Euphonicon (upright piano)
Place MadeUnited Kingdom; London; Europe; England
Date MadeCirca 1845
DescriptionTechnical description: English upright piano, Euphonicon design. Compass C₁ - G₇ [CC - g'''']. Three-octave span 491mm. Ivory naturals, ebony accidentals, sycamore arcades. Top of naturals 685mm above floor. Pivoted tracker action. Two pedals, using a metal leaf-spring action. Screw nut mechanism for tuning, with the note names written below the ends of each pair of nuts. The strings are looped over the top of the frame, so that one length of string is used for both strings of a note. The hammers appear to be of felt, although possibly leather. The interior parts appear to be mahogany. Black painted pine keyboard base. Brass hinges. There are a number of square plugged holes from D₂ - G₇ (one plugged hole for each note), then three plugged holes for what would appear to be G♯₇ - C₈, suggesting that another model was made with a C₁ - C₈ compass, triple strung from D₂ - C₈. Further evidence to support this is provided by a black block, width 66mm at the treble end of the keyboard between the top of the keyboard and the proper endblock, thus making the keyboard non-symmetrical. Likewise, the hitchpins on the iron frame show that the facility existed for an extra string although each extra string would need a nut pin on the frame. Signature/Marks: Written in ink on paper above the keyboard "J Steward's Royal Patent Euphonicon / LONDON"; on the metal frame "No. 131". Decoration: Veneered rosewood case with fretwork on the knee board, fretted music desk and fretted panels either side of the music desk. Gilded decoration on the soundbox, and on the black iron frame. Cast ornaments on the ledge above the soundboard at the corners, at the sides (handles), and at the top. The fretwork on the knee board is backed by red silk.
Other InformationSpecific usage history: Apparently acquired by the University by 1855, since on November 29th of that year Professor John Donaldson paid Wood & Co. of Edinburgh for `Regulating Movement of Euphonicon P.Forte 10/6; Tuning Do 7/6'.
NotesD.P. Martin, 1996-1997.