Y† PLEYEL, PARIS; A RARE DOUBLE GRAND PIANO, NUMBER 18907
The ebonised rectangular case with double overstrung action on 4 tapered square legs
288cm long, 149cm wide, 99cm high
From the Collection of Madeliene Lioux Malraux
These extraordinary pianos are two grand pianos combined in one. The enormous soundboard area makes for an exceptionally resonant instrument and the experience of two pianists playing on a single combined piano is completely different as the entire instrument responds to both players. There is also an intriguing device in which a lever can be engaged to permanently lift the dampers on one of the sides so that one piano provides sympathetic resonance while the other side is being played.
Approximately only 50 of these were made, starting in the 1890s with the last one made ca 1930, and few still exist. Two different sizes were made and this one at 9'6" was the larger of the two.
The present lot is a rare Pleyel double grand piano purchased in 1946 by Madeleine Lioux, the concert pianist wife of the French novelist and politician, Andre Malraux.
Please see the images for an archive entry showing the purchase of this piano by Madeleine Lioux Malraux in 1946 for the sum of 190,000 French Francs.
This piano was used for a 2010 recreation of the premier for Stravinksly's Les Noces which was premiered in 1923. There is a very interesting musical connection between Stravinsky and the Pleyel Double Grand pianos. Stravinsky had Pleyel make him one while working on the Concerto for Two Pianos (1935). He premiered the composition on the instrument with his son, Soulima Stravinsky, in 1935. They made a recording of it for Columbia in 1938. Pleyel also fitted one of their double grands with a pianola mechanism. The original piano rolls played by Stravinsky still exist.
Madeleine Lioux Malraux (7 April 1914 - 10 January 2014)
Madeleine Lioux was born in Toulouse, in a bourgeois family of industrialists, whose father was a music lover. She entered the class of Marguerite Long at the Conservatoire de Paris in 1928. She won a first prize, began a career as a piano teacher at the Toulouse Conservatory and gave concerts as a soloist.
On 8 January 1943, she married Roland Malraux, a journalist and half-brother of André Malraux. On 21 March 1944, Roland Malraux was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Neuengamme in Germany. He died during the bombardment of the ocean liner Cap Arcona by the RAF off Lübeck Bay on 3 May 1945.
It was during the same year, in 1943, that Madeleine Lioux met André Malraux at her parents' home and his then companion Josette Clotis. Roland had introduced André Malraux to the head of the Footmann network, George Hiller. After he joined the Resistance under the name of Colonel Berger, André was in turn arrested by the Germans at Gramat on 22 July 1944 but was liberated by a coup de force a month later. On 12 November of the same year, Josette Clotis died and in 1945, and Madeleine Lioux, having returned to Paris and learned of the death of Roland Malraux, then settled with her son Alain, André Malraux and his sons, at 18bis avenue Robert-Schuman in Boulogne-Billancourt in a villa designed by Louis Faure-Dujarric.
Shortly afterwards, Malraux became General de Gaulle's Minister of Information. In 1946, Madeleine Lioux gave concerts at the La Pléiade art gallery directed by André Malraux. She played Erik Satie, and Benjamin Britten, who was not yet famous. On 13 March 1948, she married André Malraux who had divorced his first wife earlier in 1947.
Please see the images for an image of Andre Malraux with the piano in his home (Getty Images, number 163031477)
In 1954, the couple were invited to New York for the inauguration of the new galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They spent their holidays in Italy, visiting Tuscany and Umbria. In January 1959, Malraux became the Prime Minister of Culture of the nascent Fifth Republic and together they travelled extensively for diplomatic visits.
On 7 February 1962, an attack on their home in Boulogne-Billancourt forced the couple to settle down at La Lanterne in Versailles. During a period of great activity when, within the framework of her husband's ministerial activity, they met key personalities of the time, politicians, artists, scientists including Kennedy, Nehru, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Hirohito, Sartre, Mauriac, Picasso, Chagall, Stravinsky, etc.
In 1966, as their relationship deteriorated, the couple separated, and Madeleine Malraux moved to New York for part of the year where she resumed her concert career. To show his disapproval of this separation for which he held Andre responsible, General de Gaulle offered a gala dinner at the Élysée in honour of Madeleine Malraux.
Please see the images for an image of Madeleine Malraux Rehearsing on this piano in her NYC apartment in 1969 (Getty Images, number 965814132 )
普萊耶爾，巴黎 ; 一架罕見的雙三角鋼琴 , 編號 18907
長288cm, 寬149cm, 高99cm
三角鋼琴，1946年由馬德琳·劉(Madeleine Lioux)購買，她是音樂會鋼琴家，法國小說家、政治家安德列·瑪律羅(Andre Malraux)的妻子。
Y indicates that this lot may be subject to CITES regulations when exported. Relevant CITES Regulations may be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/cites-imports-and-exports. The import of ivory is banned in certain countries. Please check your country's import regulations before bidding.
† indicates that VAT is payable by the purchaser at the standard rate of 20% on the hammer price as well as being charged on the buyers' premium.
Previous restoration, probably 10/15 years ago, including new hammers. The case was originally black and was later stripped back to the mahogany veneer and given a limed finish by Malraux. It has now been repolished with the liming removed and a clear polish over the original Mahogany veneer.
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