Knight piano - 1938?

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Romer
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Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Romer » 01 Jul 2013, 15:30

Hello,
I'm looking to trace what some numbers on a Knight upright piano are.
As follows -
On the lower right of the steel frame, molded in is - K..10 (the dots are actually level withe top of the lettering, but I can't get the PC keyboard to do that). I assume this is just meaning that it is the K10 model. But I just wondered if the two dots signified anything.

Looking inside the top, at the top of the right hand side is stamped - 2594.

Looking inside on what I believe to be the Soundboard is stamped - 1594.

On the outside towards the top right of the back framework is stamped - H017802.

I assume the 2594 is the serial number which I believe could mean a manufacturing year of 1938?

If that is so, is it typical for the Soundboard to also have a serial number with the same last three digits?

What about the numbers on the back? . . . . a shop serail number?

Would be interested to hear what people have to say?

Thank you very much in advance.

Romer

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Info regarding Knight piano please

Post by Bill Kibby » 01 Jul 2013, 15:47

Without photos of the whole piano, it is unwise to rely on numbers. I would guess the last digits are a coincidence. It seems to be a K10, I wouldn't work too hard on understanding why they put the dots up there! If you have a look at the bottom of the page at
http://pianogen.org/numbers.html
there are some modern Knight numbers. You also will see there that letters before a number usually indicate the initials of a retailer, and the number would be their stock number. Also mentioned there is the fact that HO may be the stock number of a Head Office of a group of shops, unless O is a zero. It is fairly unusual to lead a number with a zero, and if it was, for example, a Harrods stock number it would be from about 1920, but I wouldn't expect the zero in front.

There should be a date inside, see
http://pianogen.org/datemarks.html
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Re: Info regarding Knight piano please

Post by Colin Nicholson » 02 Jul 2013, 00:41

Bill.... if ever you were subject to being trampled by a school/herd/fleet of elephants - I am damned sure you would eventually stand up...... brush yourself down ...... and utter .... "without photos.... I didnt quite catch that"!!!

I often think in cases like when someone gets lost amongst allsorts of numbers - for every number - there should be a photo?
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Re: Info regarding Knight piano please

Post by Bill Kibby » 02 Jul 2013, 13:13

I agree with you, but in many cases people send me a whole stream of photos, but none of them show what the PIANO looks like! Sometimes, they give an excellent impression of the dog or cat, vases, family photo frames, or the stool (which is usually irrelevant) but not the PIANO.

I am not the best with computers, but some people don't own a camera or a scanner, so we have to work with what is available. Just this week, I was puzzled to be asked questions about photos that hadn't arrived, but 2 days later, they came by snail mail. They were printed on thick, glossy paper, must be a new invention, I could actually hold them in my hands!
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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Romer » 03 Jul 2013, 10:34

Thank you both for your replies.
I will get a photo and attach it - probably won't be for a few days due to work commitments though.
Regarding the numbers on the back begining with the "H" - it's difficult to tell from the way they've been stamped into the wood as to whether the second digit is a number zero or a letter "O" (reminds me of the timeless Ronnie Barker sketch).

I will have a good read of those Pianogen links that you attached Bill - have only had time for a quick scan through them for now. I did note though that there was some reference to the method of numbers being applied - impressions made into the wood with hammered letter and number stamps or ink stamped.
In my case all the numbers I quoted have been hammer stamped into the wood. Obviously other than the K10 being part of the iron casting.

Returning to the photo for a moment, I assume you would want to shots front and back and with the keyboard lid open and closed?

Thanks.

Romer

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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Bill Kibby » 03 Jul 2013, 11:08

What I especially want is to see what the whole piano looks like, and ideally open and closed. The back is probably not important, but anything is interesting.
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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 03 Jul 2013, 16:00

The serial number is likely to be near or amongst the tuning pins - usually to the right of centre. On some Knights - the front panel just pulls off - there may be wooden pegs/ dowelling that snaps into a plastic semi-circular socket.... if the piano is later - the fallboard [lid that covers the keys] may be attached to the front panel - all in one. Have a look inside first. If not wooden pegs - then there may be either wooden turnbuckles [turn them both to 12 o'clock] .... or 2 metal latches that slot into an eyed hook. Alternatively - lift out the first piano key - bottom A - there may be date stamp on the side of the key.... or underneath on the key frame. Lots of the other numbers will be stock/parts numbers - and there is usually no reference to them.
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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Romer » 17 Jul 2013, 02:21

Bill, here are some photos as requested.

