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Ed Seiler Upright

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Ed Seiler Upright

Postby EriaTarka » 25 Jun 2009, 22:36

Hi guys, I was recently left with two pianos in my house by an ex-housemate, and whilst on the verge of demolishing both of them in the garden today, I decided I would see if somebody more knowledgeable could make better use of them than mere stress relief.

One of them is a 'Bell' of London, which is in pretty poor condition, and I'm already convinced it's worthless.

But the other says 'Ed Seiler of Leignitz', which research has told me was, at one stage at least, a decent brand. Neither piano is in tune, and they've definitely seen better days. I'm pretty sure they've been sitting in an abandoned church for many years, and were rescued at the last minute when the development company were about to move in and convert it.

I'll post some photos, and if anybody can shed some light on whether or not I should take an axe to them, it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Steve

http://img32.imageshack.us/i/dsc00447800.jpg/


http://img29.imageshack.us/i/dsc00449800.jpg/


http://img81.imageshack.us/i/dsc00452800.jpg/
Last edited by EriaTarka on 25 Jun 2009, 22:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ed Seiler Upright

Postby Bill Kibby » 25 Jun 2009, 22:45

Unfortunately, the images are "not found". Where in the world are you?
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Re: Ed Seiler Upright

Postby EriaTarka » 25 Jun 2009, 22:49

Sorry, turns out imageshack links need a forward slash after them. :oops:

Fixed 'em now, and I'm in West London.
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Re: Ed Seiler Upright

Postby Bill Kibby » 26 Jun 2009, 09:54

The piano looks as if it might have been overhauled at some time, but nobody can guess at its condition without on-the-spot testing by a tuner. If it needs tuning, that is not a problem, but if it is incapable of being tuned, that could make it a write-off.
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Re: Ed Seiler Upright

Postby Pianomate » 26 Jun 2009, 19:50

They're probably not worth anything as you say, and there seems to be quite a few keytops missing. Rather than smash them up you could offer them on Ebay (for 99p) or you could offer them for free on Gumtree. Looking at the frame in your second photo, it was probably a decent piano in its day but will now need so much doing to it to fix it up.
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Re: Ed Seiler Upright

Postby joe » 27 Jun 2009, 14:48

Could you submit image with top panel removed,pins look very rusty,but someone went to the bother of adding new dampers at some point keytops loose must have been in a damp environment at some point since been built,curious to see internals minus top panel please.
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Re: Ed Seiler Upright

Postby aloncohensa » 27 Oct 2010, 22:57

Hi,

I think my question will follow up well in this thread. I have a Piano left to me from my grandfather, who was a pretty good pianist. He played in theaters and was well known in his town.

He owned 2 pianos when he died, one was a grand piano which was sold to an overseas buyer, and an upright Ed. Seiler.

My research has had me removing panels and searching for a serial number everywhere, but I can't find one! I'm really interested to know when it was made and whether it's valuable or not.

I'd never consider selling it, and I am loving playing it! I'm actually a guitarist, but I'm rather enjoying the piano! It feels good and has held it's tuning fairly well to my ears despite being moved four times, theres no dead keys and 2 lazy ones, and otherwise feels great.

But like I said I'm a guitarist and don't know much about pianos!

So here are the photos, I really hope you guys can help me date it and assess it!

http://img221.imageshack.us/g/dsc0467u.jpg/

p.s I know it's filthy but it just arrived from storage this morning! I'd also like to know what I can use to polish the wood, and if you can tell what wood it is?
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Re: Ed Seiler Upright

Postby Colin Nicholson » 27 Oct 2010, 23:18

A nice looking piano, especially the cast iron frame. The serial number will probably be 5 digits in length, and it looks early 1900's - maybe a bit earlier. The serial number may be located on the soundboard, behind the strings, and if you know how to lift out or recline the mechanism (action) safely, have a look just below the line of the bass dampers, behind the strings (where you see the opening 'window' of the cast frame) - it might be there, or tucked away in the left hand corner near the pedal rods. Sometimes a piano tuner or repair job is noted on the side of the first key (bottom A) - and occasionally a date is pencilled on there - but this will not the date of manufacture, but a date when there was 'activity' on your piano.

The French polish has seen better days, and has faded somewhat, and if the tuning pins are nice and tight and the structure in good order, this piano would be worth restoring. The veneer seems to be mahogany, but the front display of fret work looks like the wood stain has been brushed on, then polished over. Many veneers look like the real grain of the wood, but it is often simulated and enhanced with sweeping brush strokes. The polish looks rather 'flat' - so may not polish up properly, but try a solution of linseed oil and vinegar (about 50:50) - shake the contents well in a jar, and apply with a cotton cloth or cotton wool - this will clean the wood. However the 'patchy' finish on the piano lid will eventually need to be stripped down, re-stained and polished. Also French Polish reviver (House of Harbru) do a good 'cutting polish' to get some of the shine back, but it may struggle!!
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Re: Ed Seiler Upright

Postby aloncohensa » 27 Oct 2010, 23:41

Thanks for your input Colin, it's been very helpful!

I found the serial number!!!! It wasn't where you specified but it was due to my fiddling around trying to lift the action that I spotted it!

It's on the right hand side behind the strings just below the level of the hammers! 56072! So it appears to have been made a little after 1920 according to http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/serial1.htm#SEILER !

I'm happy to say that the tuning pins are nice and tight, and the structure of the piano is solid, so I think this piano is going to make me happy for many years to come!

Thanks for the polishing advice, I'm definitely going to make that mixture and give it a good do over! Linseed is the same oil I use for my guitar so that will be handy,

Thanks so much for your input, I feel like all my fretting and dust inhalation has not been in vain :)

Some of what you said has unfortunately gone over my vocabulary and know how, and one day I hope to be able to say "ohhhh now I see what he was talking about!"
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Re: Ed Seiler Upright

Postby Colin Nicholson » 28 Oct 2010, 00:02

Nice 1.... and pleased to help. Yep, date is about 1921. My book is a little more detailed than the suggested blue book, and serial number #54802 is dated 1921 - so its about there.
Wasn't far off with the serial number location - only 4ft away! - had an incline it was on the soundboard - and usually punched into the soundboard or black decal numbers.
When you apply the l.oil & vinegar, always shake it in a closed jar every time - as it separates very quickly. Let it dry/ soak in for a couple of days, then try some beeswax - should polish up OK.
Don't bother trying to restain it, it wont work, and you need to get a spirit based stain. If you fancy a bit of DIY to the casework, then completely strip it down with paint stripper!! - yes, Nitromors, clean the wood with meths, then restain it. You can then apply beeswax for a satin finish - lengthy job, and make sure the floor is well protected, and lift out all the keys (in order), and mechanism.... but is a big job!!

Any 'wording' you don't understand, just ask.
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