The magnificent piano is also a work of art. Manufactured in Queens, N.Y., the Steinway & Sons piano features an ornate Louis XVI case of mahogany, maple and poplar, which is decorated in the Baroque style with gold leaf. It was most likely a special-order instrument that originally cost around $4,500. Its value today probably exceeds $250,000.

After gracing the home of Col. Henry Algernon du Pont in Washington, D.C., the piano was given to the University in 1943 by Col. du Pont’s daughter, Louisa Evelina du Pont Crowninshield. At that time, the piano was returned to the Steinway factory for rebuilding, at a cost of $500. The tab was picked up by Mary Raub Evans, wife of University Trustee Charles Black Evans.

The rebuilt piano was placed in the lounge of Warner Residence Hall, where it was used by UD students until 1998. It was again rebuilt by Steinway, this time at a cost of $20,000, and it is now a showpiece in Bayard Sharp Hall.

“The piano has been beautifully reconditioned,” says Julie Nishimura, faculty accompanist for the Department of Music. “It feels like a brand-new instrument. And, it’s very easy to play because of the live acoustics in the room.”