Grand Piano by Erard, London, 1866

Compass: AAA - a''''
Erard double-escapement action.
Pedals for due corde and dampers.


Grand Piano by Erard

Pre-eminent among the French piano makers was the firm of Erard, which boasted factories in both London and Paris. Founded in Paris by Sébastien Erard in the 1770s, the company produced high-quality instruments that were influenced by the English and Viennese schools of building, but which incorporated improvements to existing technologies and introduced innovative new features. Sébastien was a gifted inventor who filed many patents for the piano and also the harp, which in the early 19th century enjoyed popularity almost equal to that of the piano. He worked in collaboration with his brother, Jean-Baptiste Erard, and nephew, Pierre, who was himself responsible for patents pertaining to various improvements to pianos. This London grand, built by their successors, features Sébastien’s double-escapement action which was patented by Pierre in London in 1821 and which allows the note to be repeated without the key lever fully returning to its rest position. A composite iron framing structure supported by a substantial case helps to maintain pitch and tuning stability. Indeed, the case itself is so especially fine that it might have been veneered to special order – such an expensive highly-figured exotic wood as amboyna used in such abundance is unusual; it was a timber often reserved only for the very best class of furniture during the period. 

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself

Johann Sebastian Bach

Erard grand piano - London c1866 Presenter : Christine Croshaw