International studio — 30.1906/​1907(1907)

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Some Recent Steinway Pianos

The commanding position of the Stein-
way piano as a musical instrument, which
might be called a commonplace of public
knowledge, finds a fitting correspondence in the
authentic care which these makers bestow upon the
cases. Considered as a piece of furniture the piano
is quite apt to dominate the appearance of a room,
so that on artistic grounds the aspect of the instru-
ment assumes great importance. The limitations
of the problem make a type inevitable, and historic-
ally the change in type has been largely influenced
by various structural advances, such as the spread
of the keyboard from the five and one-half octaves
of the harpsichord to the seven and one-third
octaves of to-day. Even in the most simple de-
velopments of the type of case, a pleasing manage-
ment of curve and line and mass entails the penalty
of artistic inferiority on all makers who care to
neglect these considerations. But when time and
effort are available for the treatment of the case as

an art product, the opportunities offered for appli-
cation of skill, taste and sound art training and
judgment are nearly without limit.
In this respect the piano becomes a work of
artistic importance, and herein the Steinway ma-
kers have led the way in lavish expenditure of well-
directed effort. It is only just to add that the
achievement they have won in this department of
their work is largely due to the enthusiasm, energy
and high equipment of Mr. J. Burr Tiffany, to
whose artistic craftsmanship and knowledge they
owe the production of such beautiful examples as
are here shown in illustration.
Decorations in the Watteau manner are appro-
priately painted upon the top and rim of the Louis
XV case shown on this page. This piano is heavily
carved. The entire case is gilded in gold-leaf. In
the same period of ornament the instrument shown
on the page opposite displays a facile use of the
carved cartouche appearing above each of the three
carved legs. The cartouche is in solid gold-leaf and
sepia tones, and all the carved portions are gilded



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