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Manxman Pianoforte

Wooden pianoforte with cabinets inlaid with ivory and mother-of-pearl.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Wooden pianoforte with cabinets inlaid with ivory and mother-of-pearl.




Designed by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott
English, 1865-1945
Made by John Broadwood and Sons
England, founded 1728
London, England

About this artwork

A product of the Arts and Crafts movement in England, the Manxman Pianoforte represents an innovative solution to the somewhat awkward form of the upright piano. Motivated by the shoddy results of industrial mass production, the movement advocated the recognition of furniture and decorative arts as works of art. Here the celebrated English architect and designer Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott created an object that is both cleverly functional and aesthetically pleasing. When opened, the lid and doors of the strikingly decorated cabinet act as acoustical sounding boards. Revealed inside is the musical instrument itself, along with a profusion of exquisite handcrafted metalwork, including candleholders fixed to the sides of the case. The overall design, like the keyboard, is a study in contrasts of light and dark; the lower section’s alternating pattern echoes the piano’s keys. A Manxman is an inhabitant of the Isle of Man, and the term derives from Scott’s early residence there. This piano is one of a number executed around 1900 with John Broadwood and Sons of London, who made the musical movements.


On View, Gallery 246


Applied Arts of Europe


Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott (Designer)


Manxman Pianoforte


England (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1897


Oak, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, and copper


128.9 × 143.2 cm (50 3/4 × 56 3/8 in.); With top open: H.: 162.6 cm (64 in.); With one door open: W.: 212.4 cm (83 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Robert Allerton, Mrs. Joseph Regenstein, Sr., Walter S. Brewster, Mrs. Emily Crane Chadbourne, Richard T. Crane, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Blumka, Henry Manaster, Jack Linsky, Mrs. Margaret Day Blake, Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson, Mrs. Henry C. Wood, by exchange; Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Fund; European Decorative Arts Purchase Fund

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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