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ERARD Pierre Orphée
à Paris (°1775)

1833 – 1853

ERARD vers 1831


Brevet de 1833 : Pierre Érard améliore le système en 1833 : "La Maison Érard apporta de nouveaux perfectionnements dans la mécanique à double échappement." Organographie: La facture instrumentale depuis 1789 jusqu'en 1857 inclusivement, Adolphe Le Doulcet Pontécoulant, 1861


"HIS MAJESTY has been pleased, on the Report of the Judicial Committee of his Privy Council, to grant to PIERRE ERARD, of Great Marlborough Street, Harp and PianoForte Maker to Her Majesty and the Royal Family, new Letters Patent for his invention of the "PATENT ACTIONED GRAND PIANOFORTE.

This being the first instance in which the powers of the recent Act of Parliament have been exercised, Mr. Erard, in announcing to the public the encouragement he has thereby received, takes the opportunity of submitting a few observations on the subject of the invention.

Aware of the necessity of awaiting the effect of time for establishing a well-founded reputation, he has hitherto avoided any publication which might bear the construction of an anxiety on his part to proclaim the merits of this production, which is the result of researches and experiments commenced and continued with more desire for the advancement of musical science than for the promotion of individual interests; and, satisfied with the invention, as attaining a great step towards perfection in musical performance, by entirely obviating a great and longacknowledged defect in the Pianoforte, and accomplishing all that was necessary to constitute it a perfect instrument, the Patentee has been content to rest his prospects of indemnification upon the advantages of the Instrument itself.

Nor has he been deceived in the opinion he had formed of the character of the invention; for notwithstanding the great degree of perfection and consequent reputation attained by the makers of instruments of the old construction, the Patent Action Pianofortes have obtained the preference by the great musical performers of the day, and have received the patronage of the late King, Her present Majesty, and all the Royal Family.

Stronger evidence of the merits of the invention the Patentee could not desire; but various circumstances have convinced him, that notwithstanding this admitted superiority by the best judges, his instruments are but partially known to the public at large, and that unfounded notions, which resulted from reports circulated to their disadvantage when their merits had not been established by time, are still upheld by persons having an interest in decrying them.

At the first introduction of his patent instruments, it was boldly asserted that his invention involved no improvement.

"Was it likely," it was asked, "that an individual who had been occupied all his life in making Harps, should on a sudden invent an improvement in the Pianoforte which had not occurred to persons engaged in that particular manufacture for forty years ?" This objection was plausible, and produced its effect, but it could not maintain its ground when opposed to the opinion of the best judges.

But another quickly succeeded: it was said, "Although the instrument produces beautiful sounds, the internal mechanism cannot but be too fine to last, and the instruments must be more expensive than those of the old construction." Other and still more futile objections have also been raised, to which it is unnecessary more particularly to refer.

The object of the Patentee in now coming forward, at the instance of his friends, is to lay before the public a plain statement of the facts connected with the invention, to do an act of justice at once to the invention itself, and the memory of Sebastian Erard, its original author.

Sebastian and John Erard, the former the uncle, the latter the father of the Patentee, were established in Paris as musical instrument makers as early as the year 1770 to 1775.

It was about this period that the Pianoforte first made its appearance as a rival of the Harpsichord, which it very soon after entirely superseded. Messrs. Erard were among the earliest manufacturers of Pianofortes in France, and it was not until some years later that their attention was turned to the Harp.

Even in those early days they effected several improvements in both those instruments, which attracted considerable attention: with those, however, they were by no means contented; and as the science of musical composition and performance advanced, under the composers and performers of more modern times, and the necessity of perfection in the instrument became every day more urgent, Messrs. Erard devoted their whole study and talent to devise instruments equal to the duties required of them.

Sebastian Erard came over to this country in the year 1792, leaving his brother in Paris; and in that year he established the manufactory in Marlborough Street, which has subsisted ever since.

His first Patent was granted in 1794 : the specification contains or describes several improvements for the Pianoforte, and his important alterations in the plan of construction for the singleaction Harp (the only Harp then known), and of which Sebastian Erard was nearly if not absolutely the first manufacturer in this country. This instrument he advanced to the highest degree of perfection by a succession of improvements in its construction, rendering it almost a new instrument.

