Van Gruisen, Liverpool

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n134h
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Van Gruisen, Liverpool

Post by n134h » 01 Jul 2013, 14:06

Recently had my grandmothers piano shipped from Conway, Wales to here in Virginia. I do not know that much about it, other than it is a Van Giesen (Sp?). I would like to find out any history anyone may know about it...and esp. what type of wood it is made of. Any comments or thoughts are greatly appreciated!
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Bill Kibby
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Re: Grandmother's piano - HELP!

Post by Bill Kibby » 01 Jul 2013, 15:52

Would that be Van Gruisen of Liverpool? After a brief partnership with Rushworth around 1845, they continued well into the 1900s. Looking sideways at your picture, this might be something from the late 1880s, it is difficult to know exactly, but it imitates the style of the French pianino, or it may actually be French, they were originally in Paris. See
http://pianogen.org/victorian.html

Could you give us all the EXACT wording that is on the piano, and any numbers etc. you can see by opening the top.

I am not great at guessing woods, and to be honest, a lot of pianos have faked grains polished to cover up a variety of different timbers. I wish the internet had a good reference source for recognising wood grains!
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n134h
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Re: Grandmother's piano - HELP!

Post by n134h » 01 Jul 2013, 16:31

Thank you so much, Bill! It still is at the piano shop here as they are going to try and tune it. Have attached a picture of what it says on front, and you are right about that. We can't seem to find any serial numbers anywhere...is there a specific place to look for this? I believe that it says "Colwyn Bay" somewhere, but I will have to check. That was where I assumed it was bought. I agree with ya on the wood...I haven't been able to find anything on the web! Will try and get more information and post. Thank you again!
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Bill Kibby
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Van Gruisen

Post by Bill Kibby » 01 Jul 2013, 17:01

If you open the top you may see numbers, but they can be buried deeper, or may not be there, and probably won't help you, I am just interested in case they show me anything at a later date. Later pianos indicate the address as 27 (perhaps just re-numbering) or even 26 & 27, but I don't have dates of the changes, although it seems possible this address pre-dates 1867, although after he moved into larger premises along the road, Van Gruisen continued to live at 17 Bold Street. Sadly, the old building are gone.

There may be dates inside the piano, see
http://pianogen.org/datemarks.html
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n134h
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Re: Van Gruisen, Liverpool

Post by n134h » 01 Jul 2013, 18:02

You are super, Bill! It actually says "17 Bold Street" and has "Colwyn Bay" stamp was in upper right hand corner of piano after front was removed. The piano people could not find any numbers.
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Re: Van Gruisen, Liverpool

Post by Bill Kibby » 01 Jul 2013, 18:26

Sorry, I made the assumption that everybody had zoomed in on the address from the earlier photo. The Van Gruisen family seems to have been from Holland, but had premises in Paris before I can find any record of them at Liverpool. We keep intending to get to Liverpool for a research trip.
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n134h
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Re: Van Gruisen, Liverpool

Post by n134h » 01 Jul 2013, 18:36

Hi Bill! Found info off the Reed Organ Society database:
Found in database of Reed Organ Society (International):

VAN GRUISEN, N.L. rue St. Honoré, Paris, 1855 and 1867. Organ builders, piano-forte, American harmonium, and musical manufactors and importers. Also listed in Liverpool, England, probably a sales office, at the following addresses: 21 Paradise St. and 15 Bold St. in 1855, 17 Bold St. in 1856, warehouse at 21 Canning St. in 1870, and 27-29 Bold St. in 1867 & 1882.[/i]

So it looks like made between 1856-1867. Is that what you think?

Still would love to find out about wood...maybe I will email the Reed Society?

:-)
Nancy

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Re: Van Gruisen, Liverpool

Post by Bill Kibby » 01 Jul 2013, 18:44

I love "Nancy with the laughing face", (it's a year older than me, 1946) but I've never seen Nancy with a smiley face before! That is much the same information I have so far, but Van Gruisen still lived at 17 after he opened larger premises along the road. I wish there was a date in the piano somewhere, or markings on the action. They sold pianos by Erard and by Bord, so this might turn out to be a Bord, but will we ever know?

I am surprised if it is old as 1867. Bord made some very similar, such as
http://boulzicourt.olx.fr/piano-droit-b ... id-8711301
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Re: Van Gruisen, Liverpool

Post by Sparks » 10 Nov 2016, 04:49

(Different piano.)

I will try to do some work to this piano.

Photo link 1
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5_fEU ... sp=sharing
Photo link 2
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5_fEU ... sp=sharing
Photo link 3
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5_fEU ... sp=sharing
Photo link 4
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5_fEU ... sp=sharing
Photo link 5
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5_fEU ... sp=sharing

I have never worked on a piano before. This one was almost thrown on the burn pile..

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Van Gruisen, Liverpool

Post by Bill Kibby » 11 Nov 2016, 21:10

Van Gruisen was still advertising the address 17 Bold Street in 1878, but there was some overlap with 27 Bold Street, so the piano above could easily be as late as 1878, and I would have guessed nearer 1886.
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