Square piano by Clementi and Co., London, c1820

Compass: FF - c''''
Geib’s escapement action.
Pedal for dampers.

Square piano by Clementi and Co

A central figure in the history of the English piano, the composer Muzio Clementi dedicated himself to its manufacture following the collapse of Longman and Broderip’s music and musical instrument retailing enterprise in the late 1790s. An arbiter of taste and quality, Clementi’s instruments reflect the expectations, both material and musical, of the composer himself. The firm’s pianos achieved international acclaim due in part to Clementi’s tireless promotion of all the products that bore his name, but were famous also for their excellent craftsmanship and reliability. This instrument, with its solid mahogany case and plain inlaid lines, is rather sober in appearance compared with many of its surviving contemporaries and is representative of a range of instruments produced by the firm that were designed to appeal to different budgets. Nevertheless, the use of choice materials, together with the presence of John Geib’s escapement action, a six-octave compass and a sustain pedal, render the instrument no less useful and versatile in supporting the music of the period.


To visit a musical museum without music is like visiting an art gallery with your eyes closed

Richard Burnett

Clementi & Co square piano - c1825 Presenter : Jean Phillips