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Decorative Arts

On View: 19th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor

Although the large and arresting gilt-bronze mounts of pharaonic heads that decorate either side of this superb pianoforte are emphatic examples of Egyptomania, other decorative elements are derived from different ancient cultures. For example, the central bronze plaque depicts a woman in classical garb spinning wool—the ancient Greek allegorical representation of Fate. The long marquetry panels of various inlaid woods on either side depict ancient Roman bronze oil lamps. This eclectic combination of artistic sources is typical of late nineteenth-century objects and was considered a sign of erudition on the part of the designer and the consumer who purchased the object.

MEDIUM Rosewood, walnut
DATES ca. 1870
DIMENSIONS 57 x 80 x 30 in. (144.8 x 203.2 x 76.2 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view on the 19th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Ray Blatt and Joseph Blatt
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CAPTION Martins & Son. Pianoforte, ca. 1870. Rosewood, walnut, 57 x 80 x 30 in. (144.8 x 203.2 x 76.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Ray Blatt and Joseph Blatt, 61.231. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 61.231_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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