W. Graham & Sons upright

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Jimdmurphy
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W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Jimdmurphy » 06 Jun 2010, 03:07

I have a W. Graham & Sons upright piano that I'm trying to learn more about.

It has "W. Graham & Sons" with "London." underneath. Above the keys it reads "Full Trichord Iron Frame Check Action."

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Bill Kibby
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Bill Kibby » 06 Jun 2010, 08:21

I will see what I can find in my files, but I do know that the Graham name was available in modern times as a cheap name transfer, which could be bought for a few pence, and stuck onto any piano when the original name was lost in repolishing. Have a look at pianogen.org
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Jimdmurphy » 08 Jun 2010, 18:53

What other informaton can I provide to assist in determining the age and original manufacturer (if not W. Graham & Sons) of this piano?

Is there an online source for more information about the W. Graham & Sons company?

Are there some common locations for stamps or other identifying marks? (The fabric on the back has been removed.)

Here are two pictures of the piano:

Image

Image

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Bill Kibby
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Bill Kibby » 08 Jun 2010, 22:43

Have you read my pages at pianogen.org? Some of the answers to your questions are there. The piano looks something from about a century ago, and the name may well be original and genuine, but that doesn't mean there was actually a piano maker by that name. I will see what I can find in my London lists, now that I have an idea of the period.
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Bill Kibby » 10 Jun 2010, 12:31

I don't know if it is any help, but some pianos simply marked "Graham" may have been made by Willson Glen, London around that time. I can find no record of any kind of London music firm with this name around the period. For example, the Music Trades Directory for 1914 shows none in London. Possible explanations are that it was a firm just outside London, stretching a point to give itself credibility, or it may have been a dealer in the far reaches of Britain putting a fake London name onto the piano to make it more saleable. Or it could simply be that the firm was so small, they were never listed in any directories. Or W. Graham may have been a tuner, putting his name on pianos. I can't find him on our many UK lists of the period.
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Jimdmurphy » 12 Jun 2010, 14:06

I noticed on the piano history page that there is a picture of a W. Sames c1900 piano with the candle holders on either side of the music holders. Our piano has the brackets for the candle holders (with the vertical holes), but the actual candle holders are missing.
Image

What years did candle holders stop being installed on pianos? What would be some sources of replacement holders?

Are there any other markings/stamps that we should be looking for, in attempts to learn more about the origin of our "W. Graham & Sons" piano?

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Bill Kibby
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Bill Kibby » 12 Jun 2010, 20:22

Sconces (projecting candle-holders) are found in some pianos made between the 1820s and the 1920s, but makes and models vary. Apart from the modern ones on sale on this website, there are few options, but Ebay is the most likely source of antuque ones, althugh there is no way of knowing exactly what the originals looked like. I have to say that sconces often cost more than the value of an antique piano!
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by msc5 » 05 Jul 2010, 11:12

Hello,

I have a piano which shares some similarities with yours, including signs of sconces. Sadly, they are no longer present and we don't even have the backplates remaining. To help us get a better idea of what we should be looking for, in terms of a replacement, could you please post a picture of the back plate?

Our piano was sold by AE Cooke, Peterborough, before they became AE Cooke and Son, making the piano pre-1924. Similar to yours it has "Upright, Iron, Grand, Full, Trichord, Check, Action", just above the keys. Brass covered wooden feet. It is not overstrung, and no makers name on the frame.
Thanks

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Colin Nicholson » 05 Jul 2010, 11:43

If its helpful to anyone, I can get hold of two kinds of sconces available through Heckschers. They are a bit "pricey" - about £65 + vat + carriage, and come in either a fluted or dragon design. Feel free to email me - I have pictures & dimensions of them on a word doc. - not sure if I can upload them here?

Yeh piano looks very early 1900. Probably straight-strung, can be seem without removing front by the size of the left hand key block.

I'll give it a go with the pictures!

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Bill Kibby
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Sconces

Post by Bill Kibby » 05 Jul 2010, 12:03

Obviously, we can get sconces directly from Heckshers or F&N, or they are available for purchase from this website. Personally, if I were paying that much, I would rather buy proper period sconces.
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by muralmommy23 » 22 Jul 2010, 19:51

We just purchased an old farmhouse in East Texas with a piano that looks almost exactly like yours!! Instead of Graham, ours reads, "R.J. Woods, Many years with Erard. Pianoforte Manufacturers, London". Go figure. I'm trying to find anything about it but is sounds like it may have been a generic type piano from 100 years ago. It's a beauty and we love it regardless!

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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Barrie Heaton » 07 Apr 2011, 21:30

PianoLove wrote:Bill and Colin do you know of who might sell period sconces at the £60 mark? I'd like to get some for my Piano in the future.
Ebay for old ones repo ones are on the UK Piano Page
piano sconces

Barrie,
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Bill Kibby
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by Bill Kibby » 08 Apr 2011, 12:44

The enquiry about Woods (which I have seen before) would have more chance of being effective if it was posted under that name. As for the piano, it is probably very close in specification to the 1910 posting above.
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Re: W. Graham & Sons upright

Post by fluffy82 » 05 Oct 2016, 11:15

I stumbled upon this old thread by accident...

I mentioned this in another thread about Moutrie as well, since they were in-laws.

There was a company in London (Islington) named Graham, who made reed organs and harmoniums. The company was held by three brothers, Walter, William and Frederick. The first mention dates from the mid-1880's. William left for Canada in 1904 but Walter and Frederick kept the business until at least the 1920's (no trace of them after that; Walter died in 1940).

The censuses give them as harmonium makers, but one of their remaining organs has a plaque on it which says "Pianoforte, American Organ & Harmonium Manufacturers". So they did make pianos as well, right about the time yours is dated.

Their father and a younger brother were carpenters, so that fits in well with the piano making. I am also trying to establish a link with a William Graham who was a piano manufacturer in Newcastle, but lived in Islington in the 1860's close to the above mentioned family.

Regards,
Tom

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