probably Austrian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

This portable piano was invented by Carl Leopold Röllig of Vienna around 1795. It is named after Orpheus, the mythical musician who charmed the gods with his lyre. The orphica can be held across the lap or suspended from the neck like a guitar. A neo-classical concept intended to appeal to female amateurs who would appreciate its grace, popular repertoire, and usefulness outdoors, the orphica enjoyed a local vogue that lasted briefly into the 19th century. This example's 4-octave range necessitates diminutive keys. The standard Viennese-type action strikes a single undamped string per note.

Orphica, Various materials, probably Austrian

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