Search found 5684 matches

by Bill Kibby
06 Jan 2024, 22:41
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Victorian walnut concert grand piano by Erard of London
Replies: 2
Views: 3230

Re: Victorian walnut concert grand piano by Erard of London

Mt Numbers page at pianohistor.info gives dates for Erard's London pianos, which were very different to the Paris numbers. I think that 10703 is about 1869.
by Bill Kibby
06 Jan 2024, 12:56
Forum: Piano History
Topic: non-traditional materials for piano keys
Replies: 2
Views: 1723

Re: non-traditional materials for piano keys

Earky forms of plastic were in use by the 1860s. This was not, of course, about saving elephants, it was to compensate for the shortage of dead elephants.
by Bill Kibby
06 Jan 2024, 12:54
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Ascherberg baby grand curved both sides
Replies: 2
Views: 1757

Re: Ascherberg baby grand curved both sides

Never take it to seriously when someone tells you only so-many were made.
This sounds like a symmetrical grand, there were a number of makers producing them, including Ascherberg, Ecke Hoffman, and Ibach.
by Bill Kibby
06 Jan 2024, 12:50
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Erard 68056
Replies: 3
Views: 1872

Re: Erard 68056

As it says at the top of the forum, nobody anywhere can guess the value or condition without inspecting it on the spot and testing to see how well it holds in tune, so your local tuner is the best person to ask.
by Bill Kibby
06 Jan 2024, 12:46
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Help identify brand of piano
Replies: 1
Views: 2781

Re: Help identify brand of piano

Like many products you may buy today, names on the front of pianos are often meaningless anyway.
The 214 mark tends to be found in the early 1920s, and this seems a possible sort of date from what I can see.
If you are lucky there may be a label under the keys of the bottom notes..
by Bill Kibby
06 Jan 2024, 12:39
Forum: Piano History
Topic: What is my Piano??
Replies: 2
Views: 528

Re: What is my Piano??

Names like Hofman, Hoffman, Hoffmann, Hofmann, Haufmann and Hauptmann can be found on many old pianos, and although some of these may be real makers' names, some are certainly fake. There were over 20 different firms with variations of this name. There were at least 17 different firms with the spell...
by Bill Kibby
06 Jan 2024, 12:38
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Identifying a D'almaine Piano
Replies: 2
Views: 527

Re: Identifying a D'almaine Piano

The D'Almaine firms were going strong in London in the 1800s, I have one from about 1846, and the name continued into the 1900s. The Minipiano was invented in 1934, based on earlier models, bu this one is based on that thirties mini style. This side of the ocean, "Spinet" is a type of harp...
by Bill Kibby
06 Jan 2024, 12:32
Forum: Piano History
Topic: George Dettmer and Son
Replies: 1
Views: 604

Re: George Dettmer and Son

Firstly, you don't say what era? Square grands were an American thing, the English and European square pianos were often smaller, lighter and cheaper for ordinary homes. Dettmer was at Upper Marylebone Stret (Mary-Le-Bone Street) from about 1808. English square pianos were dying out in the 1860s, bu...
by Bill Kibby
28 Aug 2022, 17:43
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Wilhelm Spaethe
Replies: 6
Views: 7720

Re: Wilhelm Spaethe

Unfortunately, the photos are not of good enough quality for me to read the details. Most grands of the 1900s are impossible to date by their appearance, because they are so similar, as I expain on my Grands page at pianohistory.info Your best hope is to look at the labels, write down everything the...
by Bill Kibby
01 Jun 2022, 23:21
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Legion of honor Brinsmead Piano
Replies: 2
Views: 1968

Re: Legion of honor Brinsmead Piano

Brinsmead received the cross of the legion d'honneur in 1878, the information appeared on hundreds or thousands of pianos for years after.
by Bill Kibby
01 Jun 2022, 23:17
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Brooklyn Piano, Paterson, Sons & Co Ltd, Edinburgh
Replies: 3
Views: 2276

