Restoration of a giraffe piano

28 April 2023

A little history…

The giraffe piano is a member of the forte family. It appeared towards the end of the 1790s and took off at the beginning of the 19th century. This atypical piano will be manufactured until about 1850.

It is also called vertical grand piano. In order to improve the sound of the piano, the manufacturers lengthen the strings; and in order to avoid cluttering the apartments, the strings are straightened and thus was born the grand piano in height or giraffe piano.

Giraffe piano C.Muller 1824

The giraffe piano we are restoring at the workshop is a C. Muller of 1824 from the Viennese factory. This means that there are two strings per note and the hammers are covered with leather, which results in a softer sound than the English manufacture. Vienna, the capital of Austria, was the cradle of music at the beginning of the 19th century; the manufacture of its pianos influenced great composers of the time such as Beethoven and Mozart.

Arrival of the giraffe piano at the workshop

Removal of elements for restoration

The first step before starting the actual restoration of the giraffe piano is the dismantling of all the piano parts and the cleaning.

The elements before restoration

Manufacture of certain parts

Given the age of the piano, many parts are missing or broken. These different parts are therefore manufactured in our workshop.

The soundboard

Félicien’s flipotage of the soundboard.

Gluing the soundboard to the giraffe piano. The Dumas Piano team is hard at work around the giraffe piano, gluing the soundboard in place and pressurizing it for 72 hours.

After 3 days, it’s time for the team to remove the structure …

And now it’s time to varnish the table and stain the back.

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