Who owned a reproduction piano back then?

In view of the comparatively high prices (approx. an average annual income) of the pianola and Vorsetzer as well as the corresponding music scores, it was mainly wealthy and very rich people who owned these innovative musical works. Manufacturers such as Welte, whose instruments cost rather two annual incomes, initially focused exclusively on the royal and princely clientele - not only in view of the high prices, but also because the highest degree of artistic interest was suspected here.

Aeolian began very early on to explicitly name personalities as customers. Hupfeld and Welte saw themselves increasingly obliged to publish concrete customer lists - mainly with the very well-known and effective names. Around 1914, M. Welte & Söhne GmbH from Freiburg published a 25-page small catalogue 'Welte in your own home' with photos of Welte instruments in the premises of well-known customers. The instruments can be seen in different styles, suitable for the respective salon, music room, study, reception room, vestibule etc. etc. At the same time the quotations of the artists and owners who praise the Welte system are listed.

In this small catalogue as well as in other publications many of the world's instrument owners are listed - which we list here without comment to give an impression of the houses where these instruments were found. Of course this list is not complete - one can assume that a total of over 7,000 Welte instruments were built. Only very seldom are Welte instruments still in the possession of their first owners - but it happens occasionally that today - 100 years later - Welte instruments that have been restored true to the original are acquired by the descendants of the owners at that time.

Extract from the list of customers of M. Welte & Söhne:

His Royal Highness Grand Duke Friedrich of Baden

His Serene Highness Prince Thurn and Taxis

His Royal Highness Prince Alfons of Bavaria

His Royal Highness Duke Carl of Munich

His Majesty King George of Greece

His Majesty King of Belgium

Her Majesty Queen Margaritta of Italy

Her Majesty Helen of Italy

Her Majesty Queen of Naples

His Majesty Imperial Le Sultan Constantinople

Son Altesse Royale Le Kedive d'Egypte

His Majesty King of Siam

Son Altesse Imperiale le Duc Georg de Leuchtenberg

Le Duc de Montpensier, Paris

His Serene Highness Prince Hohenlohe Paris by André Cannes

Baron de l'Espée, Paris

His Highness Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich

His Serene Highness Prince Rudolph Lichtenstein

His Serene Highness Prince Johann von und zu Lichtenstein

Her Highness Princess Dowager Schwarzburg-Sondershausen

His Serene Highness Frst Dolgurucki, Rome

Her Highness Princess von Battenberg, Darmstadt

Her Grace de Duchess of Manchester

Her Duchess of Marlborough (née Vanderbild)

Count Fritz von Hachenburg

Prince Wittgenstein, Heidelberg

Countess M. Branicka, Bjelaia

Count Kossakowski, Warsaw

Count Ph. v. Kageneck, Freiburg

Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Connaught St. James

Lord Pirrie, London-Belfast

Field Marshal Lord Roberts

Count Limburg-Styrum, Berlin

Reich Count Fritz von Hochberg, Halbau

Lord Wolsely, Hampton Court

Earl of Dysart, Richmond

His Grace the Duke of Newcastle London

General Tan Hamilton, Malta

Lieutenant General A. A. Vakulovsky Dotschinsky, St. Petersburg

State Councillor A. G. Eliesejeff, St. Petersburg

Count A. A. Orloff-Dawydow, St. Petersburg

Lord Chamberlain of Baroness von Reitzenstein

Baron of Venningen Baden-Baden

Baron von Goldschmidt-Rothschild, Frankfurt am Main

Baron von Thiele-Winkler, full council rest

Baron Teixeira de Mattos, Rotterdam

Baron von Barnekow, Altmarrzin

Baron of Blanckenburg-Schötzow

His Excellency Baron von Bodman, Freiburg

His Excellency Dr. Bürklin Privy Councillor, Karlsruhe

His Excellency Privy Councillor Röntgen, Munich

His Excellency Minister Ruhstrat, Oldenburg

Managing Director Ballin, Hamburg

Director Captain at sea of Grummer, Hamburg

Imperial Consul Ferd. Schott, Gibraltar

Central Director Ferd. Ritter von Böhm-Bowenberg, Vienna

Industrial magnate Ludwig Ritter von Liebig zu Reichenberg in Bohemia

Professor Dr. Max Schottelius, Freiburg

Manufacturer A. Dietler, Freiburg

Manufacturer Heinr. Brenzinger, Freiburg

Factory Theod. Kromer, Freiburg

J. Himmelsbach, Freiburg

Private Theod. Ganz, Freiburg

Pharmacist Höltscher, Freiburg

Ivan Hörner Reindeer, Freiburg

Franz Pyhrr Director, Freiburg

Mrs Isenberg, Glotterbad and Bremen

Manufacturer Berth. Ziegler, Todtnau

Large industrialist A. ten Brink, Arlen-Rielasingen

Go. Kommerzienrat A. Wacker, Weak

Constant force, Karlsruhe

Max Schwab, Karlsruhe

Dr Knittel, Karlsruhe

F. Winkelsröder, Pforzheim

Director F. Artmann, Mannheim

Kommerzienrat H. Vögele, Mannheim and Triberg

E. Lämmert, Mannheim

Willy Kaufmann, Mannheim

Prof. Dr. Krehl, Heidelberg

Kommerzienrat Schott, Heidelberg

Go. Council Dr. Gans, Frankfurt am Main

Director Schäfer, Frankfurt am Main

Director Habers, Frankfurt am Main

H. Suhlfeld, Frankfurt am Main

Mrs. von Deusler, Frankfurt am Main

Consul General Weinberg, Frankfurt am Main

Dr Lohsen, Frankfurt am Main

Manufacturer W. Haller, Friedberg near Frankfurt am Main

Ludwig Ganz, Mainz

Manufacturer Franz Gastell, Mainz

Manufacturer (sparkling wine producer) Otto Henkell, Wiesbaden

A. Th. Schüfer, Wiesbaden

H. W. Pfühler sen., Wiesbaden

A. Domeier, Wiesbaden

M. Sutorius, Wiesbaden

Dr. Graefe, Wiesbaden

Kommerzienrat Rüping, Wiesbaden

Kommerzienrat Wünsch, Rothenburg (Tauber)

Go. Building surveyor von Rieppel, Nuremberg

Go. Kommerzienrat R. Wetzler, Eupen (Rhld.)

Commercial Councillor Engelhorn, Stuttgart

Dr. Enke, Stuttgart

Chief building officer Weigle, Stuttgart

Prof. Hofmeister Senior Medical Officer, Stuttgart

Dr. Karl Höhn, Ulm

Privy Councillor Benger, Uhlbach

Kommerzienrat A. Junghans, Schramberg

Dr. Kuhlmann Lawyer, Dortmund

Major von Oeser, Mulhouse

Reindeer Sager, Colmar

Manufacturer Aug. Michel, Strasbourg

Dr. Sorgius, Strasbourg

Humert de Wendel, Hayingen

Managing Director Großberger, Kneutlingen-Hütte

Behrens, Hanover

Kommerzienrat Hornschuh, Hanover

Gust. Heise, Hannover

Banker S. L. Mayer, Hanover

Landscape Council Baron v. Spörcken, Lüdersburg


At Hupfeld, a Phonola catalogue from around 1908 contains a multi-page list of customers to whom instruments were delivered. We will also list them here soon.

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