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Upright pianoforte

Upright piano of crossbanded tulipwood, side panels of marquetry and quartered panels, mounted with Sèvres-style porcelain plaques and gilt bronze mounts; foliate gilt bronze panels around top with a candle arm either side, three plaques with putti musicians between. Erard was founded by Sébastien Erard (1752-1831). Trained in Strasbourg, Erard moved to Paris in 1768 and began making pianos for the French nobility. He was later joined by his brother Jean-Baptiste Erard (1749-1826) and the business grew, especially after Royal commissions from Marie-Antoinette, but suffered during the French Revolution. The family opened a London outlet in 1790/1, which concentrated on the production of harps. Sébastien is famous for making a great number of technical improvements and inventions and took out between fifteen adn twenty patents in England alone. After the death of Sébastien Erard, Jean Baptiste's son Pierre (1794-1855) took over the busines in Paris and London, winning a gold medal at the 1824 Paris Exposition and later becoming piano maker to Albert, Prince Consort. Many illustrious pianists played Erard instruments, including Liszt and Mendelssohn.

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  • Maker:
    Erard [Corporation]
  • Collection:
    Royal Collection Trust
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  • Materials:tulipwood, gilt bronze, copper-tin alloys, porcelain, ivory, animal materials; veneered, cross-banded, cast, mounted, painted
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  • Repository:Royal Collection Trust
  • Measurements:114.5 x 150.0 x 60.0 cm (whole object)