What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

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

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Bilyana
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What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

Post by Bilyana » 06 Jan 2011, 14:26

Hello,
We have an upright (131cm height) black Emil Asherberg piano from around 1890. We have used it for the past 10 years but it can no longer be properly tuned. We have just bought a new (used) piano and do not have the space to keep the old one as well.
We are quite attached to it and would rather not have it end up on the skip. Do you have any suggestions what can be done with it - it is very beautiful with ivory keys, brass chandeliers, beatifully carved legs etc.
Many thanks

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MarkGoodwinPianos
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Re: What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 06 Jan 2011, 15:20

I know a chap who exports pianos like this to a country where they dismantle old pianos and use the nice veneer etc to make new coffee tables and other furniture. So it wouldn't live on as a piano but at least it would get a new lease of life

email me at markgoodwinpianos@gmail.com if you want more details
:)
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Barrie Heaton
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Re: What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 06 Jan 2011, 18:36

Bilyana wrote:Hello,
We have an upright (131cm height) black Emil Asherberg piano from around 1890. We have used it for the past 10 years but it can no longer be properly tuned. We have just bought a new (used) piano and do not have the space to keep the old one as well.
We are quite attached to it and would rather not have it end up on the skip. Do you have any suggestions what can be done with it - it is very beautiful with ivory keys, brass chandeliers, beatifully carved legs etc.
Many thanks

You could have had a digital piano installed in it Vale pianos do them see
http://www.valepianos.co.uk/digital-conversions/

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Gill the Piano
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Re: What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

Post by Gill the Piano » 06 Jan 2011, 19:28

You could strip it down to its component parts in that the ivory (if it IS ivory - check!), the sconces (candlesticks) and any inlaid/carved panels are all things which go for money on eBay. If you want to keep it all together, Freecycle it. Someone might want it. Is it untuneable, or just that the pianist/s in your family has/have outgrown it? If it's a case of outgrowing, it might start someone else off.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 09 Jan 2011, 10:41

You can advertise pianos on the UK piano Page for Free

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clareholbourn
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Re: What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

Post by clareholbourn » 18 Jul 2013, 14:52

I have an old Ed Westermayer baby grand that is no longer in use and takes up too much room. It has a slight crack in the soundboard and cannot be brought up to concert pitch, but is very playable for an amateur. I inherited it from my grandmother and do not wish to see it taken to the dump but am quite prepared to either let it go to a good home to be played or to be of some use to somebody somewhere. Any suggestions welcome. I am from the Cardiff area.

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Re: What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

Post by Gill the Piano » 18 Jul 2013, 17:19

Freecycle!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 19 Jul 2013, 00:25

I see many piano posts like this..... and it always reminds me of the Pretty Woman scene with Richard Gere and the hotel manager - when he asks the manager to give the diamond necklace back to the jewellers.... "It must be difficult to let go of something so beautiful" !! ...... but of course - the lady was RIDDLED with problems!.... this being the piano of course!

I think the main piece of advice I have - is never try to cover up for the major problem the piano has by declaring thats its still playable..... this may backfire on you. No doubt you will have had a tuner inspect it/try to tune it? When certain cracks appear and there are loose tuning pins - this is a major restoration job.

If you imagine for a moment you have an eight year old child wanting to learn the piano? ...... you buy a piano for £150 - [that the previous owners insisted it went to a good home] .... then you ring a piano tuner to call.... and you discover that the piano had been previously CONDEMNED.... and untuneable - imagine the heartbreak your child would feel?.... you would also be angry.

Well.... this actually happened to a customer of mine - and the new owner demanded their money back because the seller did not tell them that the piano needed about £8K spending on it. I advised the seller to be completely honest about the piano - but they ignored me - simply to get rid of the piano and get a new one.

So the moral of the story is.... if you do sell it/give it away - always say the piano needs MAJOR repairs and may cost up to £8k to be fixed.,.... this is especially if the piano goes to your 'good home' ...... maybe a home where a young family want to start learning the piano properly - and not be faced with major major bills. If you decide to give the piano away - dont say it plays well - it wont - especially if its out of tune & has tuning problems - and best to include wording like "spares & repairs" .... or "needs major restoration"

I have found that the clause "go to a good home" is really a get-out clause in order to quickly sell the piano - and then burden the major problems onto someone else.... of course - done in a nice way with a white smile :D & generous handshake!!



I hope that helps....

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dboyce
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Re: What to do with a beautiful old piano no longer needed?

Post by dboyce » 15 Sep 2013, 01:48

Why can't it any longer be tuned?

Is it because the tuning pins are loose? If so, has the CA glue (superglue) treatment been suggested and/or tried? There is nothing to lose by it, and possibly a great deal to gain.

This technique, discovered in the USA, has been in use for a decade now and has proven quick, effective and durable. It's no good if the WrestPlank is full of cracks and falling apart, but if its just a case of the pins being loose, it will probably work, and may enable the piano to go on for a decade or two, until some ohter major component fails.

If on the other hand the piano is untunable because of some other kind of fault of a major structural nature, then I'm afraid it's had it, in econimical terms anyway. But do investigate the CA treatment. There's an info sheet about it on my wesbite on one of the Technical Info pages.

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