Elcke 33612

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asherchn
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Elcke 33612

Post by asherchn » 03 Dec 2015, 21:04

hi, i have an old piano that we got from our Grandma, the piano name is Eelcke no. 33612, can you please help me with some info?

thanks asher.

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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Bill Kibby » 03 Dec 2015, 23:20

The number suggests that your piano was made in 1930, but no archives are available to provide any other information. It is important to understand that dating pianos purely on the basis of numbers is not always simple or reliable, as explained at
http://www.pianohistory.info/numbers.html

If you can post photos here to show what the whole piano looks like on the outside, we may be able to tell you more.

There are lots of Elcke pianos on Google Images
https://www.google.co.uk/search?safe=st ... vdNuJj1e8Q

and if you read the individual details, you may find useful information there.
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by asherchn » 04 Dec 2015, 00:03

hi bill, thank you for your prompt replay.

attached some pic.
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20151204_004155.jpg

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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by asherchn » 04 Dec 2015, 00:06

20151204_004314.jpg
20151204_004325.jpg
20151204_004155.jpg
20151204_004331.jpg

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Colin Nicholson » 04 Dec 2015, 12:00

There is some general information about Elcke in my trusty Pierce piano handbook that may be of interest to you.
Dates/ years may be estimated.

Established in 1846. Factory address 47 Rue de Babylone, Paris, France.
Manufactured nearly 44,000 pianos - company ceased around 1975 (serial numbers & dates stopped there).

Serial number #32600 - suggests a year 1926
#33700 - 1927
.... so your piano was probably made between these years.

Other French pianos were Erard of Paris, Pleyel and Ramau

Your piano cabinet size would probably be referred to as a "Console" piano.
Some attractive mirror and cross-banding, suggests Art Deco. The artist here would apply thin brushstrokes of different coloured wood stain to the veneer (possibly oak), and French polished over. Would be very sought after in that period.

The mechanism is the standard "under-damped" and strings are overstrung.
Full cast iron frame with partially exposed wrest plank. The wrest plank is the large expanse of wood shown where the tuning pins are driven in.... may be some surface cracks that need checking out. The original serial number is also printed here, to the left of the raised lettering "Elcke" - painted in orange. French manufacturers often printed the serial number in other places - like you have shown on the reverse side of the fallboard back lid.

The celeste rail is an early design and wooden articulated - operated by the middle pedal.... this is the 'practise' pedal to practise the piano very quietly. Press the middle pedal, and the rail will move down, so the hammers strike this cloth instead of directly onto the strings.

The mechanism is a standard bridle tape/ jack action, looks in reasonably good condition.
There are some white chalk marks, left of centre, (lower section) on the back checks.... this suggests a piano tuner may have repaired these parts/ notes.... or awaiting repairs.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Bill Kibby » 04 Dec 2015, 12:35

My very old Pierce Piano Atlas gives a date around 1930, but later books such as Musicians' Piano Atlas put it at 1926, as Colin says, but describing Pierce's books as "trusty" is a step too far for me, as explained at
http://www.pianohistory.info/numbers.html
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Colin Nicholson » 04 Dec 2015, 16:14

I think I followed it with "estimated" .... purely for the purpose of history experts!.... and anyone having no information at all. Not all info in that book is accurate - we know - but might suffice for now!

Of course, any piano with an heirloom/ deep provenance / top brand name etc would require any information followed up - beyond my scope, but in terms of general information, a couple of years either side may be all that is needed for grandma's piano - especially if the piano sat on the showroom floor for a year or two before selling, like mine did. Studying piano details and exact dates is by no means easy or fully accurate.... and of course this would presumably require the owner to follow-up any initial information with an appointment with a piano seller who specialises in this field. Unless proved otherwise though, the factory address/ est. date and last entry of serial numbers dated 1975 is a good guide to start from.... followed up later of course.

Having 'some' information is better than none.
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by vernon » 05 Dec 2015, 20:20

that piano can't be younger than the first World War from the case alone
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Erard Paris

Post by Jodyb. » 11 Jan 2016, 11:03

Hello guys,

I got a piano from a friend and i would like to know something more about it.
Does it have any value and is it worth to repair it?
It says Erard Paris and on the Side pierre bruxelles.
I have Some pictures from it and i will try to download them here.
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Bill Kibby » 11 Jan 2016, 21:05

By putting an Erard piano onto an Elcke topic you have made it more difficult for people to find your enquiry, it would be better to do it as a new topic.

Nobody anywhere can guess the value or condition of a piano without inspecting it on the spot and tuning it, so your local tuner is the best person to ask about this.

The number rubber-stamped on the end is not the serial number, which is probably in the 10,000 range if (as I suspect) it is from around 1917.
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Jodyb. » 12 Jan 2016, 09:18

Bill Kibby wrote:By putting an Erard piano onto an Elcke topic you have made it more difficult for people to find your enquiry, it would be better to do it as a new topic.

Nobody anywhere can guess the value or condition of a piano without inspecting it on the spot and tuning it, so your local tuner is the best person to ask about this.

The number rubber-stamped on the end is not the serial number, which is probably in the 10,000 range if (as I suspect) it is from around 1917.

Okay, thank you very much. Sorry for putting it on the wrong topic. Where could i find the serial number?

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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Colin Nicholson » 12 Jan 2016, 10:21

Jodyb // Erard upright piano

Having blinked a few times looking at the brass inlaid name, I suspect this may be a fake.
It looks like "Errard" ?? (with 2 rs)..... the photo has a glare which is difficult to see, and has no scrolls.... lettering and style doesn't look right.
The piano cabinet also looks rather "straight" for an Erard, and might have another name inside.