Re: Brooklyn Piano, Paterson, Sons & Co Ltd, Edinburgh

The dealer's name suggests something like 1920-1921.
by Bill Kibby
01 Jun 2022, 19:14
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Research for book- JB Cramer ship's piano
Replies: 5
Views: 2588

Re: Research for book- JB Cramer ship's piano

As far as I can discover, nobody ever made anything called a "Ship's Piano", this was probably a Yacht Piano, or a Patent Portable Piano, but I can't see what it looks like. The portable has nothing below keyboard level. More information may be found in my Georgian page on my pianohistory ...
by Bill Kibby
01 Jun 2022, 19:10
Forum: Piano History
Topic: J. Nield & Son, LTD
Replies: 2
Views: 2006

Re: J. Nield & Son, LTD

Nobody anywhere can guess the value or condition of a piano without inspecting it on the spot, and testing to see how well it holds in tune, so your local tuner is the best person to ask. The abbreviation "Ltd." was almost non-existent until 1900. Nield was around from about the 1880s to t...
by Bill Kibby
01 Jun 2022, 19:07
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Age of Henry Tolkien piano
Replies: 1
Views: 1710

Re: Age of Henry Tolkien piano

This is a typical victorian Cottage Piano, perhaps around the 1860s. Have a look at the Victorian page on my pianohistory website.
Can you give us the complete, exact wording of the name and address?
Related to the famous writer, Henry was the main piano maker in the family.
by Bill Kibby
22 Sep 2021, 19:15
Forum: Piano History
Topic: John Spencer & Co., London
Replies: 56
Views: 70377

Re: John Spencer & Co., London

With regard to the Spencer 29178, this number suggests that it is from 1899, but the published numbers are not entirely accurate, this is my estimate.
Because there are so many old posts in this batch, you would get better results if you posted it as a NEW TOPIC.
by Bill Kibby
22 Sep 2021, 19:08
Forum: Piano History
Topic: John Spencer & Co., London
Replies: 56
Views: 70377

Re: John Spencer & Co., London

I have already dealt with this enquiry before. The C&S number is not the Spencer serial number, it is a stock number for the retailers - Crane & Sons. All it tells me is that is was sold after 1894. If you open the top of the piano and look inside, in the area by the tuning pins, there shoul...
by Bill Kibby
19 Sep 2021, 14:34
Forum: Piano History
Topic: W Howlett & Son, market place, Norwich
Replies: 1
Views: 2354

Re: W Howlett & Son, market place, Norwich

Howlett was one of the biggest names in piano and organ retailing around Norfolk and Suffolk. There is no evidence that they ever had a piano or organ factory, so we can only guess that (like so many others) he put his name onto instruments bought in from wholesalers. William Howlett claimed to have...
by Bill Kibby
03 Sep 2021, 19:43
Forum: Piano History
Topic: J. B. Tolkien Piano
Replies: 6
Views: 3508

Re: J. B. Tolkien Piano

John Benjamin Tolkien was a dealer in Birmingham, Grandfather of the famous writer J.R.R. Tolkien. I have no evidence that John made pianos, but he was a piano retailer. Henry Tolkien was the main piano maker of the family, but there was also Alfred, Henry & Septimus, who all called themselves m...
by Bill Kibby
11 Aug 2021, 17:05
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Upright John Brinsmead and Sons in RSA
Replies: 2
Views: 1933

Re: Upright John Brinsmead and Sons in RSA

I would have said the serial number suggests about 1887. Nobody anywhere can guess the value or condition of a piano without inspecting it on the spot, and checking how well it holds in tune, so your local tuner is the best person to ask. My Datemarks page http://www.pianohistory.info/datemarks.html...
by Bill Kibby
03 Aug 2021, 11:23
Forum: Piano History
Topic: John spencer and co piano
Replies: 3
Views: 2077

