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B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

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B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby Emmetyak » 19 May 2009, 11:38

Hi All,
I've inherited a beautiful minx miniature piano made by B. Squire, supplied by Crane and Sons. It has a number on the back, B&S 171657. It also says 'Reg No.809841-809843' and 'Pat App 2193/36'
I'm really interested to find out more about the history of it, someone told me it had been a ships piano, but I've trawled through the net for hours, and can find no references to it at all. The guy who's coming to tune it is really keen to see it, he's heard of them but has never actually seen one.
I wondered if any of you knowledgeable people may have heard of it, or know somewhere I can find out more...

Thanks in advance,
Andy
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Re: B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby PianoGuy » 19 May 2009, 13:59

It's a very common instrument made by Kemble. Look up "Kemble Minx" instead.

"B Squire" was a Kemble brand name, related historically to the Squire family who ended up with a dealership of that name in Ealing. They had other branches in Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross I think.
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Re: B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby Emmetyak » 19 May 2009, 14:42

Ah! Thank you very much pianoguy, much appreciated.
I looked up Kemble instead, and yes, that looks like the one! Only difference is that mine says B.Squire in gold under the lid instead of Kemble.
I'll do some more digging and see what I can come up with...

Thanks again!
A :-)
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Re: B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby Bill Kibby » 19 May 2009, 16:29

Yes, Kemble Minx was made under various names. I used to play one locally which was still going strong on its 70th birthday. Could you ask that person for me, what do they mean by a ship's piano? I bet they haven't got an answer!
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Re: B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby vernon » 19 May 2009, 21:36

we had a ship's piano recently. The keyboard folded up out of the way.
There were electric lights at each end. In lovely Italian walnu and over all a nice piano/ o/s, underdamped.
It was called "SUPATONE"
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

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Re: B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby Emmetyak » 20 May 2009, 09:06

Hi Bill,
You were right, they called it a ships piano because it was small, they'd assumed it came off a ship!
I have a very small television, perhaps it's a ships tv!!

I'm amazed at the sound of the mini piano, you wouldn't think such a big sound could come out of a little piano! I'm also amazed at the weight of it, it must be very dense, it seems to have its own gravitational pull...

Thank you all for your help :-)
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Re: B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby Bill Kibby » 20 May 2009, 12:04

I love it! Someone once said that the definition of a ship was that it was big enough to carry a boat, but they didn't define a boat. Every ship I have been on in the course of tuning for P&O and others was big enough to have any kind of piano it wanted, and instuments like the Supatone are known as "Yacht Pianos" because the folding keyboard allows space to be saved in a confined area, such as a yacht or wherry. In reality, most were simply in people's front rooms, and never got their sea legs.
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Re: B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby Emmetyak » 20 May 2009, 12:23

Well, according to the navy, anything that floats on top of the water is a ship, and below the water is a boat....not sure what that makes a lifeboat...not very safe I'd imagine!

:-)
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Re: B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby Gill the Piano » 20 May 2009, 17:28

Emmetyak wrote: because it was small, they'd assumed it came off a ship!

I have a ship's bank account then...
Of all the miniature/mini pianos I tune I reckon the Minx is possibly the best model in that they seem less prone to loose pins than most of the tinies.
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Re: B.Squire 'Minx' Miniature piano

Postby Bill Kibby » 07 Jun 2009, 11:14

That's true, but when they get to the age where they need repinning, then they are a problem, because there is so little vertical space on these planks, they are liable to split once bigger pins are rammed in there.
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