martedì 10 gennaio 2017


A. 1.        Bone notched flutes, Peruvian, from different areas and funeral goods in Nacza necropolis: Nazca culture. The first (votive?) is small-sized, 8,3cm (3.25”) and has four dark front holes. The second (votive?) has three front holes, is 10,5cm (4.15”) long, and is perfectly preserved and playable. The previous flutes are datable between 1st and 3rd century, while the following are datable between 4th and 6th century A.D. The third is made of a pale bone, perfectly preserved and playable. Its length is 16,5cm (6.5”) and has five front holes and one back hole. The forth is a flute obtained from a shinbone, 19,5cm (7.65”) long, with four holes on the front and a small damage on the foot. The fifth, at the end, is an instrument obtained from a shinbone, but, differently from the previous ones, it is close on the foot so that it has four front holes and a wide vent hole, and it is 22,3cm (8.75”) long.


A. 2.        Cane notched flutes, Peruvian, from different areas and funeral goods in Chancay necropolis; Chancay culture, Pre-Columbian Era (datable between 1000 A.D. and 1300 A.D.). The instruments are perfectly preserved and playable, all of them are opened on the foot and with holes only on the front side. The first is 17,4cm (6.85”) long and has seven holes, the second is 21cm (8.25”) long and has six holes, the third is 21cm (8,25”) too, but with lower calibre, and shows seven holes growing in dimensions from the top to the bottom, and the last, 22,5cm (8.85”) long, is provided with seven holes.


A. 3.        Bronze instruments: 1) Bronze bell with clapper, Alps (?), small dimensions, probably of the 18th century, used as a cowbell. 2) Bronze bell without clapper, from Danubian area, datable between the 2nd and the 4th century A.D., 54mm (2.1”) in height and 38mm (1.5”) in diameter. 3) Bronze bell without clapper, from Danubian area, datable between the 2nd and the 4th century A.D., 64mm (2.5”) high, with diameter measuring 34 x 38 mm (1.35” x 1.5”). 4) Wrought-iron bell (with brass residual), Carnic Alps, 16th - 17th century. The height is 50mm (1.95”) while the base is 49 x 34 mm (1.9” x 1.35”). 5) Medieval-Byzantine bell, 11th – 13th century, made of brass, dimensions 30 x 31 mm (1.18”x1.22”). 6) Small bronze trumpet of difficult dating, found in Sicily (Palermo). The instrument, excellent in make, is a sort of little conical-frustum-shaped natural trumpet, probably ceremonial, measuring 173mm (6.8”), its mouthpiece is missing.


A. 5.        Aulos recreated starting from vascular figures of evidences conserved in museums in Taranto and Lecce and from fragments of a bone aulos conserved in Taranto. These are four cane instruments made without electric tools. The first is 595mm (23.4”) long. It has four holes and a simple reed. The second is 490mm (19.3”) long. It has five holes and a simple reed. The third is 448mm (17.65”) long. It has four holes and a double reed. The fourth is 400mm (15.75”) long. It has five holes and a double reed.


A. 6.        Syrinx found by excavations in the region of Aleppo, Syria, on the hills near the River Euphrates. The date is extremely uncertain. The instrument is carved in a single block of stone (black steatite), has four tubes of decreasing length that emit the notes E b, E, F# and G# and a ring laterally. The longest tube is mm. 166, the overall width shall be mm. 56 and the height of mm. 12.


A. 7.        Bone notched flute, Peruvian origin, Chancay (North coast of Peru), datable to 1400 AD. The instrument is in llama's bone, has four front holes and one in back. Around the holes there are geometric decorations and six small semi-precious stones while the finish shows a zoomorphic decoration with a pelican head with two semi-precious stones like eyes. Length is mm. 237.


