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Music stand
  • Music stand
    Erard, Sébastien, born 1752 - died 1831
  • Enlarge image

Music stand

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1810 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Erard, Sébastien, born 1752 - died 1831 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood and metal frame, gilded and covered in printed paper imitating japanning, with brass telescopic support

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with the assistance of Messrs H. Blairman and Sons

  • Museum number:

    W.17&:2, 3-1966

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 16 []

Object Type
A music stand such as this one was predominantly used by harpists during the Regency period. The harp was a particularly fashionable instrument for women to play.

Design & Designing
Regency style in England was influenced by ancient Greek and Roman forms, transmitted through the work of influential figures such as Henry Holland and Thomas Hope. You can see typical Neo-classical motifs on the music stand, similar to those found in Regency architecture. These include anthemions (honeysuckle), palmettes, scrolling acanthus, and bellflowers enclosed by borders of spherical beads. The crescent shape of the music rest itself is based on the pelta, a leather shield carried by peltast soldiers in ancient Greece.

The firm of Erard, who made the stand, played an important part in the history of musical instruments. Sébastien Erard founded the firm in Paris in the 1770s. As the French Revolution unfolded in the 1780s and 1790s, his close relationship with the court of Louis XVI made it necessary for him to leave France. He moved to London, where he opened his business in 1792 at 18 Great Marlborough St, Soho. He was a prolific inventor and entrepreneur, developing the Double Action Harp (allowing it to play in many keys) in 1811 and patenting the double escapement piano (which allowed the hammer to leave the keys quickly so that they could vibrate) in 1824. Besides harps and pianos, the firm also sold cases, 'music desks', extra strings and at least two kinds of music stands: mahogany and 'japanned and gilded'.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1810 (made)


Erard, Sébastien, born 1752 - died 1831 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Wood and metal frame, gilded and covered in printed paper imitating japanning, with brass telescopic support

Marks and inscriptions

Stamped on top of upright:'27'


Height: 125.7 cm minimum, Height: 159.5 cm maximum, Width: 49.2 cm

Object history note

Made by the firm of Erard, London; music rest inscribed 'Erards,18 Gt. Marlborough Strt, London. The crescent-shaped support for the music is based on the shape of a 'pelta', the leather shield carried by soldiers in ancient Greece. Adjustable furniture with patented gadget features came very much into fashion during the Regency period.

Labels and date

ENGLISH; about 1810
Brass, cast iron and wood, with penwork decoration

Inscribed ERARDS, 18, Gt. Marlborough Strt. London. This firm was founded by Sebastian Erard in London, c.1786. [pre October 2000]


Metalwork; Woodwork; Musical instruments; British Galleries


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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