The year 1709 is the one most sources give for the appearance of aninstrument which can truly be called a "Pianoforte." The writer Scipione Maffei wrote an article that year about the pianoforte created by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1732), who had probably produced four "gravicembali col piano e forte" or harpsichords with soft and loud. This instrument featured the first real escapement mechanism and is often called a "hammer harpsichord." The small hammers were leather covered. It had bichords throughout, and all the dampers were wedge-shaped. By 1726 he seems to have fitteda stop for the action to make the hammers strike only one of twostrings. He had produced about twenty pianos by this time and thenhe is presumed to have gone back to making harpsichords,probably from the lack of interest in his pianos. Three of hispianos remain extant today: one with four octaves, dated 1720, is in NewYork; one with four and a half octaves, from 1726, is in Leipzig,Germany; and there is one in Rome from 1722. There are approximately ten plucked instruments surviving today with the name Cristofori on them.