Notwithstanding all that was done for it, however, the singleaction Harp continued defective in modulation; and Sebastian Erard's efforts were thenceforth directed to devise a totally different instrument.

In this object, after many years of labour, he was fortunate, and his experiments at last led to the production of the double actioned Harp.

It would be foreign to the subject here to notice the merits of that instrument, except in as far as they afford the most incontestable proof of the mechanical genius of Sebastian Erard.

A more intricate piece of mechanism than that of the double-actioned Harp cannot well be conceived; yet the experience of twenty-five years has shown that its inventor was deceived neither in the principle nor in the details of his calculations.

The conception of the instrument and its performance alike bear testimony to the genius and mechanical skill of its author. The first Patent for the double-actioned Harp was taken out in the year 1800; but the model was afterwards improved upon by the inventor, and it was not until the year 1810 that his ideas of perfection were attained.

In the early existence of the double-action Harp, as of the new Piano, it was decried and condemned by all the makers of the ancient instrument. Time, however, developed its merits j and it is now admitted on all hands that the most perfect instrument is that which most closely resembles the model of its original inventor.

While engaged upon the Harp Mr. Sebastian Erard's active mind retained the Pianoforte constantly in view; he never lodged a specification without producing some improvement for the Pianoforte, among which may be mentioned the improvement in the external form of the Grand Pianoforte, called the French front, which was invented and specified by him in 1809, and has since been universally copied.

Being more at leisure after the establishment of the doubleaction harp, he devoted the whole of his time and attention to preliminary experiments upon the various sorts of actions for the Pianoforte.

His object was, if possible, to endow the Pianoforte with the power of modulating the tones with the touch, giving it at the same time a greater facility of repetition; those improvements, demanded from the earliest time of the pianoforte by the great masters of the art, and in particular by Dussek and Steibelt, had been frequently attempted, but in vain.

It is known to all persons that the sound in the piano is produced by the blow of a hammer upon the strings, the hammer itself being put in motion by the pressure of the finger upon the key.

The mechanism effecting this movement is termed "the action"; and as the whole of the performance is dependent upon this machinery, it will be at once seen that it forms the most important part of the instrument. It is also the most difficult to construct, its functions involving great activity and much delicacy of operation in a very combined form.

At the period in question there were in England two different principles of action for Pianofortes; the one generally known by the name of the " Grand Action", and the other the "Square Action."

They were not always. confined to the instruments from which their names aretaken, but were applied occasionally to every shape and description of Pianoforte.

Each of these actions had its ownpeculiar defect. In the (so-called) " Square Action ", the hammer being without any check played with much freedom, but was apt to rebound after the blow, and interrupt the vibration of the strings.

In the "Grand Action" this evil was obviated by the presence of a check or rest, but the consequence was a heaviness of touch and slowness of repetition. The "Square Action", though possessed of the flexibility wanted in the "Grand Action," was deficient in its power and precision, and not calculated for public performance; and the "Grand Action", on the other hand, though precise in tone, was incapable from its tardiness of doing justice to the details of rapid and brilliant music.

The cause of the tardiness of the "Grand Action" lay in its construction, which did not admit of the hammer returning to the string until the key had been brought to its horizontal position; the consequence was that the player had great difficulty to modulate his sounds or dwell upon the notes: he was limited to a blow, which could be repeated effectually only when the key had risen to a perfect level with the other keys.

The grand improvement to be effected, and the object of Erard's long researches, was to combine the merits of these two Pianos in one superior action: but with this he was not satisfied; he conceived the idea not only of uniting the excellencies of the two known instruments in one (an improvement in itself sufficiently important), but also of constructing such a mechanism for the movement of the keys as should enable the player, after producing a full sound from the string by a blow communicated through the key to the hammer, to retain the hammer in the immediate vicinity of the string, while the finger still remained on the key, so as to enable the player to repeat the same note with a full, or a half, or even a quarter strength; thus modulating the sound with the touch, and adding inconceivable superiority to the performance.

The mechanism requisite to produce such effects was necessarily of very difficult invention, requiring far more than the skill of an ordinary mechanic to construct; a position amply proved by the fact, that although numerous endeavours had been made at different periods, the principle of action in theGrand Pianoforte had never been improved upon from its earliest days up to the period of Erard's Invention.

