlaid string banding with a black and white diamond pattern running along the bottom and outlining rectangles on the front and sides. Two vertical marble ovals are inlaid on the front where the case meets the legs; a larger marble oval is centrally set in the front of the lockboard.
KEYWELL: The central panel of holly is surrounded by string banding and tulipwood crossbanding. Decorative fret-sawn vents have a double-eagle motif with penwork detail. Maple-veneered keywell ends have marquetry bees in oval inlay patches. The penned inscription is in a painted foliate oval with green ribbons flanked by painted floral decoration.
LID: The solid mahogany lid has inlay string banding on the top and bottom surfaces. The flap over the keyboard is split so a separate section covers the front section of soundboard. The lockboard is configured to give the case a symmetrical appearance when closed. It has a prominent marble oval in the center panel and a thumb latch on the lower left edge. Some kind of locking mechanism on the right end of the lockboard is missing, leaving only mortises in the lockboard and case.
STAND: The stand is a variation on the more common "French frame." It has four tapered legs of mahogany with narrow white banding and a dark mahogany(?) arris. Trestles connect the ends at the top and near the feet. Collars at the base of each leg are additions, presumably replacing casters as on the other known example of this Dettmer model. That other surviving example has a low music shelf. It appears possible that the present piano never had the shelf as there is substantial foot wear on the lower trestle.
INTERNAL NOTES: A folding music desk originally attached to the back of the nameboard is now missing.
COMPASS: FF–c4 (5 octaves and 7 notes)
STOPS: none
Provenance:Paper sticker on inside of right key cheek suggests ownership in Vienna, Austria, in mid-twentieth century; sold Dec. 7, 2010, as lot 191 at William H. Bunch Auctions, Chadds Ford, PA; 2011, purchased by Mitchell Manger, Beverly Hills, CA; purchased by CWF, 2011
Mark(s):"Eigen[missing] / Hertha Sp[?][?][?][n or h]y / Wien X1/79 / Hauilgasse Nr. 10 / Ruf B-57-9-23" stamped on ca. mid- twentieth-century paper sticker on inside of right keywell end
Inscription(s):"George Dettmer Piano Forte / Maker / By his Majesty's Royal Letter Patent / No 7 Gresse Street, Rathbone Place / London" in ink on nameboard