The Musical Afternoon. Fine very large original etching after the drawing by Clement R. Grant (1849-1893). PIANO - 19th Century - American, James S. King.

The Musical Afternoon. Fine very large original etching after the drawing by Clement R. Grant (1849-1893)

604 x 805 mm. + good margins. Signed in pencil by both artists at lower blank margin. With remarque of a seated cherub playing a cello at lower left margin. On Japon paper.

Some minor wear and creasing but in very good condition overall.

This atmospheric print depicts three young women in a music room with a large window looking out onto a village square. One of the subjects plays a lyre-piano; a second stands in front under a window holding sheets of music looking as though she is either just about to sing or has just finished; a third sits comfortably, attentively listening. The style of architecture, furnishings, and simple decoration would appear to represent the American Arts and Crafts movement.

Of particular note is the depiction of the giraffe/pyramid piano. "Giraffe or pyramid pianos were upright forms of grand pianos with hammer action and vertical strings, built between the middle of the eighteenth century and the middle of the nineteenth century. The origins of these instruments reach back to the fifteenth century clavicytherium, which was a vertical or upright harpsichord. ... In 1739 the Italian Domenico Del Mela made his first upright hammer-action grand pianos. ...

During the decade following Del Mela's upright version, the most important center for building these upright-grands was Vienna. In 1745 the famous German piano maker Christian Ernst Friederici, who was also known for his well-made square pianos, built the first pyramid piano with a symmetrical soundboard. ...

In 1804 a renaissance of upright instruments began with the first pyramid pianos by the Austrian makers Joseph Wachtl & Bleyer, and Franz Martin Seuffert. The German maker Christoph Ehrlich also became famous for his pyramids. ... The sound of these instruments could be modified by two to six pedals. ...

The lyre piano was the last variation of the upright-grands. The first one was built by Johann Christian Schleip in the 1820s. ... About 1800, piano makers began to think of constructing instruments of smaller size. They located the pinblock at the top of the frame, so that the strings lay in a sloping position. With this innovation came a great increase in production of upright pianos, marking the transition to our modern upright pianos. This development put an end to the building of upright-grand pianos." Carsten Dürer in Palmieri, Robert and Margaret Palmieri, eds.: Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments Vol. I: The Piano, pp. 148-149.

A charming and rare musical print most evocative of "house music" in America in the late 19th century within the milieu of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Item #38313

Price: $1,000.00  other currencies