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Grand Piano by Nannette Streicher and Son, Vienna, 1829

NMM 10298. Grand piano by Nannette Streicher und Sohn, Vienna, 1829. This immaculately preserved grand piano represents a glorious moment in the history of instrument making. When J. A. Stein died in 1792, his workshop was kept in operation by his daughter, Nannette (1769-1833), and her brother, Matthäus Andreas (1776-1842), known as André. In 1794 the siblings moved the business from provincial Augsburg to Vienna, where they worked together until 1802, when André set up his own workshop. Nannette, who in the meantime had married the pianist and composer, J. A. Streicher, is an extremely rare historical instance of a woman visibly in charge of a major business. Moreover, it is virtually certain that her role was not confined to the front office. She was actively engaged in the design and musical finishing of the instruments bearing her name.

NMM 10298. Grand piano by Nannette Streicher und Sohn, Vienna, 1829.

Downstriking action of grand piano by Nannette Streicher und Sohn, Vienna, 1829.

A radically redesigned new model with a downstriking action, of which the Museum's example is one of the earliest in existence and undoubtedly the best preserved, it was patented in 1823 by Johann Baptist Streicher (1796-1871), Nannette's son, the same year that he joined the firm as a partner. The Streichers maintained a long and cordial association with Beethoven, and the downstriking model, expensive to produce, was the top of their line.

The Streicher firm was one of the two or three most eminent in Vienna, arguably even the industry leader among the scores of piano makers, including A. M. Thÿm, who were active in the Imperial and musical capital.

Side view of grand piano by Nannette Streicher und Sohn, Vienna, 1829.

Embossed brass plate bearing maker's name.

Embossed brass plate bearing both the maker's married (Streicher) and maiden (Stein) names.

Label inside grand piano by Nannette Streicher und Sohn, Vienna, 1829.

Maker's label.

Purchase funds gift of Tom and Cindy Lillibridge, Bonesteel, South Dakota, 2003.

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