Wilhelm Braschoss c. 1830
This elegant Swiss square piano from Geneva shows the French and English influence on instrument making in Switzerland.
The instrument was built around 1830 and has a very overtone-rich sound. The case and legs are made of mahogany. The typical fluted legs are reminiscent of the leg shape of the English Regency instruments (see: Square Piano by John Broadwood and Sons 1814).
The keyboard has 6 octaves in ivory and ebony. The nameboard (with the semicircular shape, which is typical for French instruments) is made from different woods and is signed with:
Facteur de Pianos
The instrument has two pedals (dampers and sordine), Viennese action and is double strung. On the right front (next to the keyboard) a second integrated music stand can be opened. This additional music stand was used for chamber music.
Johann Wilhelm Braschoss was born on October 11, 1796 in Gräfrath / Wald near Solingen. To escape military service he left his family at the age of 19 and worked in the region on the Rhine. In 1820 he worked as a carpenter and cabinetmaker in Munich and went to Vienna in summer 1821. There he worked for the piano maker Cyrill Demian.
In November 1822 he went to Geneva as a carpenter and applied for the citizenship of the city which he received in 1825.
His workshop was based in the Rue de Coutance 140 and later in the Rue du Rhone 29. In December 1828 he obtained Swiss citizenship but also retained his German citizenship. He married Isaline Antoinette Henry and converted from Catholicism to Protestantism.
The business flourished very well and he lived with his wife a house in the Chemin de Mail 14, where he also died on May 5 1871.
Further preserved instruments by Wilhelm Braschoss:
- 1835 square piano – Musée d’Instances Anciens de Musique, Geneva Switzerland
|Circumference:||6 octaves FF – f4|
|Pedals:||2 pedals – dampers, sordine|
Facteur de Pianos