Kraft, Mathias Petter
- Laurence Libin
(b Gävle, Sweden, June 14, 1753; d Stockholm, Sweden, July 9, 1807). Swedish keyboard instrument maker and luthier. The son of a joiner, in 1778 he was reportedly still a pupil (perhaps journeyman) of the clavichord maker Pehr Lundborg (d 1808) but by 1788 at the latest, when he became a citizen of Stockholm, he was an instrument maker to the Swedish court, a position he held at least until 1802, perhaps alongside Lundborg. Kraft became very well known in Sweden. At least six clavichords and five pianos (mainly squares) of his survive; the first of these pianos, dated 1788, is numbered 50 and the last, dated 1805, is numbered 346, indicating a substantial output. Like Lundborg, he is said to have made violins, Swedish lutes (a type of cittern, related to the English guitar), and harps before turning to keyboard instruments; in order to hire journeymen assistants he entered the joiners’ guild. Typically for his time and place, his clavichords, dated as late as ...