Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

General discussion about piano makes, problems with pianos, or just seeking advice.

Moderators: Feg, Gill the Piano, Melodytune

Post Reply
berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 19 Jul 2016, 06:13

Hello all

I am posting here as there seems to be no forum for parts and repairs.

I am restoring a Pleyel grand piano made in 1900 for which I would love to find some parts.
It is a nice piano and I do not want to junk it. Unfortunately, it has been heavily butchered in the past.

The piano has round legs, thetypical "PLEYEL" filligreed music desk and harp shaped lyre. they made them like that for several decades

In short, I need:

1) The cast iron bracket where the the lyre fits into. It fits under the keybed

2) an original lyre - any condition
3) an original music desk - any condition
4) Legs. Any condition.

The most important part is the cast iron bracket as I can make the rest.

I am in Australia and there is not much Pleyel stuff here.

If anyone can help or has any ideas on who can. please let me know.
Any help is greatly appreciated.


Best regards
Bernt

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 19 Jul 2016, 12:09

Hello Bernt

You'll never find parts like that anywhere in the world unless you get a donor piano with similar parts.
Yes, you will need to custom make parts 2, 3 and 4.

To my knowledge there are 2 types of lyre stay rods available on the market (1&2 below), but you may need to go through a trade piano tuner/ restorer.... e.g. Parkes of Sydney will supply lyre parts, but not for Pleyel.

1. Lyre rod/ brass. Rounded at both ends to slot in bushed holes. 6.5mm X 550mm - fit while offering up lyre.
2. Lyre rod stay with hinged bracket at one end / brass. Approx. 590mm in length/ 4.5mm plate

3. For a cast iron lyre rod stay with square hinge plates/ pinned at both ends (rebated into back of pedal box) .... must be hand-made with screws to match.

Top tip.... forget the name Pleyel.... like Erard, parts like that cannot be bought off the shelf; if you want a cast iron lyre stay rod, it will need to be custom made, but of course, if the original stay is missing, better to go for a standard rod. Perhaps contact a piano restorer for some help. Last year, I had to make a replacement lyre spring for the sustain lever arm (above the lyre) .... a lot of fettling, and I could only do the work with the piano standing next to me.... couldn't do this work by diagrams/ photos....

Hope that helps.
Colin
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 19 Jul 2016, 22:51

Hi Colin, forum,

I am hoping to find used original parts for a start. I am aware from a good friend of mine that many old grand pianos and uprights get scrapped in the UK because it is too expensive to repair them and of course, nobody wants them. In fact, container loads full of them go to the tip.

So somewhere out there, there is someone who has these parts from a suitable donout pipano. If only I can dind them.

Hopefully someone here on this forum can shed light on where I should be looking.

BTW: I meant the lyre atachment bracket under the keybed, not so much the stay rod. Pleyel used a heavy cast iron bracket where the lyre sildes into. I have managed to get only 1 picture of this so far from someone in the USA.

I could fabricate that as well but it will be a mission as I would have to fabricate it out of at least 10 heavy steel pieces. If I had a sample, I could get one cast of course...

If I could get access to a similar piano in Sydney, I could also trace the music stand and lyre.

Best regards
Bernt

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 19 Jul 2016, 22:56

Here are some pictures showing the lyre, the cast bracket at the top and the music desk.
$_57 (6).JPG
$_57 (1).JPG

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 20 Jul 2016, 11:21

Here is a suggestion if you cannot find a bracket.... (see diagram I knocked up in 5 mins below)

The bracket is very well designed, I've seen them before, but of course never taken any notice of them if working. Maybe they are unique to Pleyel?

However.... very highly over-engineered, and the bracket could be replaced by modifying the top of the lyre/ adding a cross beam, and adding some 'L' retaining bracket pins to prevent the levers from collapsing.

The centre "donut" does add strength to the whole bracket & fixture, but in effect it only guides the lift rods through a bushed hole, and when the lyre is removed, its prevents both lever arms from collapsing (note the spring aswell, which is probably missing?)

Erard Paris lyres are similar to this with the cross-beam, but metal threaded inserts are needed at both ends for the lyre to bolt up to the keybed due to the weight.

