Black Erard

Ask questions on piano history and the age of your piano.

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Black Erard

Post by Juli » 11 Nov 2017, 00:59

I have been trying to find out information on my Erard. It has been in our family for 50 years and has been well played and loved. We purchased it from a couple in Dorset but know nothing about it before this. It is black, but the black is coming off in places where it has been moved and rubbed against something. Would it have been veneer? Ebony? Or just a black stain? I cannot find any pictures of any black upright Erards on the Internet. The serial number is 85053 so I think it was made in 1902 in Paris. Would you be able to give me any further information please?

Thank you in advance for your help.
I have attached a photo below.

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Black Erard

Post by Bill Kibby » 21 Nov 2017, 09:37

Serial numbers over twenty thousand usually indicate a Paris Erard, but it is important to remember that most pianos have several numbers inside, and this looks like a typical Edwardian London piano, as shown at

Most pianos were veneered. "Ebonised" cases were quite common a century ago, simply a very dark polish, or dark stain under the polish, often covering up the fact that the piano is made of various different woods, as you will find out if it is stripped. If you want to search for clues inside the piano, have a look at
Piano History Centre
If you find old references or links on this site to, alter these to

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