“Collard & Collard” Square Piano
1848, in London, England
These square pianos have horizontal strings arranged diagonally across a rectangular case above the hammers, with the keyboard set in the long side. They first appeared in London in the 1760s and were an immediate success. It was a time of innovation in the piano industry, and manufacturers, pianists and composers were all experimenting with various new ideas in their pursuit of the ideal piano. After 1820, square pianos were constantly redesigned for a more powerful tone by increasing string gauges with metal framing until the tension was almost four times greater than on eighteenth-century pianos.
This “Collard & Collard” Square Piano was manufactured in 1848 by Collard & Collard, a long-established London firm that was closely associated with the composer and virtuoso pianist Muzio Clementi. The company produced many superb instruments in the 19th century, which were signed and stamped variously as “Clementi & Co” in 1800, “Clementi, Collard & Collard” in 1819, and after Clementi’s death in 1832, “Collard & Collard”.