Good luck anyway in your search.
lyre.jpg
Lyre diagram
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 20 Jul 2016, 11:58

Hi Colin

Thanks for your kind suggestions snd the sketch. There is currently a similar setup under the piano but it is terribly poorly executed in that the whole lyre is a boxy home made mess.

I would like to at least try and restore it back to original. If I can't l, Iwill improve what is there.

The music stand is just a solid ill fitting plank and the round legs were cut square and then thin planks glued over them. Casters are original and they have cups for round legs. Believe it or not, the planks were partially glued over the round castor cups to make the legs look square.

I have in the past managed to restore 2 other grand pianos in a similar poor condition. A Ronisch and a Bluethner.
In both cases legs, music desk and lyre were needed.
So there is still hope for this poor piano.

Regards
Bernt

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 20 Jul 2016, 12:12

BTW:
That important little L bracket you have drawn onto the crank lever...

A George Steck Duo Art that I am repairing at e moment does not have this.
When I removed the lyre and the shifter pneumatic, the heavy lever swung down and hit me hard onto my lip and teeth. I was bleeding, and swearing- profusely.
Luckily no tooth chipped! :-)

Regards
Bernt

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 20 Jul 2016, 13:56

You must have a lot of patience to do this.... these days, if I see bits & pieces missing, especially pedal lyres/ proper music rests.... I just walk away - too much hassle.

When my Mother used to live in the Scottish Borders 2 years ago, in the village pub/hotel, the landlady overheard our conversation about pianos/ piano restoration etc. She quickly introduced herself to me (wonder why?!).... and said that she has an A. Bord baby grand "in the back" .... mmmm.... well, I ignored it first visit, but 2nd time, she approached me again, so OK, I had a look at it. Well, it was all in bits, propped up on its side in barn, and leaning on the huge central heating oil boiler!! .... I offered her £20 for the action only (hammers & shanks may be useful at some stage), but the rest of it was a shed. All the beautiful brass strip banding on the fallboard had come off, leaving the thin stripped recessed veneer bare.... a leg was damaged, and all the strings were very rusty. She offered it to me for £100!! .... no chance, and then even asked if we could split the restoration costs. Problem being was mainly transport costs, and with her thinking it might be worth something (BTW - had one of those awkward under-damper system like Erard).... she was barking up the wrong tree entirely. Let's suppose I knew about your enquiry sooner, and bought some of the bits from her.... boxing it all up/ weighing/ international shipping...... etc etc.... and lots of schlepping around.... no one would want all that hassle, especially with dealing with a stranger over 12,000 miles away!!

My ex-work colleague lives in NSW who I went to college with, and my sister and her family live in QL. I've had allsorts of unusual requests and illogical ways to "get piano bits" .... so much hassle, I don't do it anymore.... even for my own family!!

BTW: the Bord (I believe) is still there in this barn if you want it?? .... some of the parts also on Erard, Bord, Pleyel, Gaveau (most French pianos) had similar action parts and could have that all-important pedal bracket.... however, please don't ask me.... the piano is nearly 200 miles away - and guessing, even if the pedal lyre dropped onto her foot, she wouldn't know what it was and what it did!!
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 20 Jul 2016, 23:14

Hello Colin

I understand your point and I am not going to ask :D
I have learned over the years that one has to be really patient.

I will just keep putting the workd out there and hopefully something suitable will eventually come up.

The only must have here is that bracket.

Regards
Bernt

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 26 Jul 2016, 02:18

Look what I found!!

Almost unbelievable !!!!!

All the insides have been stripped out and it has been converted to digital, using a 1995 Kawai.

It actually has all the original parts I need except the cast iron bracket.

Unfortunately they want $1000. :?

What do you folks think?
:?:

Regards
Bernt
Attachments
$_75.JPG
$_20.JPG

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 26 Jul 2016, 10:12

you are doing the work, not me ....
what do YOU think?
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 26 Jul 2016, 10:36

I am torn between:

"Must have" and "forget it".

That is why I need a bit of discussion.
What would you do?

It is a one time opportunity for rare parts without fear of destroing another piano.
But maybe a whole other complete one is out there.

