This instrument was made in Cheapside, London by none other than Muzio Clementi (composer, performer, publisher, and piano manufacturer). Clementi’s instruments were typically English in style, decoration and action, and were seen as some of the best instruments until Clementi’s workshop burnt down in 1807 and he stopped piano manufacturing to concentrate on publishing and his other musical endeavours.
This instrument has a 5½-octave compass, with a wooden frame made from mahogany. There is one pedal, which raises the entire damper action. Clementi’s instruments had an ‘Irish’ damper action, meaning that the damper was attached directly to the keys, and shifted to the side, rather than being lifted directly off the strings. It means that the action of this instrument is extremely delicate and light.
This piano was donated to the ANU Keyboard Institute in 2010 by Dr Andrew Nolan.