Tudor Place

Musical Instruments

The Musical Instrument Collection includes a small but important group of early 19th-century musical instruments and related decorative arts. The collection’s largest and most significant piece is a unique square pianoforte with mahogany and satinwood frame made in 1804 by the English firm John Broadwood & Son. The piano retains many original parts, including action, key levers, and bridge. Its keyboard is unique among documented square pianos from this era, in that the instrument has a a 6-octave compass, and is the only known example to to begin with the note D. The collection also contains a fine English flute made by George Astor and played by Tudor Place founder Thomas Peter. In the Archive, early examples of printed music include sheet music played by a young Martha Parke Custis at Mount Vernon and a bound volume of sheet music owned by Martha and Thomas Peter’s daughter, Columbia Washington Peter, during her schooling in Philadelphia.