Fortunately for the science of music Sebastian Erard's genius was equal to the task he had imposed on himself; and in the year 1821, eleven years after the invention of the doubleactioned Harp, he completed his invention of the new Pianoforte.

At this period Mr. S. Erard was advanced in years aad unequal to the toil and labour necessary to bring his invention into use and work the Patent.

He was fully satisfied with his success, and impressed with its importance to the science of music; but he had experienced in the case of his Harp the anxieties, difficulties, and disappointments incident to the introduction of a new Invention, and he felt that he was unequal to this part of the undertaking.

Under these circumstances the task of bringing the invention into practical use devolved on Mr. P. Erard, who had for some years conducted the establishment in London, to which, upon the death of Mr. S. Erard, he has since succeeded.

Mr. P. Erard's first Patent was obtained in the month of December, 1821, but his Pianoforte was scarcely known until the year 1826. In the year 1829 His late Majesty, King George IV., sent for one of his Instruments to St. James's, and having had it tried in his presence, expressed high approbation of it, and desired that it might be removed to his Music Saloon at Windsor, where it has remained ever since, excepting only the periods when the Court has removed to Brighton, on which occasions it has followed the Court, and continues, not with standing the lapse of time and constant removals, one of the finest instruments in Europe.

Her present Majesty has given preference to Erard's Instruments, and her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent and other members of the Royal Family have also for some time adopted them.

They have, moreover, during the last few years been almost universally played upon in public, In preference to all other instruments, by the most celebrated performers; among whom Moscheles, Hummel, Hers, Madame Dulcken, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Pixis, Belleville, Kiallmark, and Weipert may be named.

These facts speak more powerfully than any language in favour of the Instrument; but it will not be uninteresting to those acquainted with the subject to hear the opinions of several competent judges, as expressed before the Right Honourable the Lords of the Privy Council on the occasion of Mr. P. Erard's Petition for the extension of his Patent.

Extracts from the Evidence taken on Oath before the Judicial Committee of His Majesty's Privy Council on the Petition of Pierre Erard, the 15th December, 1835.

Madame Dulcken examined by Mr. Peel.

How long is it since you came to this country ? — Seven years.

I believe you brought with you a German instrument ? — Yes.

Did you soon after coming here have one of Mr. Erard's pianos ? — I did not find any one that I liked until I tried one of Mr. Erard's.

Did you find that Mr. Erard's instrument was superior to the one you brought with you from Germany ? —Decidedly.

I believe one of the peculiar characteristics of the German instruments is the extreme lightness of touch ? — Yes.

And very well calculated for the execution of very rapid music ? — Yes.

I believe they study that peculiarly in Germany ? — Yes.

In those particulars in which the German instruments are so peculiarly superior, have you found that Mr. Erard's surpass them ? — Yes, I have.

Comparing Mr. Erard's instruments with the German instruments, what was your judgement ? — I found that it had the same advantages of touch, and a great deal more brilliancy of tone than the German instruments.

Did you buy one of Mr. Erard's? — I had one soon after I came over here, and I have always played upon it in preference to any other instrument.

How long ago is that ? — Seven years.

How is the instrument now ? — It is in the very best con- , dition: it is almost superior to any I have seen since, although it has been a great deal used.

Has this instrument always remained stationary in England ? — Yes: I went a few years ago to Russia, and I found several instruments that had been sent out from other manufacturers, and they were not calculated to stand the climate; but I found that Mr. Erard's instrument did not suffer at all from the climate.

Do the other professors approve of them ? — Yes; many German professors who have come over here prefer Mr. Erard's instrument.

As to remaining in tune, has it any advantage in that respect over other instruments ? — Yes, it has; and my pianoforte is not tuned above three or four times in the course of a year.

Is a pianoforte generally required to be timed much oftener? — Yes. Since I have had my pianoforte, not a single string has been broken by a blow or by playing upon it.

Mrrs. Latoub was examined by Mr. Peel.

You are a professor of the pianoforte ? — Yes. Were you a Director of the Philharmonic Concerts in 1827 and 1828 ? — I was.

