Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Square Piano

Maker:
Johannes Zumpe (German, Fürth, near Nuremberg 1726–1790 London)
Date:
1767
Geography:
London, United Kingdom
Culture:
British
Medium:
Mahogany, iron, brass, ivory, ebony, various materials
Dimensions:
Case length: 127.3 cm (50 1/8 in.) Case width: 47 cm (18 1/2 in.)
Classification:
Chordophone-Zither-struck-piano
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.2965
Not on view
Zumpe was a pivotal piano maker who introduced a design for a small, rectangula piano that was affordable and appealed to members of the growing middle class. Zumpe's design is known as a square piano and he introduced it in 1766. Johann Christian Bach the Queen's music master, endorsed the instrument in 1768. The growing popularity of the instrument led to Zumpe pioneering large-scape piano manufacturing in London.
This example is one of the earliest extant square pianos by Zumpe and has a mahogany case with plain trestle stand, four square legs, and three cross braces. It has a 58 note range (GG–f3) with a dummy low G-sharp key, ivory natural keys and ebony accidentals. The internal mechanism, or action, is known as the English single action. Two brass hand stops to the left of the keyboard control the dambers in the treble and the bass.
Marking: Nameboard label above keys reads: "Johannes Zumpe Londini, Fecit 1767, Princess [sic] Street, Hanover Square"

Stamped on reverse of nameboard: "xviiii"
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Makers of the Piano, 1700-1820. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK, 1993, pg. 330-331.

"Keyboard Instruments." Summer. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1989), Vol. 47, No. 1, pg. 40, ill.

Keynotes: Two Centuries of Piano Design. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pg. 28-29, fig. 19.

Keyboard Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Picture Book. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1961, pg. 42, fig. 22, ill.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Historical Groups, Gallery 39. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1905, pg. 137.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 272.

Catalogue of Keyboard Instruments. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 0, pg. 127, ill.



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