Front view.
The piano is currently in my garage waiting for a place to be made available.
Front.jpg
Left side view
Left Side.jpg
Front with covers removed
Front - Covers Off.jpg
Front lower cover (behind pedals)
Front Cover - Behind Pedals.jpg
Hammer movement manufacturer ??
Herrburger, Brooks Ltd.jpg
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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Romer » 17 Jul 2013, 02:31

Some more photos -

First key - side view
Key - Side.jpg
First key - underneath view
Key - Underneath.jpg
Label below first key. Note, the pen writing shows K6, but appears to be overwritten with 10.
Label.jpg
Soundboard
Soundboard Number & K10.jpg
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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Romer » 17 Jul 2013, 02:34

Last two photos -

Top left detail
Top Left Detail.jpg
Original retailer ??
W H Barnes Ltd.jpg
I hope these help to identify it and any comments and/or info will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Romer

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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Bill Kibby » 17 Jul 2013, 09:58

It is certainly a K10, the handwritten mistake on the label doesn't alter that. The action was made by Herrburger Brooks Ltd., some time after 1919. The key covering material is Ivoette. The retailer Barnes was one of the largest in London. The stock numbers at their head office were marked HO.

I am still not clear whether the number is 1594 (as on the soundboard) or 2594, could you have misread one of them? Either way, it is 1937-1938. The imprint of the last 3 digits is commonly used on removable parts, as described at
http://pianogen.org/numbers.html

The label under the keys would usually have a date at the top right corner, but sometimes they are lost when the wood is trimmed, or the label may have wrapped around the wood.
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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Romer » 17 Jul 2013, 15:14

Thanks for the info Bill.

Typical about the date on the label under the key - it does look as though the label was stuck on before that piece was finished and as such part of the label has been destroyed during that process.

I have some other photos of the soundboard and side panel that clearly show the two different numbers - 1594 on the soundboard and 2594 on the side panel - definitely two different numbers.

I was never any good at woodwork at school, but I think the panels are solid wood rather than veneered - not sure what type of wood though. Would you have any idea from the photos?

Obviously not holding anybody to anything, but is there a generally accepted measument for the compression on the hammer felt as to whether the felt is too badly compressed or not - the compression marks where the hammers strike the wires. Hope I've explained that in a way that can be understood.

Thanks again.

Romer

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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Bill Kibby » 17 Jul 2013, 16:07

Shame about the date, it always nice to see it in black and white. I think it is fair to say that almost all pianos are veneered. Hammers will very quickly show marks where they strike the strings, the question is how deeply they are cut, if at all. If the strings go into a deep cut, it deadens the tone but it will be more of a problem in the top notes, where the felt is so very thin, you can easily end up with the reverse effect when the wood strikes the strings. I wonder if a piano this old is worth the cost of new hammers? Your tuner may be able to tone the hammers to even out differences.
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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by vernon » 18 Jul 2013, 18:13

The photo of the underside of a key shows my personal monogram so I must have handled it sometime in the past!
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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Romer » 19 Jul 2013, 10:18

Wow, that's interesting to know Vernon!

Are / were you a tuner or involved in repairs? Just wondering what your involvment would have been?

Which county are you based in? I don't know the full movements of this piano, but I believe it may have mainly been based around Northampton - I think that's what was said.

Did / do you keep records of work done? If so would there be anything about this particular piano?

I've also tried Google to see what Ivoette is, but can't find anything. Can you advise please? I assume it's some form of plastic or other man made substance.

Thanks

Romer

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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by Bill Kibby » 19 Jul 2013, 10:20

Ivoette is one of many names for imitation ivory, and others are mentioned briefly about three-quarters of the way down the page at
http://pianogen.org/victorian.html
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Re: Knight piano - 1938?

Post by vernon » 19 Jul 2013, 10:36

We are now in Scotland (last 30 years) Before that in Canterbury and Margate.
When we were in Margate,Alfred Knight himself visited as he was the rep.
I have no records whatsoever of past sales.
We are piano technicians,repairers,dealers tuners etc
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it

www.lochnesspianos.co.uk

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