What is your opinion of Mr. Erard's pianoforte ? — That it is superior to any one in point of touch and elasticity, and the power of being heard in a large room.

What piano has been used at the Philharmonic Concert ? — Generally Mr. Erard's pianofortes. Sometimes others, but generally Mr. Erard's.

The last season, what pianoforte was used ? — Mr. Erard's.

By Mr. Herz ? — By Mr. Herz.

That was used on account of its superiority ? — Yes, on account of its superiority.

Is the power of repetition on this pianoforte greater ? — Yes, you may repeat as many times as you please.

From your judgement, do you suppose that an improvement of that kind was wanted very much in the pianoforte ? — It was very desirable.

Is the modern music much more easily executed on this new pianoforte ? — Of course, the thing was wanted.

Lord Lyndhurst.—How long have you been accustomed to play upon this instrument ? —Since it came to England.

When was that ? —Since twelve years ago.

Have you had one of your own ? — No: because my apartments do not admit of a grand pianoforte; but every time I have had company, I have had one of Mr. Erard's pianofortes.

Mr. Baron Parke.— Can you form any judgement of its durability ? — I recommended one of Mr. Erard's instruments to the Honourable Edward Petre, which instrument was sent to Stapleton Park ten years ago, and that instrument was lately sold by auction at Christie's, after it had been used for ten years, for 90%.

Mr. Peel. — Is that a most unusual sum ? — There never was such a thing.

Lord Lyndhurst.— In your judgement, does the invention interfere with.the durability of the instrument ? — Not at all: it is so well contrived, that it cannot. It is so well done, that it cannot get out of order unless it should be done on purpose.

Mr. Kiallmark examined by Mr. Peel.

You are a composer and musical professor ? — Yes.

You of course know the grand pianoforte upon the old construction very well ? —Very well.

What is your opinion of Mr. Erard's instrument as compared with that ? — I think it is very superior.

In what respect ? — In the touch in the first place, and also in the brilliancy and power of tone.

In consequence of these qualities, I suppose it is capable of greater expression ? — In every way: it is better calculated for all descriptions of performance.

Do you use it yourself ? — Yes.

How long have you used it ? — For six years: ever since I first saw it.

Have you played upon one instrument: have you one of your own ? — I have.

How long is it since you had it ? — Three years.

After the expiration of three years, in what condition is it? — In almost a better condition than when I first had it: it is rather improved.

Lord Lyndhurst. — To what do you attribute the excellence of the tone ? — To the perfection of the action of the hammer.

Mr. Peel. — As pianofortes do not generally improve by time, do you consider that this instrument possesses greater power of durability than instruments upon the common construction ? — I think it does.

Do you know whether he has had great difficulty in introducing these instruments to use ? — I know that he has.

Lord Lyndhurst.— If the superiority is obvious, how happens that ? — It is a very difficult thing to introduce any new invention where the field is quite occupied; and the old makers having been long established, have their own connexions: and in many cases they have great holds upon professional persons in the way of interest and recommendation, and in various ways.

Signor Scappa examined by Mr. Peel.

You are a composer and leader at the Opera ? — I have been. I believe you at one time entertained a prejudice against these instruments ? — I did.

On what ground ? — It-was from my little knowledge of the instrument.

Did you get rid of that prejudice ? — Experience has convinced me of its superiority.

In what respect ? — It has a great deal more strength and power than any other instrument, and greater effect in accompanying the voice.

Is it superior ia tone ? — In tone particularly, and in force and volume of tone.

In modulation of tone ? — There is great obedience in the touch.

It answers quickly to the touch ? — Yes. Do you give a preference to this over instruments of the old construction ? — I always supply myself when I have a Concert with one of Mr. Erard's pianofortes.

As to its durability, can you give an opinion ? — I have known the instrument seven years, and it seems to me as perfectly durable as any other.

The prejudice which you had was not confined to yourself alone. Did others entertain the same prejudice against it as you did ? — Yes, as a new thing, which they did not know.

And consequently the difficulty of introducing it to the musical public was great ? — Yes.

