Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Square Piano

Johann Christoph Jaeckel and Christian Jaeckel
Oak, iron, ebony, ivory, various materials
Case L. (perpendicular to keyboard): 57 cm (22-1/2 in.); W. (parallel to keyboard): 159.1 cm (62-5/8 in.); Case D. without lid: 18.2 cm (7-1/8 in.): Total H.: 81.5 cm (32-1/8 in.); 3-octave span: 48 cm (19 in.)
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
Not on view
On the makers' label beneath the soundboard, this square is called a Bandlony or "pantaleon," the name given earlier to a large hammer dulcimer popularized by the virtuoso, Pantaleon Hebenstreit. Hand stops below the 61 key (FF–f3), five octave keyboard control devices that modify the tone to imitate Hebenstreit's versatile dulcimer. The stops affect bass and treble strings separately, allowing tonal contrast between left and right hands. The case exterior is veneered with oak: wood-grained paper lines the interior. Four tapered legs. The key levers are carved like many German clavichord keys, and a compartment for equipment to the left of the ebony and bone-covered keys is also a feature of clavichord construction. This particular design was unique to the Jaeckel family in the Rhineland-Palatinate. Internally, the instrument has a Prellmechanik action without escapement.
Marking: (On handwritten paper label beneath soundboard) Dieses Bandlony? haben verfertigt/Johann Christoph Jeckel und Dessen Sohn/Christian Jeckel beyde Burger. Orgel/und Instrumentenmacher zu/Worms. den 19ten Febr. 1790.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Written by, Edited by Thomas MacCracken. "German Square Pianos with Prellmechanik in Major American Museum Collections: Distinguishing Characteristics of Regional Schools in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries." Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society (1998), vol. XXIV, pg. 30, 36–43, 46–48, ill.

Makers of the Piano, 1700-1820. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK, 1993, pg. 159.

"Keyboard Instruments." Summer. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1989), Vol. 47, No. 1, pg. 36, ill.

Keynotes: Two Centuries of Piano Design. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pg. 9, fig. 5.

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