I DON'T KNOW.

Regards
Bernt
BTW: Are we a 2 person forum here?

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 26 Jul 2016, 14:45

I thought you were experienced in this work.... and did the same to a Bluthner?? .... so you should know the score by now.

There is no "professional" or valid support or explanation for this kind of behaviour in restoring pianos - this is one of the main reasons I always avoid a restoration or tuning that has been previously DIY repaired.

I think this forum is for general piano advice only, and may not venture into the realms of financial gain/ loss/ support, or taking on board some kind of financial solutions to your problems (like an agony aunt).... hence, only myself has replied so far. It also depends on if you are selling the piano for a profit, and what your margin is. If you have bought the piano purely as a project only, and intend to keep it - then $1000 is only peanuts and all your nightmares are over (mostly) about making legs etc. Also consider the width of each piano - if yours is 85 note, the music tray (not rest) may be narrower. The money will be a loss to you, but if selling and the rest of the piano restored properly i.e. frame re-guilded/ restrung/ dampers & action done/ keyboard restored etc etc.... then you should make a profit.

Personally, myself, I would never have put myself in this situation from the start - as an experienced piano technician, we walk away..... so I don't know the answer to your financial position. Logistically it is unheard of to buy a piano with so many special parts missing. Perhaps a lesson learned?

If you buy the donor piano, you could try and sell the digital system separately, weigh in the cast frame, and perhaps sell the hammer heads & shanks etc.... rest of it is scrap..... or use the cast iron frame again and turn it into a coffee table.... seen that done.

If you can afford it, and prepared to work for a loss (if you sell it).... the experience will tell you never to do this again!! .... but then, who is the expert?

For financial advice/ solutions etc.... I would obviously charge extra for this, and would need to see (privately) all your expenditures/ outgoings, invoices, cost of pianos, work and materials costs/ labour/ profit etc.... by simply saying this piano is $1K doesn't tell anything.... bit like a Dragon's Den situation.... in most cases,,,, "forget it" !

Finally, the 2nd lot of photos don't say much, and we all know what a Pleyel looks like with period legs. The pedal lyre has a middle pedal sostenuto mechanism - so possibly a later piano, so if it doesn't have the cast iron bracket (which it wouldn't have because it wouldn't fit into the framework) - and this is your most concern, then best to leave it. The old pedal could be upgraded with the cross beam (perhaps from the 2nd lyre), but at least you have an original carved music rest.... worth it's weight in gold. Presumably you have checked the leg fixtures?? wooden threads? Butterfly bolts? cleats? etc....

As no one here knows anything about your first buy, and no photos have been shown of any of the fixtures/ missing parts areas.... all we can see is a piano stool and a couple of photos as though this piano was ready for sale.... I think from now, it would be best you contacted a piano restorer for their professional opinion.
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

vernon
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1407
Joined: 12 Mar 2008, 10:29
Location: N.E.Scotland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by vernon » 26 Jul 2016, 18:41

there are other people watching with interest I can tell you-- with interest and some encouragement.
As an old hand ,like Colin, I wouldn't have touched this with yours.
However, as a project it is interesting and in the end you will find your Holy Grail.

As a hobby it's probably cheaper than sailing photography or drinking.
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it

www.lochnesspianos.co.uk

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 26 Jul 2016, 23:22

Hello Colin and all

Thans for the continued replies. Greatly appreciated!

The experience I bring is old school.
I have been out of this business for a while and in the 15 years since, the world seems to have changed - a lot.
What was still normal repairs then, may well be considered stupid now.
I was also on a different continent then.

But hey, don't you all think that finding an almost identical and converted piano as a potential parts donor almost unbelievable??

I sort of can't get over it myself. :shock:
Very tempting!

Colin, that donor piano has no internal piano parts left. No frame, nothing.
It has 3 pedals because the lyre box was converted to have 3 digital pedals.
The original brass pushrods and lyre support rod are present though.
It would be easier to repair that than to make a complete new one.

