Lyre piano

Johann Christian Schleip, Berlin, ca. 1830
Compass 6 octaves, FI f4
upright English piano action with release
three knee levers for una corda, fagotto stop (FI f7) and damper lifting; case of mahogany with veneer and fillet inlay
upper frame open, filled with stretched green silk
key facings ivory (white keys) and ebony (black keys)
strings brass and steel, all double
overall height 207 cm (without legs 152.8 cm), width 111.6 cm, depth 59 cm
keyboard length (F e2) 48.0 cm
Inv. 1989.31.

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In 1816 Schleip moved from Gotha to Berlin, where his work is documented until 1844. The signature is on a porcelain plaque above the keyboard: "J.C. Schleip in Berlin". The lyre shaped upright pianoforte is a Berlin speciality closely linked to the name of Schleip; cupboard shaped versions are found as early as the 1790s, while other variants such as pyramid and giraffe pianos appeared in the C19. They were all intended for music making on a small domestic scale. Other important items of interest in the Museum's piano collection are several Viennese grand pianos (from 1792) and French grand and square pianos by the firm of Erard.

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