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THE PIANO  


(Move mouse over the image to find clickable areas - e.g., keyboard, leg, etc. - altogether 8 images. Close pop-up window before clicking on another area.)
The Anton Martin Thÿm GRAND PIANO, No. 94, ca 1815
Rawlins Fund 1985

This is the piece de resistance that greeted one and all into the exhibition hall. It is an exquisite example of the piano in Beethoven's time - when musical instruments were crafted to be as pleasing to the eye as to the ear. Thus this piano, as are most of the pieces on exhibit are works of art in themselves. The purpleheart case is decorated with inlaid ivory and fruitwood edging showing a red vine with sunflowers, and grape leaves. The vertical moldings show a portrait of a woman, a man's profile, and a lyre. The fruitwood nameboard has a pen and ink landscape with angels and cherubs, a man with a lyre and a woman with a wreath in hand. The legs are topped with Nubian slaves wearing gold turbans, their hands covering their ears. To the right of center is the craftman's signature inscribed on a large rock.

This piano has seven pedals capable of creating the special effects popular in Vienna at the time, especially among upper-class young ladies - such as bells and drum, bassoon, damper, strong and medium moderator, etc. (an early inspiration for today's electronic keyboard?).

Click HERE to know how a portable piano (or orphica) looked like in Beethoven's time. (Close pop-up window when done.)

Detail photos courtesy of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.
Photo courtesy of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County




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