Grand piano, ca. 1820
Joseph Böhm (Austrian, 1786–ca. 1850)
Wood and various materials; L. 88 in. (223.4 cm), W. 49 3/4 in. (126.4 cm), H. 37 in. (93.7 cm)
Purchase, Rogers Fund; Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher M. Brown III, Mr. and Mrs. Philip J. Hess, Carroll Music Instrument Service Corp., The New York Flute Club Inc. and Piano Technicians; Guild Gifts; Gifts of Mrs. Etta M Helmer, Alice Getty, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Wellman, Mr. and Mrs. Peter M. F. Sichel, Craig E. Steese, Hilda Katz, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur A. Travis, and The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, by exchange; and funds from various donors, 1982 (1982.138)
Like the earlier Viennese makers, the builder of this sumptuous grand piano was also a member of Vienna's civic keyboard-maker's association. Napoleon's second wife, Marie Louise, is believed to have owned this piano while she was grand duchess of Parma. Exotic elm veneer is enriched by mercury-gilt mounts depicting grapevines, acanthuses, and Psyche at a tripod brazier. Imperial eagles crown the legs and nameplate. The instrument has a compass of six octaves (seventy-three keys) and is triple-strung throughout.