Schleip, Johann Christian (?-1848)

Johann Christian Schleip (?-1848) was a German piano maker who made pianos in Berlin. There is little information about his early years, but the earliest evidence of his work points to him starting about 1813. In 1816 he moved to Berlin and began to work under a piano maker by the name of Sylig. It is believed that this Sylig was the inventor of the Lyraflügel, a decorative form of upright piano whereby the case is in the shape and style of a lyre, a common motif in Biedermeister-style furniture. Schleip took over Sylig’s workshop in 1822 at 72 Wallstrasse, where he remained until 1847. The only known pianos made by Schleip are the so-called Lyraflügel type. These pianos primarily contained an English style action and used knee pedals, one of which was usually a bassoon stop. After Schleip’s death, the firm continued to build pianos with his name on them for several decades. After his death, from 1855-1877, the location of the workshop was at 21 Behrenstrasse.

Literature References:

Clinkscale, M., 2006. Makers of the piano, 1700-1820. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.244.

Palmieri, R. and Palmieri, M., 2003. Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, p.346.