Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

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carlislebb
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Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by carlislebb » 22 Jun 2015, 01:38

Hi,
I have an antique Erard Paris piano that was given to my husband and me by his father. We have since divorced and I am still in possession of the piano. I know that the piano was purchased by his father's much older brother when he lived abroad and it traveled with him and his wife all over Europe (maybe even India?) and at some point they had the piano shipped to the United States. While we didn't exactly divorce on bad terms, it isn't possible for me to contact the family to get the exact history of the piano.
I'm wondering if you can provide any information / history on it. I'm pretty sure the piano's serial number is 73986, but there's also something written in script under the strings that is very difficult to read because of the decorative script and because of the strings covering it (not to mention that it's also in French). The third line of the writing has the numbers 13821.
From my online research, I am guessing that the piano is dated 1896. And, if memory serves, that's the age I was told it was when it was given to us. Can you provide any additional information?
It's not in perfect shape as some of the rosewood veneer is chipped and some of the ivory has come off the keys. I have all the ivory pieces that can be reattached.
I'm not quite sure what to do with the piano. Any suggestions? I can send pictures, if you'd like. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

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Re: Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by Bill Kibby » 22 Jun 2015, 09:16

That number would be about 1896, but the other number suggests 1830s, but is probably not the serial number. If you have a look at the end of my Numbers page at pianohistory.info there is a link to the Erard Paris archives, and you can probably find the details of #73986. On my Datemarks page I explain that Erard Paris grands are often dated with the year in a small oblong on the soundboard, along the edge where the top is hinged.

In a piano of this age, chipped veneer and ivory is much less of a worry than the question of how well it is holding in tune, and you need to get a local tuner in to test it, because if it needs repinning and restringing, that would cost a great deal of money.

We would be interested to see the photos, and if you can't upload them here, you can email them to me, and I will upload them.
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Re: Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by Colin Nicholson » 22 Jun 2015, 17:42

It would be interesting to see some pictures if you have any.
As some may already know, I am presently restoring an Erard Paris grand (dated 1904).... about 2/3 of the way through it now; you may be interested in seeing my blog about the restoration/ upgrades and certain problems!

http://www.aatuners.com/erard-restoration.html

I think the soundboard script is standard on most Erard grands; all the strings are now removed, and the next time we go to the warehouse to start stringing, I'll make a note of the wording, now that the soundboard has been cleaned.

Bill is exactly right about the serial number location.... if you open the top lid, prop it up, then remove the music rest completely (it slides towards you), on the left side soundboard rim, the serial number will be printed running in line with the length of the piano. If you ask a piano tuner to remove the mechanism, the first note's undercarriage whippen may also be stamped with the date (not serial number). Erard Paris also punch and stamp the serial number all over the insides! .... key blocks/ hammer flange rail/ edge of fallboard and other places.
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Re: Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by Bill Kibby » 22 Jun 2015, 18:38

I was talking about date marks on Paris grands. Many antique Erard pianos are marked with the year: In the Paris-made grands, this appears on a small oblong of wood inside the top, to the left of the strings.
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Re: Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by Colin Nicholson » 23 Jun 2015, 00:00

There is no date mark on the soundboard on this Erard Paris, only the serial number on the left side of the soundboard as suggested. I'll have a closer look at the script lettering, there may be a date mark there.

The 'date mark' is on the action's A1 whippen, but just the year ink stamped "1904 P Chappett"" (which I posted a photo of the whippen on another topic).... so it is likely it is common for both Paris & London models.

(For SheilaT).... there may be some numbers punched into the soundboard (or cabinet rim top) on the right side, but on the model I have, it is just a stock number.
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Re: Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by Colin Nicholson » 07 Jul 2015, 15:06

If 'carlislebb' is still with us, I can provide some info about the soundboard decal that was asked about/ clear photo and translation into English (well, most of it).... however, since there has been no response from the first posting, I'll hold on for now.... this would take me about 40-60 minutes to put the photo on photoshop/ print-screen (its on my mobile phone) crop/ re-size etc, and download here..... I will also eventually be putting this info onto my Erard blog soon for those interested.

The numbers 13821 looks misleading, and is not a date, and the '8' is a '&' - but I believe part of an address of France reading "13 & 21,". I have some friends who visit France frequently, and when they return, I'll ask them for more information.

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Re: Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by Bill Kibby » 07 Jul 2015, 18:04

Yes, it's their Paris address, Erard arrived at 13, Rue de Mail in 1781, which I looked at a few years ago.
1840~Erard13Ruedemail124j.jpg
Circa 1829 is the mean date for pianos of Seb. & Pierre Erard, with the addresses 13 & 21 Rue de Mail, Paris on the fall (keyboard lid).

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Re: Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by Colin Nicholson » 08 Jul 2015, 18:30

Very interesting.
I'm also looking at archive info for the retailer on the fall. Has a nice gold decal "The Orchestrelle Co AEOLIAN HALL, 135/7 New Bond Street W" .... or piano might have been used for concerts.
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Re: Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by Bill Kibby » 09 Jul 2015, 12:40

It was a very complex relationship between Aeoiian, Weber, Pianola, Orchestrelle and Metrostyle, and I can never work it out, but they also retailed other makes. Because my active research is mainly aimed at antique pianos, I manage to avoid player pianos. Looking at the present state of live music in this country, I think players were just another nail in the coffin of live musicians.
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Re: Erard Paris piano, serial #73986

Post by Phiphi » 05 Sep 2015, 22:56

As I was into the Erard archives, I also looked at this one. It entered the workshop in December 1895 and was finished on 24 Feb 1896. Unfortunately, not much about the buyer, as it is only said that it was delivered to the S et P Erard shop in London.

I can translate the decal on the sound board. I guess that it is quite the standard decal.

Finally, if this piano was used for concerts, it was certainly in a very small hall; it is shown as type MR, which was then the name for the little 6' grand. Not very loud, what. :?

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