I would like any info on this model of Bechstein as I haven't found much at all. The serial number dates it to 1900-1902, exact year unknown because I also looked at the case number which told me 1902 but serial number 1900!
Anyone know about the VA models?
That page explains that removable parts are often marked with the last 3 digits, which would confirm which number was the important one.
It would help if we had photos of the WHOLE piano, and photos showing where these numbers and models are, and what they look like.
Serial number is 57027 - black numbers on iron frame - although these numbers look very similar to what that article refers to as case numbers. I followed your link above. I. More confused now!
Case number is 18081 - numbers on wooden beam under piano
On the iron frame under the bass strings are the letters VA. The V is a larger letter than the A but they are both capitals.
I have looked on a leg and can't find any numbers on there. I'll check the rest
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Bechstein grands usually refer to their model letter[s] in accordance to the length of the grand.... from the overhanging lip at the back of the top lid [closed] to the front of the piano - where the front key rail [where you would find the lock on an upright].
I know of five grand models - there may be more. The model letter is often found to the right side of the cast frame/tuning pin area [music rest removed] .... and are:
Model K -- 5ft 2 inches
Model M -- 5' 11"
Model B -- 6' 8"
Model C -- 7' 3"
Model EN - 9' 2" [concert grand]
It may be one of those - so if you measure the length ONLY - this may help. No need to measure the height or width.
The model letter may have rubbed off [if its a decal].
Send a couple of photos.... see "how to upload images" - the first topic on the history or piano advice section.
I found this info about earlier bechstein models being named I to V in Roman numerals up to 1902 so this means my piano is definitely before then.
There's a company called besbrode pianos that have one for sale at the mo so I might contact them too.
In 1899, Bechstein introduced the Model A - a 6'8" grand, with 85 notes, based on the Model 5. My old friend and piano enthusiast Rod Watt has both models from 1899, and it is interesting to make direct comparisons: The shape of the Model 5, with its "fishtail", has been streamlined to a "double serpentine curve", but since this results in a slight loss of soundboard area, the keyboard section of the case has been made 2" larger to compensate, making the appearance heavier and bulkier by comparison with the more delicate Model 5. The nameplate on the treble section of the wrestplank area is also simplified, just "C. Bechstein, Berlin" with no reference to koenigs and kaisers etc..