Hoffman Square Piano

Description (Brief)
This piano was made by Johann Friedrich Hoffman in Cleve, Germany in the 1790s. This very unusual predecessor to the fortepiano was called a “pantalon” because of its two sets of hammers. The bare hammers would have been used to play loud passages and the leather-covered hammers for soft passages. This piano has a compass of FF-g3, simple jack action without escapement, 2 sets of hammers, one leather-covered and the other bare wood, double-strings throughout with tuning pins on right, 1 hand stop: changes hammer set, 2 pedals: bass dampers and treble dampers, wood frame, and an oak case.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Hoffman, Johann Friedrich
Place Made
Deutschland: North Rhine-Westphalia, Cleve
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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