G. 1.       French harp made by Erard between 1788 and 1789 with simple action pedals. On the brass plate of the neck there is the caption: N° 159 \ Erard Freres, par brevet d'Invon à Paris. \ Facteurs de Forte-Piano & Harpes, de LL MM Impales & Royales. The serial number indicates that this instrument was made after the 80-pieces stock for the famous harpist J. B. Krumpholtz, together with whom Sisbastien Erard modified the harp machinery adding the simple action and, after some year, the double action. The soundbox has semicircular section, made of two halves joined so that they create five rectangular openings in the centre of the back. The soundboard is made of fir; the central planking is made of maple, while the lower is made of beechwood. On the planking there are 41 holes for the strings, all of them original made of gut, with original ebony pins. The column shows 12 grooves with the base decorated with acanthus leaves made of pastiglia, the head is decorated with winged feminine figures alternated with acanthus leaves and with a ram head on the top; the head ends on the top with couples of sphinxes holding as many lyres. On the neck there are the rotating tuning pins and 41 steel bridge pins. On the foot there are 8 brass pedals with single-notch openings (the fourth pedal helps to regulate the back openings). Measures: height 1732mm (68.2”), breadth 388mm (15.25”), width 798mm (31.4”). Column height 1609mm (63.35”), section 51mm (2”), moulding 46mm (1.8”). Soundbox maximum breadth 368mm (14.5”), minimum 92mm (3.6”), length 1360mm (52.55”), maximum width 170mm (6.7”), minimum 65mm (2.55”).


H. 1.       ¾ grand piano, made by Ed. SEILER in Germany in 1940s, and signed on the pinblock: 32801 Ed, Seiler Pianofortefabrik G. m. b. H. / Liegnik / Grökte Pianofortefabrik Oft = Deutfchlands2. The instrument is varnished black, with three legs that are tapered downwards and screwed to the soundbox; it has a lid with lid prop, and a fall board for the keyboard. The soundboard is made of fir and the keyboard has 85 notes from A1 to A6; the hammers have ascending action with double jack system. The instrument has two pedals (dumper pedal and soft pedal).


H. 2.       Table piano, rectangular, made in London in 1834. The instrument made of mahogany, is signed PATENT REPEATER / COLLARD & COLLARD / LATE / CLEMENTI, COLLARD & COLLARD / LONDON with a range of 6 octaves (73) from F2 to F6 and with a series of white keys of 43mm (1.7”). The instrument has 4 mahogany legs and a false leg for the only pedal for the sustaining system (damper pedal). The front board, above the keyboard, is removable, and on the sides there are two fretwork openings. The lid is made of 2 tilting boards and a fall for the keyboard. Sound board made of fir with the caption 7372 PATENT REPEATER impressed on it; bridge made of maple and iron pins.


H. 7.       Danish table piano, branded HORNUNG & MOLLER / KIÖBENHAVN / medallion with the honours achieved in Paris 1885, London 1862, London 1851, inside there is the writing: HORNUNG & MOLLER / Kgl. Hof. / pianofortefabrik / patent / KIÖBENHAVN and a piece of handwritten paper with the date of the first tuning Septembre, 23rd 1866. The instrument, entirely made of mahogany, is 190cm (74.8”) long, 85cm (33.45”) wide and 91cm (35.8”) high. The keyboard has seven octaves (the last without B and Bb), the soundboard is made of fir, the pinblock is arranged on the right of the instrument and the strings are arranged diagonally to the keyboard. There are four legs with end wheels, turned at the end while the body is hexagonal and tapered downwards. There is a lid with tilting board and a fall for the keyboard, all of them made of mahogany.


H. 8.       Anonymous rectangular harpsichord (according to the definition by J. H. van der Meer and Tagliavini). The wind chest made of fir, on the right short side, on a single wooden block with a brass foil on the top, shows two groups of pegs for the higher and the lower notes. The strings pass on the L-shaped bridge of the wind chest, running almost perpendicularly to the key lever; they pass the L-shaped bridge near the joint and are fasten along the bottom of the instrument. The jacks, arranged almost parallel to the joints, pluck the strings, stretched in pairs, one toward the player and the consecutive toward the bottom. Small compartment for utensils on the left. Board without rosette. Coming from the Alps and datable to the first half of 19th century. The receding keyboard is decentralized on the left of the instrument and has 54 keys (C0 – F4) covered with ebony foils; the chromatic keys are made of white bone. For every key there is a single string made of spring steel and the jacks have brass plectrums. On the supports of the tangents there is a narrow, long damper lath. Under the instrument there are two mechanics, activated with the upper part of the knees, the right one still running and working on the dumpers. The paint and the golden decoration are not original, but they are very close to the original remains varnish. The dimensions are 1489 x 548 x 315mm (58,6” x 21,55” x 12,4”) while the legs, with quadrangular section and lightly tapered, are 557mm (21,9”) high