Best regards
Bernt

User avatar
NewAge
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 422
Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 18:29

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by NewAge » 27 Jul 2016, 14:34

berntd wrote:I am torn between:
"Must have" and "forget it".
That is why I need a bit of discussion.
What would you do?
It is a one time opportunity for rare parts without fear of destroing another piano.
But maybe a whole other complete one is out there.
I DON'T KNOW.
Regards
Bernt
BTW: Are we a 2 person forum here?
Rest assured, this is by no means a 2 person forum. As Vernon rightly said, there are other people watching - with interest, and no doubt from all over the world. However, how many others would have undertaken the task you have started is anyone's guess.
I'm an extremely keen piano person, but I've never refurbished one. If I ever did, I'd first ensure I started with a reasonably sound example.
Your opening post immediately put a flea in my ear regarding the suitability of that Pleyel, the description "nice piano" and "heavily butchered in the past" are imho contradictory statements. Particularly the fact that you are in Australia would have had me running not walking away from this as a rebuild project. I can only guess that you like 'unreasonable' challenges - and of course there's nothing wrong with that.
My personal challenges run only to buying cheap, unserviceable Apple vintage laptop computers, to repair and get the old girls working again, for my own pleasure, not for resale - which many would probably consider unreasonable too. My advantage is that spares are fairly readily available from other unserviceable donor units. You however don’t have that possibility - at least without major head-scratching.
If ever I did wish to launch myself into a piano refurbishment, I'd ensure first & foremost that spares were fairly readily available. Here I quite frequently come across Pleyel or Erard upright and grand pianos, either in thrift shops where I hunt for my own computer bits&pieces, or on local web sites.
Just last week I recall there was a good-looking 2m Pleyel grand, with an almost identical, intricate music stand, and two-pedal lyre, indicated as having had some refurb/tuning 7 years ago. Price I recall was around 990 euros (830GBP) - which prior to Brexit would have been a slightly more interesting 760GBP.
The point being, if I ever was tempted to launch myself into a piano rebuild, that could have been an interesting example, as it appeared basically sound, and due to spares being available virtually on the doorstep. You unfortunately do not have that luxury, which makes your choice of example somewhat surprising.
If you still need an opinion on that Pleyel/Kawai hybrid, I would simply say in a heartbeat, “forget it".
I wish you luck. Please keep us updated with your project.
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 27 Jul 2016, 23:34

Good morning all

Well, thank you for the replies.

A nice piano:

Let me explain this further:
In my past experinece with several thousand pianos coming through the shop and me trying just about every single one of them, I personally found that there are 2 basic type of pianos.

1) Nice and excellent pianos.
These tend to immediately speak out, even when they are broken and not tuned. I can play a few notes and I can instantly tell that it is excellent.
These pianos have something that entices one to play them. Quite often they seem to like different music as well.

2) Average and dead pianos. Those are pianos that do not speak and have no soul. Even when tuned, regulated etc. I have experienced this type on some rather expensive brands and all I can say is that they are what they are. Nothing one does to them usually helps much.

Yes, call me crazy but I think the person who wrote the book "The piano shop on the left bank" was correct when he wrote about the soul of a piano.

Some of the pros around here may know what I mean.


This particular Pleyel came to me accidentally untested for very little money but when it arrived and I played a few notes, it immediately fell into the excellent category.

If that were not so, I would not bother.

Regards
Bernt
Last edited by berntd on 28 Jul 2016, 01:29, edited 2 times in total.

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 27 Jul 2016, 23:53

Colin is right, I never did post pitures of the actual piano.
Sorry about that, I forgot. Here are 5 to start with.


Regards
Bernt
Attachments
20160713_172127.jpg
20160712_150054.jpg
$_57 (4).JPG
$_57 (1).JPG
$_57 (8).JPG

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 28 Jul 2016, 11:40

What are the pictures meant to tell us?
Legs look original to me/ square tapered with correct castors. Clues will be in the wood shadows/ previous stain lines underneath and bolt fixtures.

Have you got a grand raiser? .... if so, jack up one corner, remove a leg, and the serial number may be printed/ punched on the top of the leg (or one of them)

Photos 2-5 are irrelevant, and again, clutter (sheet music)/ not close enough in detail, and why would anyone take a photo of a grand piano with all lids closed and from a height?.... just looks like any other grand piano, and nothing unique to Pleyel. Need to see the full pedal lyre front/ underneath/ levers/ missing parts etc??

