giraffe piano

photo: Waldemar Kielichowski © Institute of Music and Dance, Warsaw

giraffe piano

Classification: 3 Chordophones / 31 Simple chordophones or zithers / 314 Board zithers / 314.1 True board zithers / 314.1-4-8 True board zithers sounded by hammers or beaters, with keyboard

Piano maker: Johann Friedrich Kuhlbörs senior

Date: ca. 1830

Village / Town: Breslau / Present day Wrocław

Country: Prussia / Present-day Poland

Owner: Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Deposited by the National Museum in Warsaw since 1949

Inventory number: D/5015

Description: Mahogany veneered. Upper door filled with golden, jacquard silk. Straight-, double-, triple-strung, plain brass bass strings. Hitch pin block along the right side and the bass hitch pin block (with tone marking) under the keyboard level. Viennese hanging action with lever dampers. After a general reconstruction during the first half of the 20th century had been strengthened with metal rods and screws. It lost some of its stops (originally five pedals), ormolu mountings and the nameplate

Inscriptions: over the keyboard reconstructed, originally printed nameplate: FRIED. KUHLBÖRS / IN BRESLAU; on the case’s back a paper label: IVc/D/11. / L: 28; and with black paint: SZMb2667MN [National Museum in Warsaw’s inventory marking]

Measurements: height 2310, width 1175, depth 275 (565) mm

Materials: wood, metal, ivory

Keyboard compass, stops: F1-f4 – 6 octaves, two pedals – una corda and dampers

Catalog card by: Benjamin Vogel

Bibliography: P. Epstein, E. Scheyer, Führer und Katalog zur Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente (Breslau, 1932), pp. 57-8; M. Novak Clinkscale, Makers of the Piano, vol. 1,  1700-1820, (Oxford, 1993), p. 175, vol. 2, 1820-1860, (Oxford, 1999), pp. 222-23; K. Rottermund, ‘Wrocławska wytwórnia fortepianów Kuhlbörs i jej instrumenty’, Tradycje śląskiej kultury muzycznej, vol. XI, (Wrocław, 2008), pp. 121-28

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