Lord Lyndhurst. — As far as your experience goes, is it preferred by the profession to all other pianos ? — Certainly it is. I have a knowledge of many professors, and they seem to prefer it. The famous Hummel expressed his opinion of it as being superior to any other for obedience to the touch.

Mr. Peel. — Do you know that they are in the habit of using it at public Concerts ? — Yes.

Lord Brougham. — Do they use it in preference to other pianos ? — I always do in private Concerts.

Mr. Werner examined by Mr. Peel.

You are a musical amateur ? — I am. Do you know Mr. Erard's pianofortes ? — I do. What is your opinion of them compared with those manufactured by other makers ? — That they are superior.

In what respect ? — In volume of tone as well as in touch.

By "touch" do you mean regulating the power of sound? — I mean facility of repeating.

Is your acquaintance with pianos confined to those manufactured in England ? — No, those abroad also.

Comparing this of Mr. Erard with those on the Continent? — It is very superior.

Do you know the German ? — I do not know so much of the German instruments.

How long is it since you have known Mr. Erard's ? — Four years.

Have you one ? — Not at present.

Can you speak as to their durability ? — Yes; I have played three years upon one.

Lord Lyndhurst.— May we hear the tone of the instrument?

The Instrument was played by Madame Dulcken.

Mr. Graddon examined by Mr. Peel.

You have been iu Mr. Clementi's service ? — I have.

For how long ? — Fourteen years.

He is a Pianoforte maker ? — Yes, and I was in Broadwood's ten years.

In what capacity ? — I superintended some part of the manufacture and the sale of the greater part of the instruments j 1 had to see that the work was properly executed.

Have you a general acquaintance with the different parts of an instrument ? — I have.

What is your judgement of Mr. Erard's Pianos compared with others ? — I think there is a superiority in manufacture, both externally and internally, particularly in the touch.

To what is that superiority in touch owing ? — It is from the mode of manufacture.

You state it as your decided opinion that it is superior ? — I think it is superior in touch to any other instrument.

As to the regulation of the tone ? — The regulation of the tone is very good indeed.

As to the degree of power which the performer is able to exercise, is it greater in Mr. Erard's Piano than in any other? — Far superior.

Mr. W. H. Steil, examined by Mr. Peel.

You are a musical professor I believe ? — Yes.

Do you know Mr. Erard's instrument ? —Perfectly well. I have known it since it was first made.

Will you state your opinion as to its comparative merits with Pianofortes of other construction ? — I consider it very superior to any Pianofortes I ever heard both as to the tone and as to the facility of touch.

The lightness of touch ? — Yes, the lightness of touch.

Are you in the habit of playing upon them yourself ? — Constantly.

You have one ? — I have.

How long have you had it ? — Nearly six years.

In what condition is it now? — I think it is better now than it was. Certainly it has more tone than when I first had it.

Have any of those advantages that it possesses become lessened by age ? — Not at all.

Were you early convinced of the excellency of this plan ? — I was for a long time in doubt as to the durability of it; I was wavering a long time before I purchased it. I saw Mr. Erard's Pianofortes at the time they were made, but I had doubts as to their durability.

Do you know whether other people were deterred by the same reason ? — I believe I was deterred myself more from the general report than from my own experience.

I believe that prejudice has been gradually dying away ? — I believe it has. I believe they are much more in use than they were.

Do you happen to know where Professors Hummel, Herz, and Moscheles are at this moment ? — They are abroad.

Do you know whether they are in the habit of playing upon this instrument ? — I believe they play upon it exclusively.

Mr. John Fabey, examined by Mr. Cresswell.

 believe you are an engineer ? — I am.

Have you for many years turned your attention to subjects of art ? — My attention has been turned to subjects of manufacturing art for many years j my connexion with subjects appertaining to the fine arts is only in as much as they may be converted into branches of manufactures.

Have you examined Pianos of various constructions ? — Very frequently.

Are you acquainted with the construction of the Square Piano ? — Yes, very well. I believe I am acquainted with all those that have ever been manufactured extensively.

And the Grand Piano ? —And the Grand Piano.

And that of Mr. Erard ? — Yes.

Will you explain the difference of Mr. JErard's Piano and the Grand Pianos commonly in use before this invention ? — The difference in the result of Mr. Brand's mechanism is, that the hammer is at all times under the control of tfa key, so that the smallest impulse given to the key is inevitably attended with a corresponding impulse of the hammer upon the string.