Not all Pleyel grands had the lyre shape, it depends on the model. If the serial number is stamped elsewhere and matches the "queen bee" serial number (usually on the soundboard left), then these parts are original. I think too much internet really.

The photos do not reflect in any way about the main purpose of this topic, except the legs.
Some photos, again, have been taken ready for a showroom style display.
The missing/ broken celluloid key tops can be replaced of course - an easy job.

Also music rest....???? from behind and at distance cluttered by music!!!!
Some of the baby grands (about 3 ft 8) didn't have the fancy music rests, and the smaller/ budget type grands had a plain front.... and Pleyel was no exception. Only some of the bigger (expensive) grands (about 6ft) had the round
legs. The photos don't show any evidence of any parts missing or replaced.... so we can only go on your word.
Fly me over!! .... and I'll show you how it should be done properly!

1. Photo of the whole pedal lyre back & front.
2. Photo of leather indentations where lifts rods meet levers (should be a gap, and indents in-line).
3. Serial number location/ photo
4. Photo of underside of leg/ fixtures/ overlapping French polish perhaps on underside? / serial number.
5. Music rest brass runners/ brackets/ hinges/ fixtures etc.

Does the cast iron work spell out "Pleyel" in the fancy acoustic port holes? .... photo too far away/ very dusty, and may be taken upside down.
That's just a starting point!
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 28 Jul 2016, 13:29

Hi Colin, and everyone.


The pictures I posted are mostly all as they came from other people. Yes, ready to sell the piano. I have to take others but when I started this thread, looking for parts' I did not think that anyone would be interested.

So I will share with you all what I know:
1) The piano is 1.63m long.
2) the serial no is 124027.
Factory number is 12396. It is present on the keybed, action and lid. The lid also has a "M" embossed.

I researched this.
It was shipped on 17 Nov. 1900 to "Palazzo Ceriano Turin".
It was a batch of 4 and it cost f2080 where the other 3 cost ~1500. No others in that range cost near as much.
They ripped off the palace owners in Italy!!

It was a designated as a "Queue Modele E".
In English: Grand piano model E.
Colour Noir = black!!!

I personallt have not seen any grand pianos from the La Belle Epoche period or very early Edwardian with square legs and straight lyre. I have only seen that from ~1915 onwards.
Neither have I seen a grand piano from this period with an original solid music desk.
I stand to be corrected.

I believe the legs on this piano to be the original round legs cut square and the 4 sides glued on top and over most of the ROUND brass cups of the original casters.
See picture. (round cups on square legs?)

I am not sure how the black finish was removed as I found it impossible in the past to refinish a black piano in a natural finish.
The veneer grain lines on the top lid front/rear parts do not line up at all, indicating that it may have been intended to be black. Or maybe the French did this. I do not know.

I think that none of the music desk is original and there are screw holes in the piano case indicating different slide rails for the desk.
The current desk is embossed "STW" on the underside. Ideas?

The lyre is a roughed together piece of art.
Some of the pedal box might be original but I am not convinced.
The original cast iron lyre bracket holes are present and I also found the original support rod attachment point on one of the piano's beams.

I was not able to find any pictures of what a
Pleyel "Modele E" looked like.
Or "M" for that matter.

There has to be a catalogue out there somewhere?

I also cannot find any pictures showing it in that palace. They may well exist somewhere in an italian archive. Who knows.

How it got to Australia and who/why it was modified is a whole other mystery.
Last owner said it belonged to his grandmother. Long gone.
That palace was damaged in the 1940s.

That is all I know at the moment.
It is all quite intriguing.

I will try get some better pictures for you all as soon as possible.

Regards
Bernt

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 28 Jul 2016, 14:22

You've gone well off the beaten track here! .... and heading into the outback.

Serial number suggests 1901 in my book.
The "Factory number" will be a cabinet number, and is usually duplicated/ punched on the reverse (raw wood) side of parts. This set of numbers may be punched into the top of each leg.... so when the cabinet parts come together with the legs, they match the right piano.

Let's keep on track about the legs, music rest and lyre only as your original post requests.