Re: John spencer and co piano

The number suggests that it was made in 1891. My problem is that when you ask someone who has studied full-time, qualified, and been in business for years, I can't imagine where you would start to do the job yourself. People often try, but you can't just "source the parts" for an 1891 pian...
by Bill Kibby
01 Aug 2021, 18:12
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Hopkinson serial number
Replies: 5
Views: 7254

Re: Hopkinson serial number

When you tuned it, you had the perfect opportunity to look under the bottom keys for a date label.
by Bill Kibby
07 Jul 2021, 14:26
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Bentley Piano
Replies: 3
Views: 2472

Re: Bentley Piano

I cannot personally help you about the listings on this site, I am only involved with the forum. This is, as you thought, not a Bentley serial number, but a Harrods stock number, probably 1976. If you want to search inside the piano for clues, have a look at http://www.pianohistory.info/datemarks.ht...
by Bill Kibby
11 Jun 2021, 23:39
Forum: Piano Advice
Topic: Lippmann pianos
Replies: 4
Views: 10530

Re: Lippmann pianos

I wonder if anyone has found out any more about Lippmann pianos? I have to tune one, it looks like a Yamaha upright, but the name on the front and the frame is Lippmann.
by Bill Kibby
10 Jun 2021, 10:38
Forum: Piano History
Topic: E. Wheatland & Sons
Replies: 3
Views: 2565

Re: E. Wheatland & Sons

Thanks for that, these pieces of ephemera are impossible to find by active research.
Is there any chance I could get a scan of it?
by Bill Kibby
06 Jun 2021, 13:51
Forum: Piano History
Topic: JW Elliott Piano - help!
Replies: 1
Views: 2343

Re: JW Elliott Piano - help!

Photos would help, you can email them to me if that's easier, and I will attempt to battle the software! _email638.jpg Elliott is a common surname, so it's not surprising that there have been at least 15 piano firms with that name, but I haven't found J.W. yet. For more clues, have a look a http://w...
by Bill Kibby
04 Jun 2021, 12:06
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Looking for cabinet Piano or old upright
Replies: 1
Views: 1665

Re: Looking for cabinet Piano or old upright

It's the sort of thing that, if it came my way, I would grab, so I wouldn't be any help to you. Unrestored pianos that old have very little cash value, only historical value, and most would require major repinning and restringing, not a job for DIY. Having it professionally restored would cost thous...
by Bill Kibby
09 May 2021, 23:38
Forum: Piano History
Topic: John Spencer & Co., London
Replies: 56
Views: 70377

Re: John Spencer & Co., London

I have answered this twice, but my posts both disappeared.
by Bill Kibby
09 May 2021, 17:50
Forum: Piano History
Topic: John Spencer & Co., London
Replies: 56
Views: 70377

Re: John Spencer & Co., London

I have just replied to your post, but my reply has disappeared, so I am re-doing it. The C&S number is a stock number for Crane & Sons, and indicates that the piano was sold by them some time after 1935, but the piano looks much earlier, perhaps Edwardian. The actual serial number is more li...
by Bill Kibby
09 May 2021, 17:42
Forum: Piano History
Topic: John Spencer & Co., London
Replies: 56
Views: 70377

Re: John Spencer & Co., London

The C&S number is a stock number for Crane & Sons, who will have sold it some time after 1935, but the piano looks Edwardian.
The actual serial number is more likely to be on the vertical surfaces, perhaps painted onto the iron frame. It should be visible simply by lifting the top open.
by Bill Kibby
07 May 2021, 19:41
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Knight piano in America
Replies: 21
Views: 20511

Knight piano in America

Knight pianos are NOT American! The serial number 29773 suggests that it was made in 1960.
I can't remember seeing a 5-octave (and a bit!) Knight, but I will see what I can find out. What are the names of the top and bottom notes?
by Bill Kibby
04 May 2021, 10:02
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Old George Russell upright
Replies: 1
Views: 1708

Re: Old George Russell upright

The sticker action would suggest that it was made no later than about 1895. Many tuners don't want to know about historical items, and may condemn them if they don't conform to modern specifications, so I often try to rescue these pieces of history, but even in the UK, I can't usually justify the tr...
by Bill Kibby
30 Apr 2021, 13:00
Forum: Piano History
Topic: 32021 Steck- is it a real Gotha Steck?
Replies: 6
Views: 3878

Re: 32021 Steck- is it a real Gotha Steck?

