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Johannes Zumpe for Longman and Lukey & Co. 1769


Date: 1769

Origin: London

Serialnumber: ---

This little square piano from the beginning of the company Longman & Broderip is one of the rarest instruments – it is the only instrument signed by Zumpe so far and thus represents the only proof that Johannes Zumpe had also worked for Longman.

The case is made of mahogany and framed with ribbon inlays. Left of the keyboard are three hand stops for divided dampers and lute. The instrument has a simple English single action and is double strung.

The keyboard is made of ivory and ebony. There is usually a scribe line in this case two lines on the key near the point that the key head joins the tail. This is a holdover from harpsichord days where this ornament was common. These lines are made after the keyboard is assembled and will line-up down the key frame.

The instrument was made in 1769 – in the inside is a signature made by Zumpe and dated 1769.

The nameboard bears the inscription:

„Longman and Lukey & Co. Cheapside London”


It has often been suggested that possibly also Zumpe should have worked for Longman. For example records show that Christopher Ganer worked for the company. This square piano proves that Zumpe not only built and sold instruments through his own company but also supplied Longman. There are several ways in which such cooperation has come about. It can be assumed that Zumpe promised greater profits through cooperation, but also a greater possibility for advertising the “new pianoforte” which at the time was very popular. Another possibility suggests that this collaboration was only for a short time as Zumpes own workshop was quickly successful. Since piano production was still in the beginning in 1769 the demand for instruments was growing. It could also be that Zumpe supplied in individual cases to Longman or they bought these instruments from Zumpe on a case-by-case basis sold. There is no record of Zumpe receiving regular payments such as Christopher Ganer.


For more information about the company Longman & Broderip – click here!


Other surviving instruments by Longman and Lukey & Co.:


Length: 142 cm

Width: 49 cm

Height: 18 cm

Circumference: 5 octaves (FF,GG - f3)

Mechanics: single action

Pedals: 3 handstops for divided dampers and lute

Signature: „Longman and Lukey & Co. Cheapside London"