Square Piano

Dodds & Claus

Not on view

The piano makers Thomas Dodds and Christian Claus are responsible for the partnership that brought about the manufacture of this piano. This instrument is thought to be the oldest extant piano made in New York City and was built around 1791. The instrument was probably made, at least in part, by the Dodds & Clark employee Archibald Whaites, who carved his initials on the bottom of the case.

Technical description: Mahogany case, veneered on front, inlaid with plain decorative stringing; matching frame with 4 square tapered legs on casters. At the top of eac leg is a small metal medallion; on left side is lidded compartment for strings and tools; hand-forged tuning pins; prop stick for lid; no music desk. The keyboard has 60 keys (FF-f3, no FF#). Ivory topped naturals with bone tails, stained hardwood accidentals. Double-strung throughout; gauge numbers 8-14; bass strings overspun with no gauge numbers. English single action with pewter underdampers, mahogany hammer shanks with small heads. 3 pedals originally, now missing: dampers, mute, hinged swell

Square Piano, Dodds & Claus, Mahogany, iron, stained hardwood, ivory, bone, various materials, American

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