Is this a "spinet" piano?

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nick robinson
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Is this a "spinet" piano?

Post by nick robinson » 18 May 2017, 14:53

My aunt has given me her piano, which is "half sized", what is proper description for this type of instrument?

It's made by Holder Brothers of Hull, Grimsby & Scunthorpe.

It's not perfectly in tune, do they cost the same to tune as standard pianos?

I'd be grateful for any idea of its age and/or value.....
pianner.JPG

Gill the Piano
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Re: Is this a "spinet" piano?

Post by Gill the Piano » 18 May 2017, 17:59

We'd call it a mini piano - spinet is largely an american design, where the keyboard is 'supported' by two fairly spindly legs. However Kemble made something similar here. As to whether it will tune like an ordinary piano depends on whetre the tuning pins are. If they can be seen by opening the lid at the top, then yes, it will be an average tuning. However, if the tuning pins are concealed by a flap (or maybe visible with no flap) under the keyboard then we are into territory where some tuners will not tread. It looks remarkably like an Eavestaff mini piano. Try to find the tuning pins if you can. Look in the top first - and cross your fingers!
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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Is this a "spinet" piano?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 25 May 2017, 01:01

Zooming in closer, on the left it says "Eavestaff" .... this is the maker's name. (On the right, saying Mini Piano)
Holder Brothers of Hull were the retailers / shop who sold the piano at some stage - so not the maker's name. Ignore that.
So you have a "Eavestaff Mini Piano" (sometimes named a "pianette" or "Mini Royale") .... but basically the same.

As the piano stool is obscuring the pedals (and their often rectangular shape), it is difficult to see if its 1930s or 1940s.
I sometimes use the pedals and back plate shape as a quick reference to determine if 1930s or 1940s.

If the tuning pins are underneath the keyboard, as Gill suggests, (sometimes concealed by a trap door and guarded by a swarm of bats!) .... then keep your fingers crossed it is "tuneable". Many tuners now walk away from these pianos. Value = what you paid for it.

If the 1930s design (pins underneath), then tuning one requires removing the back panel - and if tuneable, I would charge about £100. Lots of prep and after-tuning work to do/ mammoth task - taking over 2 hours ish to do job. Lower panel cannot be removed.

If 1940s (ish) - and lower panel comes off (it could be that by the small carving at the front) - then you may be in luck.
Lift the top lid open, and if you see the strings, and hammers sunken below keyboard level, then you may be in luck.
Have a read of this.... my article on Eavestaff

http://www.aatuners.com/eavestaff-mini- ... blems.html

If all the notes work, then it can be tuned hopefully, however, if a note stops working (either 30s or 40s design), many tuners won't attempt any repairs. We require the whole piano to be taken away completely. Think of it as having to take your car to a garage to have the engine taken out. Same with these style of drop action pianos.

Huge learning curve!.... and no such thing as a free piano?
Your Aunt may now be massively relieved. (Drat and double-drat springs to mind).

Good luck, hope this info helps.
Colin
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Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
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Re: Is this a "spinet" piano?

Post by Gill the Piano » 25 May 2017, 15:27

The extra charge for tuning the 1930s Eavestaff is to cover osteopathy and counselling afterwards...
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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