H. 9.       Four-pedal fortepiano, German, dating from the mid-19th century, anonymous. In addition to the resonance pedal, there is the 'moderator', which acts by inserting a thin strip of felt between the hammers and the strings, creating a vaporous and mysterious sound effect. Another bizarre pedal controls the so-called 'bassoon'; in this case, it is a strip of parchment that, coming into contact with the vibrating strings, produces a very nasal sound somewhat similar to that of the bassoon. A real curiosity is the so-called 'turcherie' pedal, which controls a series of contraptions designed to simulate the sound of a bass drum, bells and cymbals, a sound typical of contemporary Turkish music. The instrument is made of walnut, has four turned legs tapering downwards, is 1855 mm wide, 910 mm deep and 880 mm high. The keyboard has forty-seven ivory and thirty-three ebony keys (from C2 to G8), the top is spruce, the anklet is placed on the right side of the instrument and the stringing is diagonal to the keyboard, there are four pedals, the fourth controls three bells and a mechanism for striking all the strings (turcheria). There is a flap lid and a hatch for the keyboard, all made of walnut.


H. 10.     Metronomes for piano. The first, English, made of wood, branded Maelzel, dates back to the first decades of 20th century and has the shape of a pyramid. The second is a little portable French metronome, made of Bakelite in the shape of a parallelepiped during the first half of 20th century by Parquet manufacturer. The third is an English brass metronome, made in 1884 and branded: PINFOLDS / RE N° 12445 / BREVETE S.G.D.G. on the mobile weight. It is made of a pendulum swinging on the pins, with a circular weight at the bottom; on the pendulum the tempo markings are carved: "PRESTO" "ALLEGRO" "ANDANTE" "ADAGIO" "LARGETTO"  and  "LARGO" while on the back there are the speed markings (from 48 to 144).


H. 12.     English diapasons in their mahogany case lined with blue velvet. The caption PHILARMONIC and the two notes A and C are carved on the instruments. The diapasons are made of steel with lanceolate foot and with the length respectively of 111mm (4.35”) and 117mm (4.6”) respectively, while the case is 139 x 32 x 51 mm (5.45” x 1.25” x 2”).


H. 16.     Dance card, Praguer, made of golden and silvered metal, that was held with the wrist by the ladies and was used to note the order of the dance partners. It is made of an upper hook with a rich decoration, three chains with little golden balls and a feather, and a lower medallion with, on the front, the overlapping initials M B and on the back the date: 24. LEDNA (January) 1893 on a little jotter with an ivory-headed pencil.


H. 17.     Transponier-Harmonista. The harmonista is a device that allows to produce complete harmonies pushing a button; it can be firmly located on the keyboard of an organ, or movable. The adjective transponier indicates the mobile device that can slide so that it can be arranged on various positions on the keyboard. The main makers of these devices were two, Ernst Erich Liebmann and Emil Müller. This instrument was made in 1908 by Emil Müller, pipe organ maker in Werdau and harmonistas chosen by numerous organ brands, who operated from 1887 to 1945. On the plaque we can read: Transponier - Harmonista / D.R.G.M. No. 364901. No. 364902 Ausland-Patent angem. Every button activate four little cylinders made of wood that lower the keys (when the landmark is on the C the first button lowers the notes C, E, G, C producing the C major chord, and so on). On the top there are twenty-eight buttons (twelve pale, six dark, and ten pale) that are used to play likewise chords. The dimensions are 730 x 127 x 73 mm (28.75” x 5” x 2.85”), on the back there are two spacers while on the front there are two stops with butterfly screw to fix it on the keyboard, a position arrow, and a slice of paper with the indication of the chords.


