To see something really interesting and different, take a look at this ebay listing
It's a very early Bluthner square piano. I am aware of three of these in museums in Europe, but this is the first one I have come across in private hands.
Has anyone ever seen one of these? I know squares in general have a terrible reputation; can anyone tell from the photos whether this Bluthner is likely to suffer from the same problems, or might it be in some way better designed?
If anyone has any constructive comments I would be most interested.
Here is a Google-translation of the German description of the piano:
Historical keyboard instrument
Rarity / rarity
Table piano Blüthner
original panel Piano / Fortepiano
Built in 1861
Julius Blüthner Leipzig
Over 7 octaves keyboard with ivory keys
under the serial number 488
in the framework of patent temple "FORTE-PIANO FACTORY Julius Blüthner LEIPZIG Königl. Sächs. patentirte mechanics of patent July 6, 1856"
Wooden frames, partially metal verplattet
approximately 90 x 90 x 185 cm (whole body)
Total outward good state of preservation, is currently not playable instrument (attenuation and hammers probably partly restaurierungsbedürftig), all available strings, soundboard in order ungestimmt, veneer partly damaged (without disturbing the overall impression)
The history of piano table:
The panel is an early piano version of the pianoforte, in which the horizontal and transverse strings attached, so key, and associated string roughly perpendicular lost. This design allows for a rectangular shape of the cabinet in the form of a table. The instrument can fold into a state sideboard, etc. are used, and takes much less space in a wing. The idea of this specific design, however, was not new, but was already at the Virginal (Spinet) applied.
Table pianos were in the 19th Century, very popular. Famous musicians such as Franz Schubert, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt played and composed their works on board pianos.