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Jean-Henri Pape 1824


Date: 1824

Origin: Paris

Serialnumber: 741

Jean-Henri Pape was one of the most innovative piano makers of his time at the beginning of the 19th century. A large number of patents to improve playing and sound were made by him. This elegant Empire piano was made in Paris in 1824. The case and original columnar legs are made of mahogany with ormolu. The birdseye maple nameboard bears the inscription in a painted laurel wreath:

“Pape /

Facteur de Piano /

Cour des Fontaines /

à Paris”

The instrument has a compass of 6 octaves (FF – f4) and the keyboard is made from ivory and ebony. The action is a French version of a double action.

The piano has a lyre with three pedals for dampers, lute and moderator. Above the action and soundboard is the original dust cover (divided into two parts).

The entire instrument captivates with its outstanding craftsmanship and elegance!



Jean-Henri Pape (originally Johann-Heinrich) was born on July 1, 1789 in Sarstedt. From 1811 he is detectable in Paris and learned piano making at the workshop of Pleyel. From 1815 – 1817 he established his own shop. According to preserved instruments and documents his shop was from 1819 – 1820 in Rue Montesquieu no. 7 and also until 1824 in Cour des Fontaines. In later years the address Rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs no. 23 was added. Jean-Henri Pape was famous for his many inventions and patents. He received various awards such as the silver medals of the Paris Exhibition of 1823 and 1827 and the gold medals of the years 1834, 1839 and 1844. One of his special patents was the down striking action and the introduction of hammers covered with felt. He is also famous for his “Console Pianos” invented in 1828, an upright piano with very small dimensions. Furthermore, he built pianos in unusual shapes (hexagonal or oval). Carl Bechstein (1826 – 1900) and Frederick Mathushek (1814 – 1891) were among Pape’s students. On 2 February 1875 he died in Asnières-sur-Seine near Paris.



Other preserved instruments by Jean-Henri Pape:



Length: 178 cm

Width: 75 cm

Height: 29 cm

Circumference: 6 octaves (FF - f4)

Mechanics: double action

Pedals: 3 pedals - dampers, lute, moderator

Signature: "Pape /
Facteur de Piano /
Cour des Fontaines /
à Paris“