Lord Brougham.—Are you speaking from the knowledge you have of the Patent by this model or by the examination of the specification ?-Both.

Mr. Creswell.—Will you explain what you consider to have been the objections to the old action that were to be removed by the Patent action ? — The objection to the old grand action is, that the key must be allowed to return almost to the level of the other keys, after having been pressed down, before it can repeat another blow.

What was the objection to the Square Piano ? — The objection to the Square Pianoforte is, that the hammer is liable to rebound so as to touch the strings again after having struck its blow.

It may be said that in the Square Piano the key is too much connected with the hammer, so that it cannot get free from it when required, and in the Grand Pianoforte that it is not sufficiently connected with it to be able to repeat rapidly. In Mr. Erard's both advantages are combined.

I believe the difficulty as to the fall of the hammer was obviated by a spring ? — In Erard's there is a spring applied which does not exist in any other action with which I am acquainted. After the hammer has escaped from the sticker, then a spring is brought into action to supporior counterpoise the weight of the hammer so as to render it buoyant, taking off its tendency to escape from the strings, and retaining it in a position to be ready to repeat its action.

Whilst the blow is struck, the hammer is connected with the key by means of a sticker, therefore the blow must be certainly transmitted from the key to the hammer to strike the wire; after the sticker recedes from under the hammer, there is no longer any connexion between the hammer and the key, but the hammer is supported by a spring to render the hammer buoyant.

That circumstance alone enables it to repeat so quickly, because if the hammer had descended, it is of inevitable necessity that the key must rise entirely to fetch it up again: that is one most important part of the improvement; it is an essential part; it is the application of a spring which, without at all acting till the blow is struck, shall act instantly after the blow is struck, and takes from the hammer the disposition to descend by its own weight.

Mr. Cresswell. — From your knowledge of the trade in London, do you consider that Mr. Erard has had a fair opportunity of reimbursing himself for the expense of this by his fourteen years' patent ? — This subject first came before me immediately after the specification was prepared; I examined it critically, because it was done in my name by my brother in my absence. I compared the specification with the instrument as early afterwards as I could to. see how it turned out, and my impression at the time was that it was a very beautiful invention, but that it was intended to carry into effect such a refinement in musical art that it would be a long time before the persons who must be the purchasers of the improved instrument would appreciate its merits; and the result proved Ho, because there were only a few instruments sold at first, but now it has attained a high character.

Mr. Cresswell. —  Mr. Brunel is also here to speak of the conformity of this to the specification, but I do not think it necessary to trouble Your Lordships after the evidence you have heard.

The true history and character of Erard's Pianoforte will be seen in the foregoing Statement and Evidence, to which the Patentee refrains from adding any remarks.

One fact alone remains to be stated in refutation of the objections advanced against it. It has been diligently rumoured that Erard's instruments are more expensive than those of the ancient construction; the fact is, that not with standing the expenses of the Patent, and the greater cost of manufacturing the instruments from the novelty of their construction and their superiority in every respect, the Patentee has, ever since the manufacture has been brought to a system, limited his charge to the price currently paid for the Grand Pianofortes of the ancient construction.

He would have been justified, from their superiority, their increased cost, and their greater durability, in asking a higher price for them, but his principle throughout has been to abstain from making a monopoly of his Patent, and to consider his own present interest less than the advancement of science in the sale of his instruments.

The desire to excel, which actuated the researches of Sebastian Erard, has presided over the labours of the Patentee and supported him against all opposition. To this in him has been added an anxiety to support the credit of the name he bears.

Had his improvement on the Pianoforte been unworthy the Inventor of the double-actioned Harp the Patentee would have suppressed it rather than have risked the loss of reputation.

His own judgement assured him that he had nothing to fear on this score, and the testimony of the most exalted in station and talent in favour of the superiority of his instrument, together with the experience of time in favour of its durability, has shown that he was correct. The Patentee feels that all which is now required to secure the universal adoption of his instruments is to make them generally known.

