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date: 19 January 2021


  • Howard Schott
  • , revised by Laurence Libin


French family of piano makers. Jean-Louis Boisselot (1782–1847), scion of a family of instrument makers from Montpellier, began shortly after 1800 to sell sheet music and instruments, including pianos by various makers. In 1820 he opened a store in Marseilles and two years later moved to that city. About 1830, together with his son Louis-Constantin (1809–50), as Boisselot et fils he began to build square pianos, followed by English-influenced grands in 1824 and uprights in 1836. Louis-Constantin had apprenticed in Paris (1826–7) and Nîmes before going to England in 1834 to study industrial piano manufacture. By 1840 the flourishing firm was producing 150 pianos annually, growing to 400 in 1848. Their instruments were particularly popular in the south of France, Portugal, and Spain.

Among the innovatory piano-making firms of the period, in 1843 Boisselot patented a piano with two octave strings set next to the three unisons; the octave strings are engaged (in either bass or treble or both) when the keyboard and action are shifted laterally by means of a pedal. At the Paris Exposition of ...

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