Muzio Clementi 1803
|Serialnumber:||stamped: 2697 - inked: 2644|
This square piano from 1803 was made in the important workshop of composer, publisher and instrument maker Muzio Clementi. In addition to Broadwood, the instruments of Clementi were highly appreciated and distinguished by their special sound. Contemporaries have dubbed them the best instruments worldwide. “Die Firma liefert, ohne allen Widerspruch, die trefflichsten Instrumente in der Welt, die von Clementi’s mechanischem Kopf und Kunsterfahrung veredelt, aber freylich auch die kostbarsten sind.“ (See: Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, Leipzig 1802, p. 197)
The case of the instrument is made of mahogany with encircling multicolour ribbon inlays of different woods. The instrument stands on a French stand with “music-shelf” and brass castors. The keyboard is made from ivory and ebony. The instrument has a wooden pedal for controlling the dampers. The action is a double action with leather covered hammers, double strung and single dampers. The nameboard is painted with garlands of flowers and tendrils and signed in a cartouche with:
Muzio Clementi & Co.
Square pianos by Clementi were always provided with two serial numbers: one stamped on the left and one handwritten with ink on the wrest plank (stamped: 2697 – inked: 2644).
The system used by Clementi counts with the inked number the general production of pianos since the acquisition of the company “Longman & Broderip” in 1798. The stamped numbers, however, continue the production of square pianos of the acquired company “Longman & Broderip”, but only instruments with the 1794 introduced “New Patent“. Other instruments (for example single action instruments, grand pianos or cabinet pianos) were added together in other groups.
Based on these serial numbers, the year of construction of this instrument can be derived to January 1803. (See: Clementi & Co 1798-1830 Pianoforte Manufacture in London, Leif Sahlqvist 2013)
Other preserved instruments by Muzio Clementi & Co .:
- 1803 square piano (No. 3468) – Newton Centre: Marlowe A. Sigal Collection, USA
- 1803 square piano (No. 2335) – Museu da Musica Lisbon, Portugal
- 1806 square piano (No. 4095) – German Museum Munich, Germany
|Circumference:||5 ½ octaves (FF – c4)|
|Pedals:||1 pedal - controlling the dampers|
Muzio Clementi & Co.