Joseph Schneider, 1850/1851, Vienna
This instrument was especially made for the Great Exhibition in London of 1851 for the Austrian pavilion in Crystal Palace, as a showpiece of craftsmanship . Schneider, although not known today, must have been a renowned builder in those days, because Austria would certainly have sent nothing but their best. Indeed, every detail of this piano is exquisite, beautifully made, the best one can imagine.
Nearly everything, e.g. tuning pins, hammers, dampers, is original. We established that the strings were not original; it transpired that the soundboard had been clumsily varnished, not reaching under the hitchpin plate.
The instrument is in the process of restoration at present. The polish of the case is being touched up and the soundboard is being rebuilt.
The miniature portrait is by Conrad Hamburger, 1852, probably of Geertruida Bosboom-Toussaint.