Brahms, Johannes. (1833–1897)
"I simply cannot permit myself to take the risk of trying out an unknown instrument" - Autograph Letter Signed
Autograph letter signed from the great composer to piano manufacturer G. Ritmüller of Göttingen. 1 p. on a postcard, postmarked January 14, 1880. Translated from the German, in full: "Believe me that it would be with very special joy that I would play one of your grand pianos in H[annover], but I am unable and cannot permit myself to do so. I arrive just in time for the rehearsal and have a great deal to play and conduct during the concert, and for this reason I simply cannot permit myself to take the risk of trying out an unknown instrument. If the opportunity should come again, we will look to come to a mutually satisfactory understanding, and as mentioned, it would be a pleasure for me to play on my old acquaintance ‘Ritmüller’ one more time. With best wishes, yours, J. Brahms." Postcard rather toned with a few smudges, but overall fine. 3.5 x 5.5 inches (14 x 9 cm). Nicely matted and framed with a portrait to an overall size of 11 x 16.5.
In the late 18th century, Andreas Georg Ritmüller and his son, Gottlieb Wilhelm Ritmüller (1772-1829), began production of lutes, guitars, and harps in Göttingen. In 1795, the production of piano began in their workshop, and after the father's death in c. 1800, the company was officially named "G. W. Ritmüller." Two sons of Gottlieb Wilhelm Ritmüller, Johann Wilhelm (born 1802) and Johann Martin (born 1803), joined the company. The company became bankrupt in 1890 and was sold. Pianos manufactured today under the name "Ritmüller" are produced in China, and are not related to this company.