Fanny Mendelssohn's Music Stand

Contributed by Carolyn Hayman

Fanny Mendelssohn's Music Stand

This is a picture of a music stand which belonged to Fanny Mendelssohn, composer, sister of Felix Mendelssohn, and my great great great grandmother. It's quite surprising that it is still in the family, as my father and his parents fled to the UK as refugees in the '30s. However, other family members had a few more Gentile genes and a few less Jewish, so not all was lost. I think the music stand is exceptionally beautiful but I'm puzzled about its utility. It looks as though it was made for four people to play string quartets - but then the 'cellist would have to be standing up - not very practical! Also, it would be hard to see the people you were playing with, which is another limitation. As a place to display music, it is grand - maybe also the drawings of Wilhelm Hensel, who wooed Fanny and more to the point her family by drawing exceptionally idealised pictures of them all.

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