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Grand piano

1796

John Broadwood & Son, English, active 1795–1808 English


Dimensions

Length 248.7 cm, width 111.5 cm, case height 28.4 cm, height with legs 91.2 cm (Length 97 15/16 in., width 43 7/8 in., case height 11 3/16 in., height with legs 35 7/8 in.)

Accession Number

1985.924

Medium or Technique

Satinwood, purpleheart, tulipwood

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

Collections

Europe , Musical Instruments

Classifications

Musical instruments , Chordophones

Music: Grave from Sonata in C minor (Op. 13, "Pathétique") by Ludwig van Beethoven, 1797-98 (performed by Peter Sykes)

Provenance

1796, commissioned of the maker by Manuel de Godoy, Prime Minister of Spain, 1792-1808. It is uncertain if he presented it as a gift to Queen Maria Luisa. The piano's whereabouts between 1808, when Godoy, Maria Luisa, and Carlos IV were deposed, and when it surfaced in Paris are uncertain. There is speculation that it came into the possession of Fernando VII, who was restored to the Spanish throne in 1814. Before 1912, sold by source unidentified, Paris, France (where the object's whereabouts can next be substantiated), to Robert William Hudson, London, England; June 1920, sold by Hudson through Frank Partridge (dealer) to William Hesketh Lever, a.k.a. the first Viscount of Leverhulme, London, England; February 1926, sold at auction of the Viscount Leverhulme Collection to George Cluett, New York; before 1979, by inheritance to his daughter, Florence Cluett Chambers, Sea Island, Georgia; by 1979, loaned by Cluett Chambers to Historic Deerfield, Inc., Deerfield, Massachusetts; 1985, gift of Cluett Chambers to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 22, 1986)

Credit Line

From the George Alfred Cluett Collection, given by Florence Cluett Chambers