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Mathushek Piano Company

Frederick Mathushek & Mathushek Piano History

Early in American piano history, Frederick Mathushek came to New York in 1849, from his home in Mannheim. He began making pianos in Worms, Germany, and after his apprenticeship moved to Paris to continue studying under Henri Pape. [1]

Under Pape, Mathushek began experimenting with innovative and sometimes odd new designs, like his tabletop octagon piano. Known for his tone specialization which enabled him to create pianos with exceptional and deceptively high-end sound quality, Mathushek was commissioned by many piano makers once he arrived in America to create scales and make other improvements. 

By 1857, Mathushek had made a name for himself as a master tone specialist and had worked for Dunham pianos creating an overstrung square piano scale as well as Spencer Driggs with a new project to create an entirely new piano construction process. He drew many scales for grand pianos for other manufacturers and was often called in to fix tonal issues on other pianos.  It wasn’t until 1866, when Mathushek started his own endeavor as head of the Mathushek Piano Company in New Haven, Connecticut. [2]

Mathushek Piano Company became known for their inventive approaches to piano design, introducing things like the linear bridge and an equalized scale for his “Colibri” piano. Mathushek was an inventor that was said to have rather experimented with tone and piano construction as opposed to producing large volumes of pianos.

About Mathushek Piano Company

The history of Frederick Mathushek’s life as a piano craftsman adds to the value of Mathushek pianos found today. While the Mathushek Piano Co. was one of his more unsuccessful financial ventures, the pianos he helped make were known for some of the best sound quality at the time. 

The small “Colibri” piano was perhaps the most famous piano from the Mathushek Piano Company. The tone that came from the small Colibri was boasted to be richer and grander than many large square pianos at the time. Mathushek Piano Company also introduced the orchestral square pianos with a tone that many compared to a cello. [3]

The company later became affiliated with the Jacob Brothers and produced pianos until the 1950s until they stopped production entirely. Other piano names that Mathushek controlled were Euterpe, Jacob Brothers, James & Holstrom, Nilson & Co., and Premier Spinet Grand. [4]

Restoring Mathushek Pianos

The quirky history of Mathushek’s life makes his pianos a novelty to own. When we see a Mathushek piano come through the doors at Lindeblad, we are always intrigued. To learn more about the Mathushek restoration value and whether to repair and restore your Mathushek piano, contact us today!.

Contact Lindeblad to learn more!

References: 

[1] Dolge, Alfred. Pianos And Their Makers. London: Forgotten Books, 2015. Print.   

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

[3] Dolge, Alfred. Pianos And Their Makers. London: Forgotten Books, 2015. Print.  

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