Collard Grand

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Silverwood Pianos
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Collard Grand

Post by Silverwood Pianos » 05 Jun 2017, 14:51

I am having difficulty in determining the age of an older Collard in Vancouver, Canada and the technicians on this forum will be far more familiar with these instruments.

There seems to be 2 serial numbers of significance. I have included a link to an online photo album below.

The first number 11609 is found in multiple places on the pin block, underneath on the frame rails, the key frame, and several other places. This number is shown in photo 3 at the treble end of the pin block.

The second number 101440 appears on the sounding board after the last bass string and has a signature there.

The original action configuration has been changed to a higher ratio WNG action at some point; the key buttons for the balance rail have been moved forward for more leverage. This work appears to have been completed a long time ago as the replacement action stack is fairly old.

I am wondering if this is the reason for the second serial number. Please have a look at the photo set and any information offered would be appreciated.

Left click on the link below and then left click on any photo to enlarge.

https://goo.gl/photos/kR9a5zRYP3uZp7HY9
Dan Silverwood
http://www.silverwoodpianos.com/
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Collard Grand

Post by Bill Kibby » 05 Jun 2017, 17:39

It is certainly not 1829! Collard's numbers are the absolute worst to try to date, and the published information is completely misleading, so read my Collard lists about a third of the way down the page at
http://www.pianohistory.info/numbers.html

In practical terms, ten thousand or eleven thousand is not a great difference, either way that could mean 1840s or it could mean 1870s. Is there a 3-digit number written below the one on the soundboard?

I will study your photos in detail and see what I can deduce.
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Bill Kibby
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Re: Collard Grand

Post by Bill Kibby » 05 Jun 2017, 19:24

I have no idea what "higher ratio WNG action" means. My normal aproach would be to start by ignoring factual information such as numbers, and look for visible clues to the age of the piano. My first impression was that it might be about 1885. The black colour of the iron frame is original, although many have since been repainted gold, perhaps to disguise their age. The rounded sharps ("Registered Key Board") ceased to be used by 1893, and were introduced by 1856, around the same time that particular style of name transfer began to appear. So that is 2 reasons why it is not 1840s. The number found in most places - 11609 - is likely to be the actual serial number, suggesting a year shortly before 1878, probably 1877. I am trying to discover when Collards introduced the Erard-style action - if it is original to the piano. The TJ3 mark on the iron frame is familiar, but I can't find any dates for it, I have been trying for years.
Piano History Centre
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Email bill@pianohistory.info
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

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Silverwood Pianos
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Re: Collard Grand

Post by Silverwood Pianos » 06 Jun 2017, 14:47

Hi Bill,
Thanks for the replies and the link to your web page. Indeed it seems that Collard numbers are problematic. I was using the Atlas in an attempt to date that one but after reading through your page on Collard I would concur with your observation that the published info is far from accurate.

The only 3 digit number I found is shown in photo 9 of the photo set. This is the reverse angle shot of the extreme treble. There is the number 212 on the front side of the pin block shown above the last 9 tuning pins. The 11609 is located just to the left on the top of the block.

I wonder if the TJ3 is a casting mark from the foundry or something like that.

The original action stack would have not been as tall. This would mean the key did not have to rise at the back very much to lift the action parts to the wire.
The replacement action is taller and so the lift at the back of the key would have to be more acute. The balance rail holes had to move forward to create more lift or an increase in ratio. Not an important point with exception that some of the historical value has disappeared with that modification.

The framework underneath was 2 x 6 planks and there were numbers there I recall. I can return to the location and take further photos, this is not a problem. Let me know if there are other parts of the instrument you would like to view.

As per your observation I have edited the photo album title and taken out the 1829 date.

Thanks for all of the information you have posted.
Dan Silverwood
http://www.silverwoodpianos.com/
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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