grand piano

photo: Waldemar Kielichowski © Institute of Music and Dance, Warsaw

Wojciech Świtała © The Fryderyk Chopin Institute
(01:30 english translation: “straight from the grave” should be “straight-strung”)

grand piano

Classification: 3 Chordophones / 31 Simple chordophones or zithers / 314 Board zithers / 314.1 True board zithers / 314.1-4-8 True board zithers sounded by hammers or beaters, with keyboard

Piano maker: Heinrich Philipp Bessalié

Date: ca. 1840

Village / Town: Breslau / present-day Wrocław

Country: Prussia / present-day Poland

Owner: Andrzej Szwalbe Collection, Ostromecko Palace near Bydgoszcz. Bought in 1979 from Tomasz Urbanowicz from Chorzów

Inventory number: MOK-VII-FZ-016, formerly PN-VI-60-94

Description: walnut veneered. Straight-, single- double-, triple-strung; composite frame with one metal stress bar; Viennese action with rack dampers. The instrument was shortened by cutting the tail by about 5000 mm, adding a metal rest pin block, stress bar, and heavier bass strings. Legs not original (?)

Inscriptions: on the nameboard, a printed square namelabel with Prussian coat of arms in the centre reads: Piano - Forte - Fabrik / HEINR. PH. BESSALIÉ / Hof-Instrumentenbauer / Sr. Königlichen Hoheit des Prinzen Carl von Preussen / in / BRESLAU. The inscription is surrounded by an ormolu frame

Measurements: height 350 (950), width 1310, depth 1800 mm

Materials: wood, metal, ivory

Keyboard compass, stops: C1-g4 – 6½ octaves, two pedals – una corda and dampers

Catalog card by: Benjamin Vogel

Bibliography: K. Rottermund, Budownictwo fortepianów na Śląsku do 1945 roku, (Szczecin, 2004) pp. 285-286; H. Henkel, Lexikon deutscher Klavierbauer, (Frankfurt am Main, 2000) pp. 41-44; B. Vogel, Kolekcja zabytkowych fortepianów Filharmonii Pomorskiej, (Bydgoszcz, 11980, 21987), p. 30

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