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Square Piano

John Broadwood & Sons

Date:
1797
Geography:
London, England
Medium:
Wood, various materials
Dimensions:
Case length (perpendicular to keyboard): 57.3 cm (22 5/8 in.) Width (parallel to keyboard): 162.9 cm (64 1/8 in.) Depth (without lid): 22.0 cm (8 3/4 in.) Total height: 86.3 cm (34 in.) 3-octave span: 48.9 String length FF: 137.1 String length c4: 7.3 String length c2: 28.6
Classification:
Chordophone-Zither-struck-piano
Credit Line:
Gift of Henry and Virginia Pleasants, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.76
  • Description

    Based on Zumpe's simple design, this elegant square incorporates several English innovations: additional keys extend under the soundboard, along an enlarged compass of 5-1/2 octaves; counterweighted brass damper levers pivot beneath the strings; tuning pins have been moved from the right side, where they were crowded and far from the lowest key, to a convenient arrangement along the back. This piano has no damper control; the pedal opens the lid flap over the soundboard when the main lid panel is closed. Broadwood replaced hand stops by pedals around 1785. By the 1790s his firm was making about 400 squares and 100 grands annually.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: 1) (inked on nameboard) John Broadwood and Son London 1797 Patent/Great Pulteney Street Golden Square
    2) (in ink on pinblock) No 3817
    3) (in ink on Key 58) W

  • References

    "Keyboard Instruments." Summer. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1989), Vol. 47, No. 1, pg. 41, ill.

    Keynotes: Two Centuries of Piano Design. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pg. 30, fig. 20.



  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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