Square piano Erard 1806



Inauguration on February 7, 8, 9, 2020

There is no collection of period pianos accessible to keyboardists in Paris; period pianos from higher education establishments being reserved for students, museum collections for programmed pianists.


Pianists therefore have no instruments to perfect themselves once their studies have been completed… A hell of a paradox!




This Érard 1806 square piano allows pianists to deepen their knowledge of romantic aesthetics and to introduce us to an extremely diverse sound world.

This 1806 square piano is a formidable tool for rediscovering the vast pianistic repertoire of the 1st Empire which is still largely unknown. The multiplicity of the instrument's sound registers will in particular make it possible to update the taste for the picturesque and the experiments with timbre and color specific to the works of the great "Parisian" pianists, French and not, of the time, such as Dussek, Steibelt, Louis Adam, Hélène de Montgeroult, Hyacinthe Jadin, etc.


The instrument was purchased by M. Méreau for Mme Fourcade in Paris on June 18, 1806. The instrument belonged to Madame Jeanne Hatto (1879-1958), singer in the first half of the 20th century, then to the Merlin family. It was acquired by La Nouvelle Athens - Center des pianos romantiques in March 2018, Christopher Clarke delivered the restored piano for its inauguration on February 7, 2020 at the Salle Cortot in Paris.


We have successfully launched a donation campaign of up to € 4,000 to restore the altered pieces discovered during the restoration.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Indeed, after measurements, dismantling of the piano by the Master of Art Christopher Clarke, it appears a restoration carried out at the end of the XIXth century, which replaced the pedals by knee pads, which transformed the fittings of bassoon sets. and lute and altered the keyboard.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Christopher Clarke recommended in July 2018 "to reconstitute a pedal board; it would be easy to leave the knee pads in place, as witnesses of an intervention which deserves its place in the history of the rediscovery of the piano-forte. Nevertheless, I propose, for reasons of musical authenticity, to reconstitute a pedalboard and to change the fittings of the bassoon and the lute set.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Christopher Clarke found over the course of the restoration other altered or damaged pieces; a plinth to be rebuilt in mahogany wood from Santo Domingo, the hammer heads to be replenished with skins, the varnish to be redone with buffer varnish ... These complications extended the restoration time by 50%.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

The Erard 1806 square piano is now fully restored and available at ARCAL for initiations with Luca Montebugnoli, training workshops in July 2021 as well as for your personal projects upon presentation to the La Nouvelle Athènes steering committee.


This Erard 1806 square piano has 4 stops (lute, forte, celestial, bassoon) which bring a diversity of exceptional sound colors, the culmination of an aesthetic of feelings - terrifying or poetic -, witnesses of an era turned upside down by the Revolution, the Terror, the Napoleonic Empire…


By giving, you allow

  • to preserve the French instrumental heritage,

  • pianists to access an extremely rare instrument, the founder of the pianistic game,

  • to the association La Nouvelle Athènes - Center of Romantic Pianos to make progressively accessible a collection of general interest, of pianos of time (French, Germanic, English) covering the romantic repertoire 1750 - 1850…


You are participating in an avant-garde movement around a new romantic piano culture ...


The restorations of the Sistine Chapel in Rome have opened up new chromatic perceptions and a renewed understanding of the Renaissance, as well the rediscovery of the original sounds of period pianos helps to place themselves in the aesthetics and in the gestures of composers and pianists of the romantic era…

Erard 1806 Cordes et claviers
Erard 1806 C.Clarke - copie
Erard 1806 Cordes et claviers - copie

Dated 1805 on the soundboard, 1806 on the counter

Range: FF-c5, fa to do, 69 notes

Mechanical with double pilots

4 knee pads: lute, forte, celestial (FF-d3), bassoon (FF-c1)

Bi-strings: 9 brass choirs, 16 brass choirs, 44 iron choirs

Gauges marked on the soundboard at the ankles

Length: 1615 mm (without underbody moldings)

Width: 592 mm (without underbody moldings)

Body height: 235 mm (without cover)

Keyboard width: 921 mm

Width 3 octaves: 484 mm (fa to fa); 483 mm (do to do)

FF string length: 1474 mm