Steinway & Sons Pianos has rereleased the “grandest grand of all time,” the jaw-dropping Alma-Tadema (pictured left). Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema designed the original Alma-Tadema, serial number 54,538, in 1887 for Henry Marquand, a New York millionaire. Christie’s sold the original at auction in 1997 for $1.2 million, making it the highest-priced piano ever sold at auction.
The recreation is made with over 20 different materials and required 20 months and 5,000 craftsman hours to complete. It employs “every possible art-case decoration” and weighs over 1,300 pounds, according to the press release. It comprises 12 wood veneers (including satinwood, pearwood, rosewood, mahogany, Macassar ebony, purple heart and walnut) and features:
–A fallboard that contains a reproduction of the original Sir Edward J. Poynter
–A lid lined with nine Lauren wreaths, each bearing the Greek name of one of the nine muses. The underside of the lid has goatskin parchment panels for inscriptions by musicians. The lid’s topstick is designed to resemble either an oboe or recorder.
–A flap also inlaid with a laurel wreath bearing the Greek name Apollo.
–The case has 17 different levels of moldings and removable medallions that can be replaced by a family crest. It also incorporates flowering vines made out of boxwood and mahogany, and a frieze that consists of over 6,000 parts.
–A petal assembly that resembles a Roman building that is supported by two Roman-style columns.
–A music stand that is inlaid with copper, brass and tin, and is flanked on each side by engraved brass plates that can also be used as candle stands.