For a few years Chickering and others made the "Cocked Hat" pianos. So named because when they were lined up in the factory on their sides awaiting shipment, they had the appearance of a hat cocked back on someone's head.
There are various theories as to the reason for this shape. Possibly because the keys are angled more towards the center of the room, the piano will fit more snugly into a corner. Or maybe having the keys in this position makes it easier for an audience to view the piano player's hands.
Even though these Chickerings have the string length of a 7' grand they seem to take up a lot less room.