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Upright pianoforte

Upright grand piano in Gothic style; gilt and ebonised carved wood; crest with pierced quatrefoils and carved rectangles, two mirrored doors with gilded ogival arches and gilded ogival arches above keyboard; supported by two four gilded columns flanking a red reserve. Keyboard of 73 notes. Plaque on nameboard inscribed, 'R. JONES UPRIGHT GRAND & SQUARE, Piano Forte Maker, To His ROYAL HIGHNESS the PRINCE OF WALES, No.11, Golden Square, London 1808'. Stamped on yoke, 'R.Jones & Co. 855' The instrumental action has remained unaltered since the piano was manufactured. This piano was supplied to the Prince of Wales at Carlton House and invoiced on 15 August 1808 (RA 29011) as, 'A curious fine toned six Octave Upright Grand Piano Forte / in black Ebony Case, designed from the antique / Supported by four Strong Gothic columns; Moulding / and Cornice formed of the best Workmanship / Carving & Gilding the Columns, Moulding / and Cornice; in Burnish and Mat Gold, / Ivory Balls Rosets & Orniments [sic] for do / Japanning the Inside of the Case a Royal Crimson / Fine Locks Water Gilt and hinges / Silk Curatins made full with gathered Heads for do / An Elegant Bookcase Complete in all respects to / Match the Piano Forte... £680 0s.' The piano and matching bookcase formed part of the decorative furnishings in the Gothic library in the basement storey of Carlton House in 1806. The piano was illustrated in a colour engraving published in 'Records of Fashion', 1808. The accompanying text recorded a visit to Mr. Jones's premises in Golden Square, 'from a great number of our first amateurs. whose curiosity led them to see and try the elegant upright grand piano... made for his Royal Highness. The beauty of the workmanship, but above all, the rich quality of the tone it possesses, drew forth the most rapturous exclamations, and must have proved the highest gratification to Mr. Jones, who has spared neither labour or expence [sic], to produce an instrument which might not be excelled, either for beauty or tone.' Adapted from, 'London World City 1800-1840', ed. Celina Fox (Yale 1992), which accompanied the exhibition, 'Metropole London: Macht und Glanz einer Weldstadt 1800-1840', Villa Hügel, Essen, Germany, 6 June - 8 November 1992.

  • Maker:
    R. Jones & Co.
  • Collection:
    Royal Collection Trust
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    London (Timezone: Europe/London)
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:wood, bone, mirror glass, wire, ivory; gilded, ebonised
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Royal Collection Trust