Pleyel 1841

The Seller writes:


Estimated value: £2,000 (negotiable)

Current  owner:

Rosa Klarer   Tel 0039 3357016049 (Italy)



A beautifully made and impressive Square Piano by Ignace Pleyel, Chopin's preferred piano maker.


The beautiful mahogany case is raised on an X-form trestle  stand with two pedals.


The rosewood name board bears the label Ignace Pleyel & Comp.nie Medailles d'or 1827,1834,1839 Facteur du Roi Paris.


The ivory keyboard has a compass of 6 octaves, F to f


The original entry in the Pleyel Archive for this instrument (serial No. 9080) gives information concerning its structure, the dates of commencement (January 4th, 1841) and completion (April 9th, 1841) of the manufacture of the instrument as well as details regarding the sale of the instrument.


The instrument has undergone no restoration and is therefore in an original and unspoiled state.

The soundboard appears to be intact. A few keys still produce a beautiful sound. The internal mechanism i.e. hammers etc seemed to be in relatively good order when the instrument was opened up by a specialist some time ago. Considerable work, including replacement of the strings, will be required to restore the instrument to playing condition again.


For the last 26 years the instrument has formed part of the keyboard collection of harpsichordist Rosa Klarer, resident in Rome, Italy, and for many years Professor of Harpsichord at the Conservatorio di Musica, San Pietro a Majella, Naples, Italy. 




- Martha Clinkscale in her book 'Makers of the Piano' (vol 2 1820 - 1860) lists only 4 or 5 early Pleyel square pianos.


-There is an identical Pleyel square piano in the Colt Clavier Collection, Kent, England.


- A square piano by Pleyel  of 1843  (Serial No. 10169) was owned by Rudolf Nureyev up until his death and formed part of his collection until sold on behalf of the Rudolph Nureyev Foundation in 1995.


- The presence of a square piano, (possibly the Pleyel Square piano n° 11035: In rosewood, completed on November 30, 1844, for sale in the Pleyel store in December for Fr. 1,100, in the inventory on July 1, 1845, and leased in December 1845 for Fr. 700 see Alain Kohler 'Pleyel piano used by Chopin discovered'), in Chopin’s apartment is confirmed by Wilhelm von Lenz at the end of 1842, in reference to a private concert at the master’s home where Chopin presented the young prodigy, Carl Filtsch:

“Chopin had the square piano brought from his workroom into the parlour near the grand Pleyel (das Tafelförmige Instrument)3…”



Pleyel is one of the most celebrated and renowned piano names in history. Ignaz Pleyel was not only a piano manufacturer, but also a successful musician, inventor, and publisher. Pleyel was a renowned musician and composer, beginning in the late 18thCentury. Pleyel moved to Paris in about 1795 and opened his first music store and publishing house. Seeing the fast rising popularity of the piano-forte, Pleyel founded the Pleyel Manufacturing Plant in Paris in 1807. At his death in 1831, Pleyel had become an established supplier to the Empress Josephine and all the European courts. His pianos were exported all over the world and his name was celebrated among the highest of society. His son Camille, also a great pianist, gained control of the firm after his father's death, and continued to make the Pleyel firm an international sensation. Pleyel played a significant role in strengthening and broadening the activities of the Pleyel brand. Firstly, Augustus Wolff who introduced numerous innovations improving the reliability of the company's pianos, creating new models such as the upright piano and Gustave Lyon, who took over in 1887. Pleyel continued with great success throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries, providing top quality concert instruments for stages all over the world.


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© David Hackett