The music room where William Herschel tutored his students is one of the highlights of the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. Although remembered today primarily as a pioneering astronomer and maker of telescopes, William spent the first half of his working life as a musician, teacher, and composer. Indeed, his musical interests financed his passion for astronomy.
The actor John Bernard took singing lessons from Herschel and remembered: ‘His lodgings resembled an astronomer’s much more than a musician’s, being heaped up with globes, maps, telescopes, reflectors, etc., under which the piano was hid…’
Among the many items of interest in this room is a Louis XVI single-action pedal harp (1795) made by George Cousineau e Fils of Paris for the fashionable Henriette Peyrot-Magenest. Decorated in elaborate Rococo style, the harp was acquired with grants from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Stephen Clark Charitable Trust, the Beecroft Bequest, and a generous donation from Mr Andrew Fletcher.
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