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Ernst Kaps Pianos

 

Ernst Kaps Piano Fabrik

Ernst Kaps Piano Fabrik AG a piano manufacturer founded in 1858 with the original piano factory at 20 to 22 seminarstrasse,Dresden, Germany .

 

History

 

The piano brand 'Kaps' or 'Ernst Kaps Pianofortefabrik' was founded and produced in Dresden Germany in 1858 by Ernest Wilhelm Kaps(1826-1887) Ernest Kaps was born on 6 December born in 1826 in chub ( Saxony). Kaps was appointed in 1879 as an Honorary member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. He died in 1887 succeeded by his sons Ernst Eugen(1864 to 1910 ) and Wilhelm Ernst (1872 to 1943), the company continued on at the Dresden factory until 1930. 

 

Models

In 1876, the company exhibited at the World Exhibition in Philadelphia. In 1922, the company then known as 'Ernst Kaps Piano Fabrik AG' merged with another company, owned and founded by 'Johann Kuhse', who's piano manufacturing business was originally founded in 1874. In 1925 factory then known as the 'Kaps / Kuhse Pianoforte AG', both made piano brands alongside each other. Prior to the progress of the German Empire in 1871 'Kaps' acquired the title of purveyor of the kingdom of Saxony.

The Dresden factory ceased manufacture in 1930, and at this point the company had reported its final serial number as No. 37500. The name and ethos of the company ‘Kaps’ was revived in 2011 by an Australian owned business 'CAPP Imports', the company's founder, Philip Hamilton Shayer is a piano tuner and builder, who trained in England at the Leeds College of Music, who applied a number of designs and improvements to a series of pianos currently in production. Final production is within Australia, the materials are sourced from Germany, China & Japan. With the labour intensive construction remaining With their partner factor, final production is completed in Byron Bay Australia.

The Dresden factory produced 37,500 well-known pianos and grand pianos and from 1885 a consistent manufacture of 1000 pianos per year is noted. The table below shows the assignment of serial numbers to year of manufacture.

 

 

Ernst Kaps Pianos

 

Ernst Kaps Piano Fabrik

Ernst Kaps Piano Fabrik AG a piano manufacturer founded in 1858 with the original piano factory at 20 to 22 seminarstrasse,Dresden, Germany .

 

 

 

 

As mentioned,'this device served to give increased resonance to the thinner tones of the soprano and higher registers for a significant boost and timbre, while providing a more consistent and defined ratio between the sound levels'. 

Other similar and ingenious/radical inventions were patented by Ernst Eugen Kaps, these also included a device that extended the soundboard in to the grand piano lid!  Although revolutionary, most were not economically practical and sadly were not commercially produced.

Baby grand

In 1865, Kaps built the first double overstrung grand piano. Named ‘the system Kaps’ which referred to a triple bridge arrangement to aid the awkward scaling design, limited by the previously unsuccessful, small sized grand, which were only about 1.50 m long. These, at the time were characterised as having ‘solidity and durability of tone’ as well as mention of, ‘a lovely yet powerful sound for such a small piano’!  Essentially, previous attempts at producing a successful small grand piano failed until this time and subsequently, the Kaps Double overstrung 5ft grand piano, quickly became a revelation. Hailed as the first successful small grand produced, later known and promoted by another maker as ‘The baby grand piano’, launched ‘Kaps pianos’ in to commercial success.

 

 

The 'Kaps' Piano Supplied to Percy Grainger

 

PERCY GRAINGER'S CHILDHOOD PIANO

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                      

PERCY GRAINGER learned to play on an upright parlour piano of Walnut veneer & ivory keys, made and supplied by Ernst Kaps of Dresden to Rose Grainger. He reported to have practiced on it for two hours a day, while his mother Rose Grainger, as his teacher, sat beside him. In 1895 the Graingers left for Germany when the piano was then sold to a Mr and Mrs Thomas P. Husband, who's family were also taught by Rose. They kept it for 40 years, before donating it to the Grainger Museum at the Melbourne University in 1935. The piano has now been restored and is housed on display at the 'Percy Grainger Museum Melbourne Australia' This piano was manufactured on or around March 1885, based on calculations derived from data available in Pierce Piano Atlas and Philip Shayer, current owner of the rights to Ernst Kaps Pianoforte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arabeque Short Sound Clip

Enjoy this ultra high quality recording short sound clip of Arabesque

Model C KAPS 186

 

 

Kaps in Action

Kaps in action
 
Because we know that not everyone has the luxury of time or access to a quality piano specialist, we have produced a recording for your pleasure on the Model C Kaps grand piano.
This has been done using the best available recording equipment, as used by the BBC & ABC.
 
We have taken the care to not alter or make any modification or improvement to the true sound balance, in order for you to be able to hear and see our pianos as faithfully as is possible.  
 
Although we highly recommend the use of a good quality sound system, if this is not available to you then we have found that monitor quality headphones do work well.
 
The brilliant tonal quality & careful even balance between the upper & lower registers, that you can hear, is Ernst Kaps!
 
Enjoy !
 
Track name - Artist name
00:00 / 00:00