Geo. Russell Piano

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Ecjones
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Geo. Russell Piano

Post by Ecjones » 18 Jun 2018, 19:34

I inherited this piano from my mother and am looking for more information on it. She bought it from a dealer in 1977. Specifically I'd love to know how old it is, are the keys ivory, and if possible if there is any value to it. If it is a valueless piano we are thinking of converting it to a "bar", but if its important in any way I wouldn't want to do any damage to it.
I do know the scroll work that was in the center oval has broken and long since been lost, as some small pieces to the left circle have also broken, the fabric behind has been changed multiple times, unsure what was originally there. The bench we have is not original and has been removed from the pictures. Please help!
Attachments
Sideofkeys.jpg
Sidenumbers.jpg
Internalinitials.jpg
Keysandlabels.jpg
Josephrileylabel.jpg

Ecjones
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Re: George Russell Piano

Post by Ecjones » 18 Jun 2018, 22:45

More photos
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20180618_144508.jpg
20180618_144422.jpg
Tunersticker.jpg
Topnumbers.jpg

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Bill Kibby
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Re: George Russell Piano

Post by Bill Kibby » 19 Jun 2018, 12:41

The key coverings are ivory. Thanks for the photos, the most important one for me is the one that shows what the whole piano looks like. This is a Victorian Cottage Piano, as described at
http://www.pianohistory.info/victorian.html

These are the most common surviving Victorian pianos, and I spend a lot of my time and energy trying to rescue antique pianos from destruction, so it is sad to see a piano turned into a bar, but marginally better than burning it, especially if it still looks the same. Even discarded parts could be useful for my displays, and I am in Norfolk and Suffolk every month.

I estimate that on average, my pianos may be worth about £30 each, although nobody would be likely to want them. The world has gone through a long period where history was destroyed without any thought, and where value was all about money. Now, I seem to have the only time-line of such pianos IN THE WORLD!

The Victorian page explains that cottage pianos were dying out in the 1880s, and there were diverse experiments in the style of the top door (top front panel). This piano looks typical of that period, but no precise, reliable dates are available for Russell piano numbers, so I will go through my files and see if I can narrow it down, but the number does seem to be early 1880s.
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Ecjones
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Re: George Russell Piano

Post by Ecjones » 20 Jun 2018, 05:00

Thank you so much for the information! Knowing how old it is is starting to persuade me from changing it. If you come across any more info please don't hesitate to share. Thank you again!

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Geo. Russell Piano

Post by Bill Kibby » 20 Jun 2018, 14:23

The only other clue I have so far is that they were known as George Russell AND COMPANY by 1886, so the piano is probably before that, and after 1880, so the mean date would be "circa 1883".
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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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