Fortepiano by Melchior Guante

around 1795, Münster, Westphalia

Compass FF–c4 , two knee levers, dampers and moderator, tuning pitch ca 415 Hz

Melchior Guante (1759 – 1845), established his instrument maker’s business in Münster, Westphalia, and in 1815, passed it on to Heinrich Niemann. It is supposed that Melchior Guante was one of the pupils of Johann David Schiedmayer. His instruments are lavishly designed and have a particularly robust construction. The Guante fortepianos which still exist all have Viennese action with wooden Kapseln.

Tunig pitch
415 Hz

Viennese action with Stein-type wooden Kapseln, no checks, damper below on knee lever (old “threading” model)

two knee levers
dampers and moderator

2 strings per key throughout

Shape of casing
double-curved bent-side, polished mahogany, wrap-around trim covered with brass
Four tapered legs, square cross section with fluting and contrasting upper part

Lower keys: ivory
Upper keys: ebony

Measurements of the instrument
Width including trims: 995 mm
Length including trims: 2140 mm