H. 18.     Metal tuners, German, datable to the first years of 20th century, branded Antonie Englberger and contained in a box measuring 187 x 20 x 60 mm (7.35” x 0.8” x 2.35”). The tuners, the cases, and the slots in the box are marked: C. Cis. D. Dis. E. F. Fis. G. Gis. A. B. H. They are twelve cylindrical tuners with metal reed measuring 32 x 8 mm (1.25” x 0.3”) contained in as many metal cylinders measuring 38 x 10 mm (1.5” x 0.4”).


H. 21.     French metronome on the template Johann Nepomuk Maelzel, dating from around 1830. It is shaped like a square pyramid with wooden base mm. 110 and height 262, which rests on two front legs and one a rear. All sides are decorated: the feet, the flame that dominates the instrument and the bottom of the cover are in golden bronze and richly decorated with cherubs and flowers. If you open the front door, it is made visible a graduated scale that allows the correspondence between the different music times and the number of oscillations of a pendulum in iron, along which a flowing pilot whose position is used to adjust the scan time. The operation of the instrument, activated by a spring on the right side, is based on a clockwork mechanism regulated by escapement driven by the pendulum, whose period is variable within a defined range. The label inside reads: Metronome Maelzel / Par J ,, WAGNER Neveu / Meccanicien horologer / Rue Mountmartre # 118 in Paris / advant rue du Cardian N ° 39 / N ° ...... / Signature de M Wagner (signature) .


H. 22.     Table harmonium, anonymous, light wood with a pretty painted decoration on top. The instrument is probably Italian, dating from the late nineteenth century, it has a lever, located on the left, which operates the bellows. The upper door is in two pieces and, opening it, you can see 25 keys (from C3 to C5) operated by the right hand, and the wind chest with its springs. The dimensions are mm. 365 x 185 x 200.


H. 25.     Chromatic pitch pipe with 13 reeds (F3 to F4), marked: PAT U.S.A. MARCH 17.31 MAY 10 25 / MADE IN GERMANY. Built in 1936 in the German branch of the WM Kratt Company. The pitch pipe, round, is nickel-plated metal and bakelite, brass reeds, green velvet case with zip on beige fabric, diameter mm. 65 x 8 thick. After arriving in the United States from Germany, William Jacob Kratt, Sr. was hired as a machinist by Thomas Edison and soon became a foreman. In 1915 Kratt left Edison to work for a string manufacturer in New Brunswick, NJ. They made strings for guitars, banjos and fiddles. In 1918 he returned to Germany and began his first venture as an entrepreneur, forming the National Harmonica Company in Trossingen, the town where he was born in 1892. In 1925, he returned to New Jersey and began making music boxes and "cymbals" for musical toys. The Kratt Company factory (1925-2002) was at 988 Johnston Place, Union, and produced three types of chromatic metal pitch pipes tuned in the keys C, F, Eb.


M. 48.    French bagpipe (musette de cour), anonymous. The major spread of this instrument was in France, during the second half of 17th, when Charles-Emmanuel Borjon de Scellery (1672) wrote his Traité de la Musette and the Hotteterres improved the drone and added a second chanter (before there was only one). Unlike the great bagpipes, this is a small and elegant instrument, used in courts and by the nobles not only for chamber music, but also in big compositions, like operas, in which it was connected to shepherds and farmers. However the popularity rapidly faded and, unlike the other bagpipes, the use of this instrument petered out at the beginning of 19th century. This instrument, datable probably to the first half of 18th century, has a small bag made of reversed goat leather upholstered with a finely-made silk and linen brocade covering even if now is very degraded. There is a 112mm (4.4”) ivory mouthpiece and, also made of ivory, the 319mm (12.55”) long chanter and the 207mm (8.15”) long drone with a small stopper on the foot. These two elements have cylindrical bore, have double reed, and are connected together with a silk binding: the chanter has seven front holes (the last a double hole), a back hole, and two sound holes on the bell.

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