French Mid 19th Century Signed Concert Grand Piano
Item # 5523A
Category: Misc. Furniture
A spectacular French mid 19th century, circa 1855, Louis XVI st. tulipwood parquetry and ormolu mounted, Model 2 Concert Grand Piano, signed Pleyel, Serial Number 21731. The pianoforte is raised on three tapered concave top legs with beaded ormolu borders and casters, and the central lyre with two pedals and ormolu beaded trim. At the outer rim and lid has an exquisitely chased ormolu egg and dart border, and three wonderfully carved knobs that lock the lid in place. The large impressive lid folds to be easily propped up and comes down over the keyboard and locks in place. The beautiful pierced music desk is adjustable and can also lay flat, so as not to hinder the view of the interior sound board. Above the keyboard is the inscribed identified
“Medailles d’or 1827, 34, 39, 44 hors de concours 1849
Ignace Pleyel & Compie, Paris”
Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831) was active as a composer, music publisher and piano builder. He founded the firm of Pleyel et Cie in Paris in 1807. Pleyel and his son maintained a close relationship with many famous musicians and artists, including Frederic Chopin. A concert hall, Salles Pleyel, was opened in 1830, and in this hall Chopin gave his first (1830) and last (1848) Parisian concerts, along with many others between these years.
A contemporary account of the qualities of a Pleyel piano describes the sound as "acquiring a special satisfying quality, the upper register bright and silvery, the middle penetrating and intense, the bass clear and vigorous. The striking of the hammers has been designed to give a sound that is pure, clear, even, and intense. The carefully made hammers produce - when one plays - a sweet and velvety sound that gradually increases in brightness and volume as one applies more pressure on the keyboard."
Pleyel pianos were the choice of composers such as Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, de Falla and Stravinsky