Nobody anywhere can guess the value or condition of a piano without inspecting it on the spot, and testing to see how well it holds in tune, so your local tuner is the best person to ask.
by Bill Kibby
30 Apr 2021, 10:31
Forum: Piano History
Topic: 32021 Steck- is it a real Gotha Steck?
Replies: 6
Views: 3878

Re: 32021 Steck- is it a real Gotha Steck?

I'll have to think about this one! The name is cast into the iron frame in the normal Steck way, but there is a lot of confusion about the connections and overlaps between Aeolian, Orchestrelle, Pianola, Steck, & Weber. Genuine Stecks were made in several different factories, with different numb...
by Bill Kibby
27 Apr 2021, 19:38
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Could you help ID Schumann piano?
Replies: 3
Views: 3091

Re: Could you help ID Schumann piano?

As with most composers' names, there are many pianos with the fake name Schumann. My Names page... http://www.pianohistory.info/names.html mentions a number of them. The same page mentions that fake German names were commonly used on pianos sold in Australia, whether they were German or not. The fon...
by Bill Kibby
21 Apr 2021, 09:50
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Brewer piano from George C. Bedwell
Replies: 4
Views: 8447

Pump organ from George C. Bedwell

There are a few organ websites, including one called Tardis. I deal with piano history, but there is a great overlap between the piano and organ trades. Geogre Bedwell was originally a piano tuner, but by the 1880s, he had set up his musical instrument warehouse, and it seems unlikely that he made t...
by Bill Kibby
14 Apr 2021, 11:58
Forum: Piano History
Topic: EAVESTAFF piano age
Replies: 3
Views: 6690

Re: EAVESTAFF piano age

If it's an Eavestaff piano, there is no harm in doing this as a reply.
Otherwise, NEW TOPIC is at the top of the forum page.
Below your message, you will see a section for attachments.
by Bill Kibby
12 Apr 2021, 11:52
Forum: Piano History
Topic: 28086 Spencer piano
Replies: 7
Views: 4185

Re: 28086 Spencer piano

On this forum and on my own website, I think it is fair to say that we receive more enquiries about Spencer than any other make, so they must have produced a lot of pianos. It is not always easy relying on numbers for dates, but with Spencer upright pianos, it is simply a matter of opening the top, ...
by Bill Kibby
31 Mar 2021, 20:15
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Metzler & Co Ld Upright Piano
Replies: 6
Views: 3958

Re: Metzler & Co Ld Upright Piano

With the dark-polished pianos of this era, if you strip the polish off, it often reveals that a lot of areas are fake grain, and the outer structure often has a number of different types of wood. I am not a wood expert, so I don't know if they were aiming for rosewood or something, but it does't loo...
by Bill Kibby
31 Mar 2021, 11:53
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Metzler & Co Ld Upright Piano
Replies: 6
Views: 3958

Re: Metzler & Co Ld Upright Piano

I have no firm dates for Metzler numbers, but, judging by its appearance, the piano was probably made around 1890, around the time when Brooks & Co. became Brooks Ltd.
by Bill Kibby
30 Mar 2021, 20:31
Forum: Piano History
Topic: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos
Replies: 9
Views: 4307

Re: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos

Around that time, London makers often bought in actions from German makers, until the 1914 war. Yours appears to be a German action, and if your tuner feels it is safe to pull out the action, it may be marked on the back with the action makers' name and number, and I may be able to date this. Have y...
by Bill Kibby
29 Mar 2021, 23:25
Forum: Piano History
Topic: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos
Replies: 9
Views: 4307

