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#916774 - 01/27/07 01:33 PM Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5653
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
I received an email from Deborah Wythe of the Brooklyn Museum (NY) Digital Collections & Services.

She had seen the section on Piano World where we have some Odd Pianos listed and thought we might like to add this one (thanks Deborah).

Take a nap, play the piano, take a nap, play the piano?





Artist: Smith & Co.
Title: Convertible Bed in Form of Upright Piano [/b]
Date: ca. 1865
Medium Ebonized wood
Dimensions 55 1/2 x 54 3/4 x 27 in. (141 x 139.1 x 68.6 cm)

Marks On back, stamped: "5734A"; stenciled: "SMITH & c." Two fragmentary paper labels [give directions on how to open and use bed; see files for full text]

Credit Line: Gift of Elinor Merrell

Location: Visible Storage: Case 3, Shelf D (Special Exhibition)

Description: Convertible bed in form of upright piano. Ebonized wood. When closed: Rectangular case with paneled sides; front has paneled lower section with 2 pedals and on each side of case, s-scrolled brackets support sham keyboard. Above keyboard is central music rest of framed, fan-shaped fretwork, flanked by two panels of fretwork of palmettes and scrollwork.

Lid hinges open and front of "piano" hinges at base to open to bed with mesh and wire support for mattress. CONDITION: Finish discolored and "whitish" throughout. Proper right lower support for scroll bracket is loose. Minor cracks and separation in flanking fretwork panels on front.

Curatorial Remarks:
The piano was an important element of the parlor in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was a focus of family life and attested to the social aspirations of the owner. The consumer of this convertible piano-bed could, in a way, have his cake and eat it too--enjoying the propriety that a piano conferred on his parlor while gaining a reasonably comfortable sleeping unit for a large family living in limited space. The amusing idea of sleeping in a piano (or a fancy parlor cabinet, in the case of the parlor bedstead) must have been part of the furniture's appeal.
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It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
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#916775 - 01/27/07 01:59 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
All you need now is the Harmonium/toilet and the Pump Organ/cookstove and you'd never have to leave the music room at all!!
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#916776 - 01/27/07 08:53 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3896
Now I know what to do when someone offers me a free old upright. A bed for little people!! \:\)
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#916777 - 01/28/07 02:04 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
It's not a piano/bed: it's a home gym!

Imagine lifting that sucker every morning!

--Cy--
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Cy Shuster, RPT
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Albuquerque, New Mexico

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#916778 - 01/28/07 07:04 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
See next post
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Full-Time Music/Entrepreneurship Major: (Why not compose music AND businesses?)
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Roland Atelier AT90R
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#916779 - 01/28/07 07:08 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University


You'd be amazed what some people do for some comfort around a piano warehouse.

See Cy? Lyres aren't just strong, they're versatile too! \:\)
_________________________
Full-Time Music/Entrepreneurship Major: (Why not compose music AND businesses?)
Former Piano Industry Professional
************
Steinway M
Roland Atelier AT90R
************
All Posts are Snarky Unless Otherwise Noted
************

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#916780 - 01/28/07 09:08 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
Piano*Dad Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10422
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Yes, and if that seat started to burn you might say ....

"lyre, lyre, pants on fire."


PS I just noticed the pun in your sig line ....very good!


PPS. Frank, do you put a mattress in that thing?? Hmmm, maybe you use the strings as .....springs!
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Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#916781 - 01/28/07 10:04 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5653
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
The museum has a video of the piano bed in action (no pun intended).
I've asked them to see if they could create an mpeg version for us.
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
My Keyboards:
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ, Harpsichord (kit), Clavichord (kit), Bilhorn Telescope Organ c 1880
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
Coming to Maine? We're in Parsonsfield let's get together!


Top
#916782 - 01/28/07 10:08 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
that would be perfect for me.
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love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#916783 - 01/28/07 10:17 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
Kawaigirl1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 989
Loc: Toronto
Whoever invented that is a sheer genius \:D
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#916784 - 01/28/07 11:31 PM Re: Is It a Piano, or a Bed?
ChatNoir Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 1481
Loc: Encino, California
Is this an old fashioned alarm clock? Wake up to music while in bed with the piano?
What will they think of next....
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