Where they have been tried they have established and maintained their own preeminence. His sole object in this publication has been to vindicate the invention from unfounded objections, and to direct the public attention towards it. All he asks for his instruments is a fair trial — Their own properties will do the rest." The London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, 1836, p. 88


 Brevet de 1837 : "ERARD'S GRAND PIANO-FORTES. New Patent. NOTICE is hereby given, that His Majesty has been graciously pleased, with the advice of bis Privy Council, in consideration of the merits of the invention, and the difficulties encountered by him in establishing the work, to grant to Pierre Erard of Great Marlborough-street, Harp and Pianoforte Maker to Her Majesty and the Royal Family, pew Letters Patent for his Patent- actioned Grand Pianoforte. NEW PIANO-FORTE MUSIC, BY C. W." The Musical World, 06/1837, p. 216


 Brevet de 1838 : pour l'allongement de la table d'harmonie de la harpe, augmentant à fois la sonorité, le nombre des cordes et leur écartement. (11)

 Brevet de 1838 : pour la barre d'harmonie pour la pureté des sons aigus dans les pianos à queue (11)

 Brevet de 1838 : la maison Érard imagine un nouvel appareil, applicable au piano, pour éviter d'entendre, avec le son, le choc du marteau

Brevet de 1838 : "La Maison Érard construisit un nouvel appareil applicable à toute espèce de piano, pour éviter d'entendre avec le son, le coup de marteau aux cordes, surtout dans les octaves hautes.

Cet appareil consistait dans une barre de métal dite harmonique, fixée d'un bout à la paroi de droite de la caisse du piano. Cette barre était maintenue dans sa longueur et posée à cheval sur les autres barres formant le barrage habituel des grands pianos.

Cette barre de métal était de plus, fixée au sommier, de manière à faire de l'appareil ou barre du sommier et du barrage ordinaire un tout ou un corps solide, appuyé d'un côté à la caisse et offrant alors une grande résistance aux coups de marteaux aux cordes.

On remarquait également dans ce piano, un nouveau moyen d'accorder, consistant dans une tige ajustée à un pignon qui engrenait dans une roue.

Le filet cuivre ou agrafe inventé par cette maison en 1809, prend une nouvelle forme. (B. F.)" Organographie: La facture instrumentale depuis 1789 jusqu'en 1857 inclusivement, Adolphe Le Doulcet Pontécoulant, 1861


Brevet de 1840 : "Pierre Erard, of Great Marlborough street, for improvements in pianofortes. September 24 ; six months." Mechanics Magazine, Volume 33, 1840, p. 351


Brevet de 1843 : Érard applique au piano carré som mécanisme à double échappement.

- "PIANOS CARRÉS.– Brevet d'invention de 1843. MM. Érard, facteurs de pianos du Roi etc., ont l'honneur de prévenir les Professeurs et Amateurs de musique qu'ils sont parvenus d'introduire dans les pianos de forme carrée les divers perfectionnemens qui distinguent les PIANOS A QUEUE D'Érard de ceux de l'ancien principe." Journal des débats politiques et littéraires, 05/12/1843, p. 3 -

- "722. M. Erard (P. O.), rue du Mail, 13; application aux pianos carrés du mécanisme dit échappement d'Erard, dispositions nouvelles nécessitées par cette application et diverses améliorations essentielles apportées aux pianos. (15 mars. — 15 ans.)" Bulletin de la Société d'encouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale quarante ..., 1844, p. 525



Brevet de 1844 : "Piano sécretaire à cilindre", invention due à Érard  Dictionnaire des instruments de musique, Jacquot, 1886


Brevet de 1849 : "Piano à pédalier', plusieurs essais furent faits en ce genre, par Érard.  Dictionnaire des instruments de musique, Jacquot, 1886 

"Brevet de 1848 : La Maison Érard, reprend l'idée de Sébastien Érard et adapte à son piano à queue grand modèle un clavier de pédales donnant la facilité à l'artiste d'exécuter les notes de basses, tandis que les deux mains sont occupées dans le haut de l'instrument.