Re: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos

Thanks for the photos, it appears to be a typical Edwardian upright, so probably 1900-1910. There was a London maker in the late 1800s named William James, but not limited. 1884 William James, Pianoforte maker, 120 Fulham Road SW. By 1894 he is not listed, but after a gap of a few years, there seems...
by Bill Kibby
28 Mar 2021, 14:21
Forum: Piano History
Topic: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos
Replies: 9
Views: 4307

Re: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos

There was a William James in London... 1875 Not listed in the Post Office London Directory as a Pianoforte Maker. 1880 William James, Pianoforte maker, 26 City Road EC. 1882 William James, Pianoforte maker, 64 Bread Street. 1884 William James, Pianoforte maker, 120 Fulham Road SW. 1886 Not listed. H...
by Bill Kibby
28 Mar 2021, 13:36
Forum: Piano History
Topic: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos
Replies: 9
Views: 4307

Re: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos

James is a very common surname, so it is not surprising that there have been a number of piano firms with that name, but I have not yet found William James Ltd.. The word "limited" was not usually shortened to Ltd. before 1900. I have been unable to find him in London lists or national lis...
by Bill Kibby
27 Mar 2021, 12:03
Forum: Piano History
Topic: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos
Replies: 9
Views: 4307

Re: William James Ltd Gold Medal Pianos

Being a William James myself, I am sure I would have noticed this name, but I will have a look through my files. However, to save me going through over a million entries manually, I need some clue as to what it looks like, or how old it is. Are you able to post photos here to show what the whole pia...
by Bill Kibby
20 Mar 2021, 18:14
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Lovell Piano maker
Replies: 4
Views: 2404

Re: Lovell Piano maker

Thanks for that extra information. Almost all piano makers used specialists to make the iron frames, actions and keys, but I have no way of knowing how much of the building was done by Lovell himself. If you follow my previous link and select the Names page this will answer some of your questions. I...
by Bill Kibby
19 Mar 2021, 15:22
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Lovell Piano maker
Replies: 4
Views: 2404

Re: Lovell Piano maker

My Genealogy page... http://www.pianohistory.info/genealogy.html explains that in the census records, "pianoforte maker" usually refers to an employee, not in business in his own name. I would expect that when Lovell was running his own business, from about 1872 to 1895, he might have been...
by Bill Kibby
17 Mar 2021, 12:24
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Piano Collard & Collard
Replies: 1
Views: 1647

Collard & Collard piano

Firstly, in spite of some of the published information, Clementi's name appeared first, until his death in 1832, so the piano is not 1820. A more likely estimate is 1872, but it is always unwise to date a piano purely on the basis of numbers. This applies especially to Collards, whose numbers are ra...
by Bill Kibby
13 Mar 2021, 15:01
Forum: Piano History
Topic: Carl Hardt Stuttgart 7452
Replies: 2
Views: 1912

Re: Carl Hardt Stuttgart 7452

No serial number dates are published for this maker, but I can tell you that #7465 was dated 1908 on the keys, so yours might be around 1907. If your tuner feels it is safe to pull out the action (the working parts of the notes) it may be marked on the back with the action makers' name and number, a...
by Bill Kibby
11 Mar 2021, 21:21
Forum: Piano History
Topic: H. Hicks & son
Replies: 14
Views: 24652

Re: H. Hicks & son

No reliable dates are available for most Hicks serial numbers, so although I think it is around 1962, I can't prove it. Have a look at
http://www.pianohistory.info/datemarks.html
by Bill Kibby
11 Mar 2021, 17:32
Forum: Piano History
Topic: W. Hoffmann, Berlin
Replies: 11
Views: 7212

Re: W. Hoffmann, Berlin

It is interesting that your post is timed at 1701 today, but I am answering it at 1630pm!

Candles were dying out in the twenties, many houses didn't need them anymore, but some pianos did have mains-operated lights, especially in the 1930s.