Gabriel Buntebart  in  London  1780​

 

.. signed by Johann Christian Bach

(Also the oldest known piano made by Buntebart alone)

 

On the treble side of the soundboard of this piano, there is J.Ch. Bach's signature which matches the brother of this piano which is in Cobbe collection in England.

 

Similarities of both pianos :

 

1- Both were made within 2 years (Cobbe collection 1778, Radbon collection 1780)

 

2- Both were found near Paris

 

3- Both are made by almost the same fabric, Zumpe & Buntebart (in Cobbe collection, Buntebart in Radbon collection)

 

4- Both have the same signature in the same area of the soundboard, same handwriting and letters.

 

5- Both sold at auctions without mentioning the Bach's signature!

 

 

The one in Cobbe collection belong to the family duc de Noailles, the marechal of Saint Germaine who was one of the most important musical patrons in France. 

There is an interesting connection between J.Ch Bach and this family at that time which was explained in a Mozart letter from which Bach's stay at that time with this family is proved.

 

So the present piano which arrived 2 years later to that area might also have a similar story with another musical patron who probably asked Bach to bring a fine piano from London which was a big center of piano making and influenced French pianos in a great deal already from Zumpe's square pianos in late 1760s.

J.Ch Bach himself was a friend of Zumpe and Buntebart both and had a lot to do with them.

He probably brought this piano to France and signed it (as it was like a tradition, an honor for the family to have a piano from the great English Bach chosen and brought by the master.

 

The other variant can be that this very piano belonged totally to him while he was in France.

J.Ch. Bach died early (in 1782) at the age of 47.

 

At the time Bach bought this piano ( in 1780) Zumpe was still active but it seems that Bach preffered Buntebart pianos for their quality prior to those of Zumpe with who he introduced the piano-forte in the new classical era in England.

Square piano   Tafelklavier   Piano carré 

Buntebart 1780 square piano signed by J.Ch. Bach in Radbon Collection.

Zumpe & Buntebart ca.1778 also signed by J.Ch. Bach in Cobbe Collection

(This photo is taken from the catalogue book of the cobbe collection)

J.Ch. Bach's Signature on the Zumpe & Buntebart soundboard square piano (1778) now in Cobbe Collection. (This photo is taken from the catalogue book of the cobbe collection)

J.Ch. Bach's Signature on the soundboard of the Radbon collection Buntebart