By the sounds of it, it has a lot of history, but only of interest to you mainly for selling.
For more information about the legs and if they are original or not, you will need to remove each leg, one at a time.. but you need a grand raising jack to do this (question before not answered.... "have you got a grand raiser"?)

Castor cups/ buckets do vary, and sometime fit square to round and v.v. .... so it doesn't necessarily mean they are not original. E.g. some dual square legs have round buckets. If these are original, when the leg is removed, remove the castors by unscrewing the side screws.... clues may be there.

I am presuming the pedals actually work?? .... that's if it is ready to sell as you say, or have you given up the possibility of looking for a bracket?.... or was it just an idea you had to have the bracket installed because other Pleyel grands have them?

The strings/ dampers/ action look in shocking condition, which is expected for that age.
Yes, I think as NewAge says.... best to get rid, and cut your losses. Any bodged DIY piano should be left well alone, unless you are restoring the piano for a customer.

I noticed that some of the celluloid has been ripped off? .... this is a classic DIY case of someone trying to remove a piano key, but not realising the action is screwed down onto it.... or like Erard grands, the keys are hooked and latched into position by a double-ended capstan (with a reverse thread on one end).... usually a screw driver is forced in, and also damaging the fallboard rim (key slip). This usually happens if a key top is chipped. I have even seen "forced" holes penetrated through the key top wood where a screw driver has been pushed through!!

Not uncommon to have ebonised legs - occasionally with ebonised key blocks and parts of the fallboard.... Bord/ Broadwood pianos have this effect. The cabinet number punchings will be your only reference to originality - not how other Pleyel grands looked. Budget models of Eavestaff minis (different subject) had the same identical cabinet and action etc.... but the deluxe models had chrome banding, fluted chrome electric light bulb sconces (ran off 240 volt supply).... and music desk supports varied from basic brass sliders to highly polished chrome sliders/ fallboard hinges.... various Kemble pianos also varied. Just because a piano is named "Pleyel" does not mean that every model they made had the same legs, lyres and music rest.... far from it. The model E Pleyel had various different "extras" (like cars) depending on the length, veneer finish and quality/ length of piano.


Good luck with it.
Colin
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 28 Jul 2016, 23:54

Can't answer all questions at once as it takes time to type all this and I am up to my elbows in other work.

I don't have a grand lifter but I will work around it. No problem.
All in due course.

It will all be revealed.

The pictures were taken by those who wanted to sell it before me. Not by me trying to sell it.
I am not selling it at this point.

My research came from the original factory records so your serial number decoding of 1901 is actually pretty close !


Regards
Bernt

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 29 Jul 2016, 08:47

berntd wrote:Can't answer all questions at once as it takes time to type all this and I am up to my elbows in other work.
I started to type this previously, but deleted it afterwards.... but after seeing you saying it.... yes, I myself have other work on and projects, so I'm going to sign off this topic now and let someone else continue, if they wish to do so.
Regards, Colin
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 29 Jul 2016, 09:39

We have come so far and now you are suddenly leaving?
I hope it is not because of something I wrote.
If so, sorry.



Regards
Bernt

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 31 Jul 2016, 11:24

Hello

I have made a bit of time this Sunday afternoon and found a few interesting things.

Remember that I wrote that I believe that the original legs are still present but made square? I now have proof. See the pictures.

I also wrote that the factory records said "Noir" or black.

Ha. the piano was and is still black!!
The parts have been finished by artificially graining it to look like natural grain.
I have never seen anything like it. When I scraped a bit off with a blade, black became visible.
Wow.

In any case, there you have it.

It looks like the digital donor piano has been sold so no parts coming that way.

Regards
Bernt
Attachments
20160731_154454.jpg
Black finish
20160731_150040.jpg
Leg top

chrisw
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
Posts: 48
Joined: 05 Feb 2012, 13:37

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by chrisw » 31 Jul 2016, 13:00

Hello Berntd,

Do you intend restoring the whole piano back to the black finish. The graining is probably removable with a paint stripper but it may also remove the black coating as well. I must admit that I never like turned legs on grand pianos but then again I have given up on the idea of owning a grand, new or old.

