|Object Name||Piano, Square|
|Date||1840s or earlier|
|Description||Square piano in an unusual style. The nameboard has an incised inscription on a square of gold leaf: "O. [2 unidentified initials] Whittlesey / Makers / New York". The case has mahogany veneer, with massive 4-sided legs. The interior is rosewood veneer around the keyboard, with a slightly curved nameboard; the keys are recessed from the front of the case. The range is FF - f4 (6 octaves). The lock is stamped "LEWIS MCKEE & CO."|
|Ownership and History||
This piano shows an unusual expression of the Empire style; it is a rare and possibly unique example with remarkable veneering.
The"Whittlesey" inscription indicates that this piano was made by the Whittlesey brothers, John, Henry, and Orramel, who were active mainly in Salem, Connecticut. Orramel Whittlesey is also noted for having founded the Music Vale Seminary in the 1830s; it is considered to be one of the first music conservatories in the country. There is some evidence that Orramel Whittlesey spent time in Newark, New Jersey in the 1840s, and that an apprentice, Henry J. Newton of New York, may have used the Whittlesey name on some pianos before establishing his own firm around 1850.
|Lexicon Sub-category||Musical T&E|
|Support Acknowledgment||Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, October 2015.|
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