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J. & C. Fischer Pianos

J. & C. Fischer Historical Overview

Before his grandsons John and Charles took the company to America, Fischer began a long family tradition of piano making. He moved from Vienna to Naples, Italy, at the close of the 18th century. Starting piano production in Naples, Fischer soon became well-known for his pianos and was appointed to the court as “Piano Maker to King Ferdinand I, of Naples.” He taught his son, father to John and Charles, Carl Fischer, who continued his father’s business in Naples and taught his own sons who would one day take the business across the ocean to begin production in the heart of New York in 1839. [1]

As grandsons to the famous Viennese piano maker, John and Charles Fischer partnered with William Nunns until he retired in 1840 when the company changed names from Nunns & Fischer to J. & C. Fischer. By 1896, J. & C. Fischer Company was producing nearly 5,000 pianos per year and had already celebrated the production of the 100,000th piano. [2]

A series of buyouts began in 1908 when J. & C. Fischer was purchased by the American Piano Company and the offices remained in New York. By 1985, Wurlitzer purchased the J. & C. Fischer piano name, which was later acquired by Baldwin in 1995. Gibson acquired the name in 2001 when they purchased Baldwin Piano Company. Any J. & C. Fischer pianos made today are manufactured in China and sold in the U.S. as an Asian import. 

About J. & C. Fischer Pianos 

Because of the rich history of piano making in the Fischer family, many of the early-made Fischer pianos in New York city had beautiful case designs. Inherited knowledge from generous of craftsmanship, the Fischer pianos were known for their fine tonal qualities and refined sound. Fischer pianos rose to prominence as one of the best piano manufacturers in New York city at the time. 

The artistic piano design characterized Fischer pianos well into the 1920s. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed a room to acoustically showcase a J. & C. Fischer piano. [3] As the styles of the time evolved from Art Deco to more modern throughout the later 1900s, the J. & C. Fischer piano body styles changed to embrace the trends. 

Restoring a J. & C. Fischer Piano  

While an unrestored J. & C. Fischer piano may only be worth $500-1,000, the value of a Fischer piano restored to historical accuracy can be worth up to $20,000. At Lindeblad, our restoration process takes into consideration the original elements of a piano. 

We work with piano owners to determine which of these elements to keep original and which elements to enliven with new materials. Our expert team of restorers has had the privilege of working on early-American pianos like J. & C. Fischer pianos to reinvigorate old frames and soundboards to a quality, high end, restored piano.

Interested in learning more about how we restore and repair pianos like J. & C. Fischer pianos? Call us today!

References: 

[1] 1972. Alfred Dolge, Pianos and their Makers: A Comprehensive History of the Development of the Piano. Dover Publications, Inc., New York.

[2] Pierce, W. Robert. Pierce Piano Atlas: Anniversary Edition, 2017 Our 70th Year. Albuquerque: Ashley, 2017. Print.

[3] http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/agesf.htm