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Joseph Hauert c. 1785


Date: 1785

Origin: Bern

Serialnumber: ---

This rare square piano by the famous Swiss instrument maker family Hauert was built around 1785 by Joseph Hauert in Bern.

The elegant instrument and the original legs with floral carvings are made of walnut. On the front of the lid are an inlaid oval which is made in a darker wood and a bronze application at the lock.

The nameboard is divided into three cassettes. The signature is unfortunately faded but due to the complete design the instrument is clearly attributed to Joseph Hauert.

With a compass of 5 octaves (FF,GG – f 4) the original keyboard is made from ivory and ebony. There are two knee levers for divided dampers, one stop for a lute and the instrument has a second action. It is double strung and the hammers are covered with leather.

A further instrument made by the son Charles Louis Howard from about 1825 is also in the Eric Feller Collection. Click here for further information: Square Piano by Charles Louis Howard c. 1825

The instrument was completely restored in 2019 by Andrew Durand.



Joseph Hauert was born in Wengi near Büren / Bern in August 1749 as the son of Bendicht Hauert and Magdalena Berger.

Presumably is that he was educated as a carpenter and then later turned to instrument making.

On 2.10.1772 he married Elisabeth Wyss and moved to Bern. His son Carl Ludwig, born on October 1, 1785 in Bern, was the fifth child of the Hauert family.

Joseph Hauert died in 1824.




Further preserved instruments by Joseph Hauert:

  • 1796 square piano – Museum Schlössli, Aarau, Switzerland
  • 1798 square piano – Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany



Length: 159 cm

Width: 63 cm

Height: 20,5 cm

Circumference: 5 octaves (FF,GG - f4)

Mechanics: second action

Pedals: 2 knee levers (divided dampers), 1 stop (lute)

Signature: faded