This straight-strung, 85-note piano, with its bookmatched pattern of rosewood veneer, is a fine example of French workmanship. Erard was the leading piano-making firm in France for most of the nineteenth century. The firm’s founder, Sebastien Erard, arrived in France from Strasbourg at the age of sixteen, later dropping the “h” from his last name to fit his new Parisian image. Gradually, the popularity of Erard pianos, (and those of the rival French firm, Pleyel), surpassed imported English pianos. Erard made significant design changes for the action of the piano. His “double-escapement” action, invented in the early 1800s and still used today, facilitated repeated notes and generally improved the responsiveness of the keys. Franz Liszt was a great admirer of Erard Pianos–in fact he was a spokesman for Erard. As a child prodigy touring Europe, he performed on pianos which the Erard company provided for him. Liszt in turn extolled the virtues of their instruments.
Rosewood case with veneer in diamond patterns