La puissante sonorité de cet instrument se prête à merveille à l'application d'un clavier de pédales de deux octaves tel que Érard l'a établi, et la combinaison des deux mains réunie à l'exécution des pieds produit un effet qui surpasse tout ce qu'on peut obtenir sur un autre grand piano,-quel que soit d'ailleurs le talent de l'artiste par qui celui-ci est joué. Un pareil instrumentpeut seul fournir les ressources nécessaires pour l'exécution des pièces d'orgue magnifiques de J.-S. Bach et des autres grands organistes de l'Allemagne.

Peu d'organistes ont à leur disposition des instruments sur lesquels ils puissent s'exercer pour former leur talent : un piano semblable à celui d'Érard leur tient lieu d'un orgue." Organographie: La facture instrumentale depuis 1789 jusqu'en 1857 inclusivement, Adolphe Le Doulcet Pontécoulant, 1861


Brevet de 1850 : "consistant dans un sommier en bronze, parallèle aux chevilles, et formant avec le sommier d'attache un châssis en métal, maintenu par un barrage longitudinal dans le sens des cordes." Inpi (13)

Brevet de 1850 : "Pierre Erard, of Paris, for Improvements in the construction of piano-fortes.—Sealed September 12, 1850.— (Six months.)" Repertory of patent inventions and other discoveries and ..., Volume 16, 1850, p. 255


Brevet de 1851 : "La maison Érard, piano droit, à cordes obliques, dont la sonorité est parfaite, on y a fait l'application du mécanisme répétiteur des grands pianos. (P. Am. 13,816.)" Organographie: La facture instrumentale depuis 1789 jusqu'en 1857 inclusivement, Adolphe Le Doulcet Pontécoulant, 1861  - 

"180° Le brevet d'invention de quinze ans, dont la demande a été déposée, le 15 février 1851, au secrétariat de la préfecture du département de la Seine, par le sieur Érard (Pierre), rue du Mail, n° 13, à Paris, pour divers perfectionnements introduits dans la construction des pianos." Bulletin des lois de la République française, 07/1852, p. 585

Brevet de 1851 : "PIERRE ERARD, of Great Marlboroughstreet, pianoforte-maker. For improvements in pianofortes. Patent dated November 15, 1851. These improvements comprehend :

1. A method of arranging the strings of pianofortes so as to produce on the sounding-board an equal pressure, both in an upward and downward direction, and so also that the sounding part of all the strings shall lie in the same plane, which has not been hitherto managed when the pressure on the sounding-board has been equalized.

This the patentee effects by passing each of the wires through holes in three studs attached to the bridge-the holes in the centre studs being made either at a higher or lower level than those in each of the other studs, so as to cause the wires in passing through the studs to make an angle with the bridge, and thus either exert an upward or downward pressure on the sounding-board.

By placing the studs so as to make every alternate wire at the reverse angle to that immediately next it, the pressure on the sounding-board will be exactly balanced.

2. An arrangement for tuning the wires of pianofortes. The ends of the wires, after passing round screws the heads of which keep them from rising, are attached to slides moving in guides on the wrest plank; and these slides are actuated by screws, the turning of which in either direction tightens or slackens the wires accordingly.

3. An improved construction of hammerbutt for “Erard’s patent action,” in which a regulating screw is introduced at the hammer centre." The Mechanics' Magazine Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette, 1852, p. 435


Brevet de 1853 : "La maison Érard présenta des pianos dans lesquels on remarqua diverses améliorations. La première consistait dans un épaulement qui venait s'appuyer contre la barre métallique, qui se trouvait placée derrière le sommier des chevilles et qui s'inclinait vers le plan du sommier, de manière à donner de la fermeté aux cordes et à augmenter leur tension jusqu'à la place où se trouvait autrefois la pointe du sillet.

La seconde amélioration se trouvait dans un chevalet à agrafes dans le but d'obtenir une pression égale, et de balançer les cordes sur le chevalet, ce qui conservait au piano la qualité brillante et légère du son.

Mais pour éviter les entailles que finissent par faire les frottements de la corde sur les agrafes en bronze, on avait enchâssé dans chaque trou de l'agrafe, destiné au passage d'une corde, un petit cylindre d'acier. (B. F., 16,854)." Organographie : La facture instrumentale depuis 1789 jusqu'en 1857 inclusivement, Adolphe Le Doulcet Pontécoulant, 1861

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INPI (13)

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