Emil Ascherberg pianos produced?

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JJO5O
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Emil Ascherberg pianos produced?

Post by JJO5O » 01 Jun 2014, 02:53

I would be very grateful for any biographical information on Emil Ascherberg, but I am particularly interested in learning approximately what year he began producing pianos.

Thank you!

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Bill Kibby
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Re: When were the first Emil Ascherberg pianos produced?

Post by Bill Kibby » 02 Jun 2014, 11:40

I do not have any details so far. #6021 in the Queen Emma Museum, Hawaii, is said to be from the late 1860s, but this seems wrong. It is located at the Queen Emma Museum, Hawaii, the Queen wrote "Aloha-Oe" in 1877, and was supposed to have written it on this piano, a square piano, which were fairly uncommon in Germany by then, as you can read on my page at
http://pianogen.org/square.html
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JJO5O
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Re: When were the first Emil Ascherberg pianos produced?

Post by JJO5O » 02 Jun 2014, 17:58

Hello Bill,

Thank you for your response.

The Queen Emma Museum has two pianos on display. One is a square piano made by Clementi, Collard, and Collard and the other is a small grand made by Emil Ascherberg.

Also, Queen Emma did not write "Aloha Oe." That was Queen Liliuokalani.

According to Queen Emma's biography, she purchased the Emil Ascherberg grand while in Europe in May 1866. The author does not cite a source for this and information on Ascherberg is difficult to find. So far, the oldest Ascherberg piano that I've found is from 1875.

If Emma's bio is correct, he was producing pianos as early as 1866. Can this be verified?

If anyone can point me to any biographical info on Ascherberg, I'd be quite grateful.

Thank you!

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Re: When were the first Emil Ascherberg pianos produced?

Post by Bill Kibby » 02 Jun 2014, 20:59

If I could have done that, I would have done before. The earliest references I have are to Queen Emma's piano, but some biographies and websites maintain that the square piano was the Ascherberg, including Wikipedia. Various sources, including the Pierce Piano Atlas, say Queen Emma wrote the song, but much of Pierce is from Michel, who got a lot wrong. I got a picture of the square from what appeared to be a website about the queen. I was right that something was wrong! A grand pictured at Rabaul in 1914 is said to have belonged to Robert Louis Stevenson, but it appears too modern to have been around in his lifetime.

Can you direct me to a good picture of the grand? If serial numbers reliably represented production, we might assume that he had made six thousand pianos by 1866, but they aren't, as you can read at
http://pianogen.org/numbers.html

Another Ascherberg that crops up sometimes is an upright #4456 with the convex top that is typical of the 1860s. I think the numbers are misleading and not in the same sequence.
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Re: When were the first Emil Ascherberg pianos produced?

Post by JJO5O » 04 Jun 2014, 06:35

Hello Bill,

The number on the piano at the Queen Emma Museum is actually 2061 and not 6021.

There are photos of the piano at the following links:

http://s3-media3.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/ ... eoig/l.jpg

http://oldhousehistory.com/files/2010/0 ... img_19.jpg

and video of it here:

http://vimeo.com/24507419

I am skeptical of the date 1866. My hunch is that this piano is a bit newer than 1866.

Any thoughts?

Thank you!

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Re: When were the first Emil Ascherberg pianos produced?

Post by Bill Kibby » 04 Jun 2014, 10:37

1909AscherbergPerzina32dpg.jpg
The picture here is an Ascherberg Perzina grand of 1909. If you read my Numbers page, you will understand my comments about Michel, so I shouldn't be surprised that something that has been widely published for half a century is so wrong. I have also questioned the piano being that early. The company is said to have failed in 1883, and continued as Ascherg Perzina. I know very little about Queen Emma, but I think the pictures you linked me to are more like a piano of the 1890s, similar to Ascherberg grands I have tuned over the years, but that late a date would probably make it "Ascherberg Perzina", and too late for Queen Emma, who died in 1885. We could guess that it is either pre-1883, or not her piano!

I have been unable to find reliable, accurate information about Ascherberg serial numbers. The Ascherberg company is said to have been bombed out of existence during the second world war when the Americans decided to level Dresden. No archives survived. 1880 is said to be the date of Ascherberg grand #2,590 in the Which Guide to Collectables, overstrung, with Ascherberg's patented action, 85 notes, ivory keys, case rosewood, profusely inlaid with urns, ribbons & floral scrolls, on "turned" tapered legs (actually hexagonal for the most part) with boxwood stringing.

I spend a lot of my time trying to correct websites and books that publish wrong information, but we all have to take their word sometimes. Another Ascherberg that crops up sometimes is an upright #4456 with the convex top that I estimate at 1862. I think the numbers are misleading and not in the same sequence.
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