Vichand piano

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sgtmike
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Vichand piano

Post by sgtmike » 19 Jul 2013, 22:53

Hello,
My first posting on this site. I recently acquired a "Vichand" 4'6" baby grand in mahogany with a Simples action. I tried to find information about these pianos, and although I found a couple of "Art Deco" uprights listed, could discover nothing else about them. Now that I have it in my hands, I have been able to look more closely. I used to be in the trade, so am not without some experience. I am now fairly certain that the "Vichand" piano is actually a label name for a Monington and Weston: same action, similar (surprisingly good) tone, double iron frame, similar scaling. I feel sure that Bill could confirm this - but it might help anyone else who comes across one.

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Vichand piano

Post by Bill Kibby » 20 Jul 2013, 00:12

I wrestled for years over the name of one that I tuned, an upright of about 1895, and the lettering did not even establish definitely that the first letter was V, but I have since found ads for a secondhand Vichand in the thirties, and also one being sold new by the Civil Service Stores in 1940. They claimed exhibition medals in 1878 and 1885. Around 1910, some looked German, some were Arts & Crafts style. Some have French actions made by L'Union, some look like Murdoch pianos, and my guess is that it was just an alias applied to various pianos sold by the Civil Service Stores.
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sgtmike
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Re: Vichand piano

Post by sgtmike » 20 Jul 2013, 00:25

Thanks for that, Bill.

It would make perfectly good sense. This "Vichand" is late 20s - early 30s, I would guess. It's the double iron frame that suggested M&W - I couldn't think of another baby grand that might be so equipped.
I must be a glutton for punishment: I also have a 1908 Steck player, about 54" tall and with a double iron frame. Now that IS a monster!!

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Re: Vichand piano

Post by Bill Kibby » 20 Jul 2013, 11:49

Ignoring the possible meerkat connection, I will assume that when you typed "Simples action" you really meant Simplex action. This is a term which many people use, but in quite different ways, and I have never found an action branded as "Simplex". I presume this is a simple jack action, rather than a roller action, these are commonly used in cheaper commercial baby grands of the 1900s.
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If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

sgtmike
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Re: Vichand piano

Post by sgtmike » 20 Jul 2013, 15:25

Quite right, Bill. I saw the typo after I had posted. It is a Brooks action, but seems to have been well regulated in the past. Certainly it is remarkably responsive for such a basic action. Depth of touch feels just about perfect to me, and although repetition is not brilliant, it is quite acceptable for most purposes (even "Leyenda" at a fair lick!)

All in all, this is clearly not a top-rank instrument, but it seems to be a very competent little baby grand. It rather puts me in mind of an excellent George Rogers 5' that I once owned - often under-rated, but actually a pleasure to play. I can live with a slightly tubby bass (although even this is not as bad as some pianos I have had) and I am looking forward to getting this one back to something of its former glory (which, given the history of label names, probably wasn't all that 'glorious' to begin with!).

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