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 01 Aug 2016, 08:39

Here is a technique known as "Faux ebonising" .... quick & easy, and doesn't require multiple layers. Alex starts by sanding down wood for a good "key" (clean with meths after).... then apply blackboard (matt) paint - 2 coats. When dried, apply 2 coats of French polish. If you want a slight brown tint, then use garnet French polish (dark brown) as shown.... but if you want a full black ebonised look, use Liberon Black French polish - about 2 coats.

Not shown, but if you apply French polish over old lacquer or polish, it often reacts and blisters.... so the blackboard paint helps to seal it in. Any scratches/ gouges etc.... use shellac sticks first before sanding. For a more antique look and crackled effect, after French polishing, quickly go over with a blow torch to crack finish, then after ONE WEEK, polish using bees wax. Have fun.

This is from the TV series "Salvage Hunters" .... been over there myself, and a great laugh !!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy1yrR8bBBY
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 01 Aug 2016, 09:29

Very interesting and informative Colin.

How did they do black finishes in around 1900?

They always appear so thin, not too glossy or artificial or fake.
I have 0 knowledge of this but have seen the same in pianos clocks and furniture.

Did they dye the shellac black with something or how did it work?
Regards
Bernt

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 02 Aug 2016, 00:41

I'm not a French polisher by trade, but done a few courses and picked up methods from others in the trade.

There is actually no such thing as "black" when it comes to French polishing.... the term is "ebonise" - and is a very very dark brown (almost black) pigment powder mixed with shellac. Black really refers to modern poly finishes. After about 10 layers of polish, the colour gradually darkens.

Early days I would imagine the polish was made from scratch using shellac flakes soaked in meths, then the colour powder added (not wood stain). In the olden days, they applied the polish with a brush, then to finish it, use a cotton pad with an impregnated piece of cotton wool - known as a "rubber". Various different methods depending on the size of the piano, and if just odd repairs, we use ebony powder. Modern day French polishes can be bought ready mixed - much easier and less hassle.
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 07 Aug 2016, 00:08

How should I repair the keytops?

I would need a few old celluloid covers but I no longer have old ones.

I could replace the lot with off white plastic or maybe those fake ivory looking ones.

That eould be a shame as the overall condition is good.

Is there a source for celluloid somewhere perhaps?

Regards
Bernt

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1829
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 07 Aug 2016, 22:33

You need to think more about the functionality rather than originality now about this piano.

The condition is not that good in my eyes from what I have seen. The few broken key tops you have shown cannot be repaired.... too many chips and most of the lips missing, and would look like a dog's dinner if you tried to patch them up.

You won't be able to buy celluloid key tops anywhere - no one does them, unless spare parts from an old piano.
Even if you did have some spare celluloid or managed to get some, it would never match the old (colour/ stain/ profile), and with it being tough to remove, it would more than likely be damaged. Very difficult to match, like ivory.

New cream acrylic key tops is the answer - a full set (box of 52), no messing, looks nice aswell that all white keys are the same colour, and much easier to level (assuming you have the correct key levelling tools & weights for grands?)

To keep things cheap, I would recommend you either join a forum more local to you for these "odd" parts, or contact a proper Ozzy piano restorer/ trade/ shop and ask them to order a set for you - come in two sizes/ with or without fronts..... or simulated ivory tops..... they should oblige for a small fee.

If you cannot get some, get back to me via my email only, and I'll take you through the process re shipping & purchase costs/ deposit/ measuring etc.

How much have you budgeted for restoration costs? .... roughly.
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

berntd
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 19 Jul 2016, 05:59

Re: Need part(s) for 1900 Pleyel grand piano

Post by berntd » 07 Aug 2016, 23:15

Morning

Thank You!
It was more of a question of what I should do.

I have never used those simlated ivory ones but from what I learnt, they seem to be somewhat translucent and may require white glue. I am not sure what that will look like.

I guess I will just go for off white plastic with attached fronts.

Budget? I have not even worked out what erxactly I will do with this, bearing in mind all the things going on with it.
At a very minimum I will make it playable and fix the keytops. Someone could actually use it then.


Regards
Bernt

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 9 guests