Pleyel Double Manual Harpsichord

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Description (Brief)
This harpsichord was made by Pleyel et Cie in Paris, France, around 1904-1906. It is a double manual harpsichord, serial number 132514, with a compass of FF - f3, and a disposition of 2 x 8’, 1 x 4’, with lute, buff, and 6 pedals. The harpsichord has a spruce soundboard with a rose of carved gilt wood with a shield containing the initials “PWL” (Pleyel, Wolff, and Lyon) and ivory naturals and ebony accidentals. The nameboard is inscribed: “PLEYEL Paris.”
This harpsichord has a heavy iron frame. The case is covered with gold leaf and over-painted with pastoral scenes around the sides. The front of the keyboard cover is painted with garlands of flowers and musical instruments. The interior of the cover is painted with a landscape, musette, tambourine and roses. This harpsichord has seven elaborately carved and gilded legs and a lyre-shaped pedal stand with 6 pedals. There is a detailed label attached to the inside of the left cheek that explains the functions of the pedals.
Pleyel, founded in 1807 by composer Ignace Pleyel, was predominately a piano manufacturer and in the early 20th century, produced harpsichords during the early years of the harpsichord revival for Polish-French harpsichordist Wanda Landowska (1879-1959). These early harpsichords were influenced by the modern piano and were constructed with heavy metal frames.
Currently not on view
date made
Pleyel, Wolff & Co.
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 37 in x 37 in x 90 in; 93.98 cm x 93.98 cm x 228.6 cm
overall: 38 1/2 in x 43 in x 91 in; 97.79 cm x 109.22 cm x 231.14 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Hugo Worch
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History