Ernst Kaps

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Ernst Kaps Piano Factory AG

legal form Corporation
founding 1858
Seat Dresden

The Ernst Kaps Piano Factory AG was a piano factory in Dresden .


The company was founded in Dresden in 1858 by Ernst Kaps, a German manufacturer and dealer of pianos and grand pianos . Shortly after it was founded, Kaps was appointed court piano manufacturer and court supplier to the Kingdom of Saxony . In 1876 the company took part as an exhibitor at the World's Fair in Philadelphia (USA) . In 1922 a collaboration began with the piano maker Johann Kuhse . The company became part of Kaps-Kuhse Pianoforte AG in 1925.


Kaps developed and built an unknown number of pianos and grand pianos between 1858 and 1925. The models were very versatile due to the innovative further developments. All pianos and grand pianos were given consecutive serial numbers, which were probably rounded up at the turn of the year, so that the serial numbers do not provide any information about the number of pieces produced. The table provides information about the allocation of the serial numbers to the year of manufacture.

year serial number year serial number year serial number
1858 1 1877 4,001 1885 10,001
1869 501 1880 6.001 1888 12.001
1872 1,001 1883 8.001 1890 14.001

Inventions and patents


The most important invention was the so-called resonator , a device that significantly increases the beauty and richness of the tone, especially in the higher registers . The instruments provided with it are called "patent wing with resonator". It consists of a sound box built in the form of a harp that is generally decisive for piano construction, which is screwed onto the soundboard . A soundboard with ribs at the bottom forms the ceiling of the same. The part of the strings that lies above the resonator always has a sound hole under its center, to which the string choirs are led from the bridge through a sound channel attached to the soundboard . This device is used to give the resonance of the mostly too thin tones of the soprano and higher registers a considerable amplification, and at the same time to give the timbre of the individual octave genres a greater consistency and correct relationship in sound strength .

Baby grand piano

In 1865 Kaps built the first piano with a cross-string cover. The system named after him referred to wings of the smallest format ( baby wings ), which were only about 1.50 m long. These were characterized by their solidity and durability as well as their lovely, yet powerful tone, whereby the adaptation of Steinway's repetition mechanism was a major advantage.

Action in grand pianos

In 1876 the Cape received a patent on a new string action in wings which particular scales included the strings.

Individual evidence

  1. The Virtual Pianoshop
  2. Bob Pierce: Pierce Piano Atlas . 10th edition. Larry E. Ashley, Albuquerque 1997, ISBN 0-911138-02-1 .
  3. Kaps, Ernst . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 9, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, p. 495.
  4. Introductory patent of the court piano manufacturer Ernst Kaps in Dresden on a new string position for grand pianos. Document E 170 a Bü 2121 in the State Archives Ludwigsburg.