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Travel Piano by Luigi Violi 1768


Date: 1768

Origin: Bologna

Serialnumber: 129 (?)

Travel pianos were very popular in the late 18th century and until the mid-19th century. Many composers and musicians had small and transportable instruments to use them on their travels. These instruments were built very light and could be taken easily because of their dimensions.

This unusual and very small travel piano was made by Luigi Violi in Bologna in 1768.

The instrument is made of walnut and has no stand or legs. At the end of both sides are small carrying handles made of brass.

Inside the entire action is covered by a dust cover (covered with green silk) with an integrated music stand. Underneath the dust cover is a handwritten signature that it was lined 1838 with new silk.

The nameboard bears in a small porcelain cartridge the signature:

“No. 129

Luigi Violi Fece

Bologna Anno 1768″

The signature “No. 129” is probably the production number of the instrument.

The instrument has a 4 octaves compass with short octave (C, F – f3) and it has a simple Prellmechanik. On the right of the keyboard is a small hand stop (harp).


So far no other instruments have been preserved by Luigi Violi.




Length: 96,5 cm

Width: 35 cm

Height: 14 cm

Circumference: 4 octaves C, F – f3

Mechanics: Prellmechanik

Pedals: 1 hand stop (harp)

Signature: „No. 129
Luigi Violi Fece
Bologna Anno 1768“