Design for a 'Lohengrin' Piano

WAG 10513


'Lohengrin' is an opera by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. It tells the story of the eponymous character from medieval German literature. The best known part of the opera is the Bridal Chorus, commonly referred to as 'Here Comes the Bride'. Episodes from the opera appear along the sides of the piano and the legs are formed by black swans. The piano was intended to be made using inlaid ebony and ivory but it proved too expensive. Brown probably designed the piano for Frank Hueffer (1845 - 1889), the music critic, who had married Catherine Madox Brown in 1872. Hueffer was a great admirer of Wagner and a key advocate of his work when the composer was little known in Britain. The Wagner Society was founded in the same year that Brown produced this design.