In Previous Instruments of the Month

There are a couple of highly political pianos in the collection and this beautiful 1829 Nunns square piano is one of them. The piano came to the collection in 2013 when it was bought at auction in North Carolina.

The name has been carefully removed from the front, leaving traces of where it once stood. This was done as a result of the hard feelings in the South from 1828 to 1832 due to the nullification crisis, a heated disagreement between Jackson’s Federal government and South Carolina, led by Senator John C. Calhoun, who was firm in his conviction that states had the right to nullify the federal laws within their borders.  He was objecting to the 1828 “Tariff of Abominations” meant to protect Northern industry at the expense of the South.  South Carolina threatened to secede from the Union, but the Tariff of 1832 remedied the conflict.  But, during that period Southerners turned Jackson’s picture to the wall and had Northern piano manufacturers removed from their name boards; it became quite a cottage industry.

The piano is an early version of the new type of piano introduced by the Nunns’ called the “Unichord” with one string per note.  This was an expedient to tuning and regulation that was popular in the rural South from 1829 to about 1835.

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