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Queen's speech in front of lavish gold piano blasted for being 'out of touch's

December 30, 2018

The piano, an S & P Erard, was first purchased by Queen Victoria in 1856.

It is made of mahogany, satinwood and pine, with brass and gilt bronze mounts, gilded and varnished. It is decorated with elaborate oil scenes on the lids and sides and finished off with a varnish.

THE HISTORY OF THE PIANO


Queen Victoria and Prince Albert installed pianos in the private apartments of all their residences.

Together they played arrangements of overtures and symphonies, and accompanied each other in song.

This particular elaborately decorated instrument was intended as a showpiece for the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. 

The gilded case is decorated in the French early eighteenth-century style with cherubs and singeries – comical scenes involving monkeys playing musical instruments and making mischief.

Queen Victoria had owned a piano decorated in a similar manner almost twenty years earlier. In her diary of 5 March 1839, she wrote, 'Lord Melbourne admired the new painted piano I have in the drawing-room, and said, 'I like those monkeys on it.'

The piano, an S & P Erard, was first purchased by Queen Victoria in 1856.

It is made of mahogany, satinwood and pine, with brass and gilt bronze mounts, gilded and varnished.

It is decorated with elaborate oil scenes on the lids and sides and finished off with a varnish.

It underwent a major restoration with cleaning and repair prior to featuring in a Victoria and Albert exhibition which was held in The Queen’s Gallery in 2010.

The restoration was mainly to remove substantial dirt from the two main lids and the upper surfaces, and to restore varnish.

According to the Royal Collection trust, it measures 95.7cm  x 142.2 x 243.8.

Erard was founded by Sébastien Erard (1752-1831) who started out making pianos for the French nobility

The firm passed through the generations of the Erard family, which opened a London premises in 1790.

When Pierre Erard (1794-1855) ran the London business the firm won a gold medal at the 1824 Paris Exposition and became piano maker to Albert, Prince Consort - husband of Queen Victoria.

The piano is stamped with the serial number 3985.

The Royal Collection Trust describes the surface as "painted by François Rochard in polychrome colours with singeries and Berainesque motifs.

"The mouldings and rim of the piano are bronze, chased and gilt.

"It is supported on three incurving cabriole legs of gilded wood with heavy floral garlands and carved at the top with two scrolls flanking a prominent flower.

"Pedal section in form of lyre in gilded wood with foliate decoration."

 

Source: mirror.co.uk

 

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