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Grand Piano

Ferdinand Hofmann (Austrian, 1756–1829)

Date:
ca. 1790
Geography:
Vienna, Austria
Medium:
Cherry wood, various other materials
Dimensions:
L. 210.5 cm (82 7/8 in.); W. 95.3 cm (37 1/2 in.); 3-octave span 48 cm (18 7/8 in.); L. of FF string 163.3 cm (64 1/4 in.); L. of c2 string 73.6 cm (29 in.); f3 10.8 cm (4 1/4 in.)
Classification:
Chordophone-Zither-struck-piano
Credit Line:
Gift of Geraldine C. Herzfeld, in memory of her husband, Monroe Eliot Hemmerdinger, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.34
  • Description

    This beautifully preserved cherry-wood piano, which retains the maker's fragile wax seal on a label inside, was built by Ferdinand Hofmann, a leading member of Vienna's civic keyboard-maker's association. He became its president in 1806 and won a court appointment. The striking, almost architectural decor of this instrument typifies the maker's early work. Knee levers lift the dampers and a knob over the nameplate operates a mute, or moderator. The five-octave range was customary in Mozart's day.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: : 1] (stamped on nameplaque): FERDINAND HOFMAN (N)/CLAVIER INSTRUMENT=MACHER/IN WIEN; FERDINAND HOFMANN/BURGERL.

    2] (on paper label on soundboard): ORGEL=ND/INSTRUMENTMA;/CHER IN WIEN; red wax FH monogram seal.

    3] (in pencil on front of pinblock, back of nameboard, and tops of 2 key levers): No. 10.

  • References

    Makers of the Piano, 1700-1820. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK, 1993, pg. 150.

    "Keyboard Instruments." Summer. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1989), Vol. 47, No. 1, pg. 37, ill.

    Keynotes: Two Centuries of Piano Design. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pg. 17, fig. 11.

    "Notable Acquisitions 1983-1984: Musical Instruments." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1984), pg. 81, ill.



  • See also
503677

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