William Rolfe c. 1800

The beautiful nameboard indicates this as one of the first pianos to carry William Rolfe's name alone. The Sigal Music Museum in South Carolina has one with a very similar (but not quite identical) painted decoration; that one has been in America since 1797, so we can confidently date this one to the end of the eighteenth century.

 

Most, possibly all, of the hammers are present, but the entire damper assembly is missing.  This would have been the pushrod-operated wooden lever type, which is quite easy to make.  Most of the original baleen 'whalebone' springs are still there.

 

It has lost its original French stand, and was converted (possibly in the early nineteenth century) to stand on four screw-in turned legs.

 

           This piano has now gone to a new home.

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© David Hackett