Short description of the Gottfried Silbermann piano from 1749
The surviving Gottfried Silbermann piano in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg is signed and dated 1749 under the soundboard. An almost identical piano, not dated nor signed, survived in the Neues Palais in Potsdam and was in the ownership of Frederick the II. of Prussia. There is no doubt that this instrument was also made by Gottfried Silbermann. Both pianos have a keyboard range of FF-e3. They have a case made with a double curved bentside and have iron stringing with two strings per note. There are hand registers for raising the dampers and turning on a Pantalon register (strips of ivory can be positioned close above the strings). There is also the possibility of sliding the keyboard with its action laterally for una corda, and moving the keyboard further down to lower the pitch a semitone from A=415Hz to A=390Hz. The Silbermann piano in Nürnberg is made of walnut, that in Potsdam is in oak.
I chose oak for my copy and conserved the original range as well as all the registers.
The results of the investigation of the Silbermann pianos and the comparison with the Cristofori pianos I put into my talks. Some of them you can download (see Talks).