Age of Kirkman Grand

Ask questions on piano history and the age of your piano.

Moderators: Feg, Gill the Piano, Bill Kibby

Post Reply
andrewedwardstech
New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Aug 2015, 22:50

Age of Kirkman Grand

Post by andrewedwardstech » 25 Aug 2015, 23:09

Hi All,

I was looking for some help finding out any information about a Kirkman Grand piano I ran across at a client's home in the Southern US.

Serial number 16978

It also has a hand painted number on the plate " G 15060".

I would appreciate any help.

Thank you.

User avatar
Bill Kibby
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5559
Joined: 04 Jun 2003, 19:25
Location: Lincolnshire UK
Contact:

Re: Age of Kirkman Grand

Post by Bill Kibby » 26 Aug 2015, 10:13

That number might suggest that the piano was made in 1868, but it is important to understand that the whole idea of dating pianos purely on the basis of numbers is often not simple or reliable, as explained on my Numbers page at
http://www.pianohistory.info/numbers.html

The same page also points out that numbers preceded by a letter are usually retailers' stock numbers, and it is only on rare occasions that we can date them.

Is there any chance you could post photos to show us what the whole piano looks like on the outside? Or you could email them to me to post.
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email via my website.
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, they should refer to pianohistory.info

andrewedwardstech
New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Aug 2015, 22:50

Re: Age of Kirkman Grand

Post by andrewedwardstech » 26 Aug 2015, 12:08

Hi Bill,

Thank you so much for your quick response. I will send pictures later on today. I was impressed by this piano this is the first Kirkman I've seen in the US.

User avatar
Bill Kibby
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5559
Joined: 04 Jun 2003, 19:25
Location: Lincolnshire UK
Contact:

Re: Age of Kirkman Grand

Post by Bill Kibby » 26 Aug 2015, 23:58

1888~Kirkman_forum323g.jpg
The retailers’ name was Larg, we have no record of them in Dundee until 1899, and I would guess this piano might be from the 1880s, so this suggests that they sold it secondhand.

It is important to understand that the whole idea of dating pianos purely on the basis of numbers is often not simple or reliable, as explained on my Numbers page at
http://www.pianohistory.info/numbers.html
and although you don’t say where the number is located, you should be able to find the serial number by removing the music desk and looking under it. Removable parts like the music desk are often imprinted with the last 3 digits of the same number. I am hoping for a number in the region of 38,000.
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email via my website.
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, they should refer to pianohistory.info

User avatar
Bill Kibby
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5559
Joined: 04 Jun 2003, 19:25
Location: Lincolnshire UK
Contact:

Re: Age of Kirkman Grand

Post by Bill Kibby » 27 Aug 2015, 10:13

Names imprinted in woodwork, like Pugh or Catts, would have been senior workers signing their work at the factory.

When the frames are made, in bulk, nobody knows which piano they will end up being used in, so any raised numbers cast into the frame / plate are not specific to one piano, and not serial numbers, which would be written or painted like yours. Numbers on keys or actions are not often serial numbers, but the fact that they are the same suggests that this one is

Usually, my instinctive estimate are very accurate, and although I have some confirmations of dates for many makes, nobody has ever found a date on a Kirkman piano, so we have to trust the published dates of their numbers, although do they usually seem about right, so I am probably wrong!
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email via my website.
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, they should refer to pianohistory.info

Post Reply