Exquisite Neoclassical styling gives this lovely piano a rare sense of romantic elegance
Turn-Of-The-Century America was a period of lavish lifestyles, excessive luxury and great prosperity. Several piano manufacturers specialized in creating custom, one-of-a-kind pianos on special order for wealthier clients in order to match their home’s décor, often in historical or period furniture styles.
The Marshall & Wendell Company specialized in creating custom-designed pianos. In the early 20th Century, it was not uncommon for a wealthy client to visit a factory like Marshall & Wendell, choose the instrument they preferred among all others, then have the factory commission a specialized cabinet maker and artist to design and build a custom cabinet around the instrument they chose. This piano would have been picked out among many for its fine tone quality, and then a small fortune spent to have the cabinet custom made to suit the client’s décor!
This beautiful Marshall & Wendell grand was built in 1927, a period of great opulence in America. The piano is hand-painted in the Neoclassical style and is adorned with detailed with exquisite scenery. The instrument is finished in a dull greens and pinks pulled together with antique gold accents.
This piano has been restored to like-new condition while maintain an antique “old world” patina. The overall tone and touch of this piano is superb. Not only is this instrument visually stunning, it is a top quality musical instrument which would satisfy any accomplished musician.
If desired, this piano can be equipped with the Pianomation player system, and can play by itself by streaming music live on an iPod, computer, iPad, etc.
A matching bench is included.
– A NOTE FROM THE ART RESTORER –
The story of Orpheus and Eurydice
This antique Marshall & Wendell art-case piano is themed on the myth of the fateful love story of Orpheus and Eurydice from ancient Greek mythology. Orpheus, a son of Apollo, whose name is synonymous with mastery in music and whose deftness in the lyre and artistry in song could charm the birds, fish and wild beasts, and coax the trees and rocks into dance. Orpheus fell in love with Eurydice, a woman of unique beauty and grace, whom he married and lived happily with for a brief time.
The first vignette of this piano’s image cycle depicts Eurydice gathering flowers in a pastoral landscape, moments before their marriage was tragically cut short when she was fatally bitten by a viper, of whose presentiment is alluded to by the serpent motif utilized in the scrollwork. Upon the tragic discovery of his new wife’s demise, Orpheus sang his grief with his lyre and managed to move everything in the world, living and not, including both humans and gods by his sorrow. Apollo advised his son to descend to the underworld and plead for his wife’s restoration with Hades, god of the underworld, and his wife, Persephone, goddess of spring.
Any other mortal would have died, but Orpheus, protected by the gods and armed with his own musical virtuosity, charmed all of the underworld’s guardians and obstacles set against him. His music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone, who agreed to allow Eurydice to return with him to earth on one condition: he should walk in front of her and not look back until they both had reached the upper world. This condition is foreshadowed by the outstanding scene depicted in the piano’s lid, the tender illustration of Eurydice playfully covering the eyes of Orpheus surprised mid song.
As depicted in the final pivotal vignette of this piano’s cycle, Orpheus set off with Eurydice following. In his anxiety, however, as soon as he reaches the upper world, he turned to look at her, forgetting that both needed to be in the upper world, and she vanished for the second time, but now forever. This “Orpheus and Eurydice” Marshall and Wendell piano inspires the piano player of the power of music as a means of describing love and longing when words fall short.