Saturday, May 18, 2013

Unusual Artifacts: An Antique Music Stand, 1810

The Victoria & Albert Museum

A wood and metal frame has been gilded and covered in printed paper to imitate japanning. With a telescopic support, this frame would have serves as an convenient, portable and attractive music stand when it was made in 1810. A music stand of this ilk would have been predominantly used by harpists. During the Regency period, the harp was a particularly fashionable instrument for women to play.

This stand is the epitome of Regency style which was clearly influenced by ancient Greek and Roman forms. The Neo-classical look of this music stand echoes the predominate style of Regency architecture.

The stand was made by the firm of Erard which was founded by Sébastien Erard in Paris in the 1770s. Erard had been close to the court of French King Louis XVI—a connection which proved problematic when the French Revolution unfolded in the 1780s and 1790s. Erard moved to London, where he re-opened his business in 1792 at 18 Great Marlborough St., Soho. There, he continued to be one of the major innovators in the music industry throughout his life.

No comments: