List Price £120,000
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By Schröder, C. M (Russian, 1818-1918)
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This beautiful piano was produced by the Russian firm C. M. Schröder in about 1909. Though the piano was manufactured in the first decade of the 20th Century, it has subsequently been veneered with malachite and mounted with ormolu of a distinctively 19th Century French Neoclassical manner.
The Schröder manufacturing firm was established in St. Petersburg in 1818 by Johann Friedrich Schröder, an émigré from north eastern Germany. The firm became a family affair, with Johann’s son Karl taking over on his father’s death. Before assuming his role at Schröder, Karl had worked for Érard and Herz in Paris, acquiring skills that significantly increased the quality of the pianos produced by Schröder. Karl’s pianos won several important awards, and he himself was honoured by the Tsar of Russia and decorated with the Legion of Honour of France. Karl’s sons continued production until 1918, when, after a century of independent existence, the firm was nationalised by the new communist state.
The present instrument is a grand piano and is accompanied by a stool. The surface of the piano is covered in its entirety by malachite and mounted throughout with ormolu. The ormolu mounts, of especially fine quality, take the forms of rinceaux motifs, classical masks, laurel wreathes, and a variety of other distinctly classical emblems. The stool is similarly decorated and features a green upholstered seat.
The piano is inscribed with its inventory number (28119), which indicates it was produced shortly before 1910. The interior of the piano is affixed with an original sticker that states its maker, in Cyrillic, and proclaims the many prizes, awards, and medals Schröder received during its century of production.
Piano: Height 99cm, width 145cm, depth 189cm
Stool: Height 53cm, width 116cm, depth 32cm
Martha Novak Clinkscale, Makers of the Piano: 1820-1860, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999): 335.
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