COLLECTION: Musical Instruments

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Grand piano

1794-1805
Origin: England, London
Net dimensions exclude lid, stand and projecting moldings. All dimensions in mm except where noted. Length: 2,260 mm (net 2,220 mm); Width: 1,058 mm (net 1,040 mm); Height: 925 mm (net 296 mm)
Mahogany: stand, case veneer, damper heads, hitch-pin rail, hammer butts, Oak: case substrate, hammer rail, upper belly rail, action brackets, Cedar: hammer shanks, Beech: jacks, Softwoods: bottom, lower belly rail, damper lifter, Plain light hardwoods: molded key fronts, damper register, setoff buttons, bridge; Limewood: key levers; Fruitwood: damper jacks; Purpleheart(?): keywell banding; Ebony: sharps; Ivory: natural key tops; Leather: damper pads on key levers, hammer covers, back-check pads, butt pads; Iron: tuning pins, back-check wires, setoff screws, gap spacer arcs, pedal trapwork; Brass: lid hinges, lid hooks, lid hook rings, hammer-rail cap plates, jack springs, balance pins , front pins (tinned), nut pins, bridge pins, hitch pins (tinned)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1999-236,A
CASE DECORATION: The oak case is veneered with ribbon-striped mahogany with black and white stringing and sycamore banding. There are three lid hooks with foliate sculpted cast brass rings. The case veneer includes the spine exterior. There is cove and shoulder case molding. The inner rim features mahogany veneer and two continuous white line string inlays.
KEYWELL: The nameboard is missing from the keywell. The keywell ends and end blocks have sycamore veneer, black and white stringing, and rosewood banding.
LID: This has a thumb-molded lid with drop molding. The original lid stick is hinged to the cheekpiece rim and supported by a cradle glued to the spine. The lid is solid mahogany with black and white stringing on top.
STAND AND PEDALS: The trestle stand has molded Marlborough legs and a molded trestle. The two pedals project from each of the two front legs.
COMPASS: FF–c4
OCTAVES: 5 oct. + 7 notes
STOPS: This has two pedals, the left shifting the keyboard and the right lifting the dampers. The hand stop in the right end block limits keyboard shift for una corda or due corde.

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English grand action; triple strung throughout; the entire action is damped.
Textiles are original throughout. Hammers have leather layers, all of which have the hair side out.
Provenance:The piano has an oral history of coming from Woodville, a plantation of Coles family of Albemarle County, VA (located near Keene, Virginia, south of Charlottesville). It was purchased in 1963 at an estate auction at Woodville by Willard Agee of Charlottesville, VA. By 1989 it was in the possession of Robert Self, who sold it that year to John R. Watson; it was purchased by CWF in 1999.

Woodville was the early 19th century home of the Coles family, who descended from Salina Skipwith and John Coles II. Salina Skipwith was a daughter of Sir Peyton Skipwith. The central square of the house was built for their oldest son, Walter.
Inscription(s):Nameboard missing; lost by previous owner, who remembers "Jacobus Ball...".