Looks similar to a 1920s English made piano.

The rubber - stamped "serial number" looks like a genuine serial number, but about 100 years out for an Erard, so it may be a serial number for the original makers, who could have been unknown. I am guessing here.... the fallboard may have been swapped (seen this on a Bosendorfer upright, and it was English).... and if it is an Erard, the 'Erard' name should be printed properly inside the piano. Would also be interested to see the "pierre bruxelles" wording, and a photo of the whole mechanism with the front panel removed.

At the moment, the piano can only be valued in terms of what you paid for it.... sounds like it was given to you free? Also depends on the levels of repairs. I have noticed one of the keys has collapsed forwards.... this is excess wear to the underside centre rail area, and could be very rusty and worn away - the hole should be round, but if worn like it has shown, it will probably be oval shaped now.... so I suspect there may be damp issues in the past? Either that or the key tops have been replaced at some stage, and key top not aligned properly.

Have a look at that name again closely.... I might be wrong, just my opinion.
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Bill Kibby » 12 Jan 2016, 10:42

I agree Colin, I have been trying all sorts of tricks to try to bring the lettering out. If indeed it is "ard" then it looks more like Emard or it might even be Lonird!

My first impression was that it looks like American or Canadian "Collard & Collard" pianos made around 1917.
1920~Collard#23945#10280uu.JPG
I would say rubber stamps are not common for serial numbers, most are imprinted into the wood, or painted onto the iron frame. They may also be imprinted into any removal parts of the case.

f you want to search inside the piano for clues, have a look at
http://www.pianohistory.info/datemarks.html
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Jodyb. » 12 Jan 2016, 10:46

Jodyb. wrote:
Bill Kibby wrote:By putting an Erard piano onto an Elcke topic you have made it more difficult for people to find your enquiry, it would be better to do it as a new topic.

Nobody anywhere can guess the value or condition of a piano without inspecting it on the spot and tuning it, so your local tuner is the best person to ask about this.

The number rubber-stamped on the end is not the serial number, which is probably in the 10,000 range if (as I suspect) it is from around 1917.

Okay, thank you very much. Sorry for putting it on the wrong topic. Where could i find the serial number?

You might be right! But like i said i have absolutly No idea about piano's
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Colin Nicholson » 12 Jan 2016, 15:50

I don't think the above "Erard" is a genuine Erard of Paris of any description, and probably a deception to make it look like Erard. Few reasons.... see image below; with me working closely with an Erard grand last year, even though I have seen some Erards without the scrolling around the lettering, the font/ style is not even close. The 'E' is not elaborate enough - should look almost "S" shaped, and the 2nd 'r' in Erard has a shorter acute to finish off the letter. The 'serial number' is also not in accordance with Erard, and the numbers has been stamped randomly, showing poor spacing and alignment between numbers. Erard are very particular (like other top makes) in ensuring the serial number(s) is neatly presented. The mechanism - although poorly photographed - looks different.

I've tried to enhance the image on Photoshop.... slightly better....! .... and sharpened it up a bit to make it look clearer.... but it's nothing like the correct name I have added in 2 places (from the same piano).

Another thing, is the "T-Cut" test. If the 'Erard' has inlaid brass - by rubbing some T-Cut over the name, the cloth will turn black, then if the name appears shiny and new, it is brass inlaid.... which doesn't make it Erard .... just to see the level of deception. The 'Paris' word also looks wrong. Be careful though, if the name is just a decal, it may rub off.... perhaps start with some Brasso as not as lethal as T-Cut.


If the new member is to take some photos like that shown in the Elckes upright, the Erard name (or its other name) should be properly displayed inside as a decal. Other wording would need to be seen aswell to confirm.

Yes Bill.... looks very much like a copy, and the casework doesn't look right.
Errard.jpg
Errard brass inlaid name with Erard
The T-Cut test....
TcutTest.jpg
TCut test
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Jodyb. » 12 Jan 2016, 21:42

Colin Nicholson wrote:I don't think the above "Erard" is a genuine Erard of Paris of any description, and probably a deception to make it look like Erard. Few reasons.... see image below; with me working closely with an Erard grand last year, even though I have seen some Erards without the scrolling around the lettering, the font/ style is not even close. The 'E' is not elaborate enough - should look almost "S" shaped, and the 2nd 'r' in Erard has a shorter acute to finish off the letter. The 'serial number' is also not in accordance with Erard, and the numbers has been stamped randomly, showing poor spacing and alignment between numbers. Erard are very particular (like other top makes) in ensuring the serial number(s) is neatly presented. The mechanism - although poorly photographed - looks different.

I've tried to enhance the image on Photoshop.... slightly better....! .... and sharpened it up a bit to make it look clearer.... but it's nothing like the correct name I have added in 2 places (from the same piano).

Another thing, is the "T-Cut" test. If the 'Erard' has inlaid brass - by rubbing some T-Cut over the name, the cloth will turn black, then if the name appears shiny and new, it is brass inlaid.... which doesn't make it Erard .... just to see the level of deception. The 'Paris' word also looks wrong. Be careful though, if the name is just a decal, it may rub off.... perhaps start with some Brasso as not as lethal as T-Cut.


If the new member is to take some photos like that shown in the Elckes upright, the Erard name (or its other name) should be properly displayed inside as a decal. Other wording would need to be seen aswell to confirm.

Yes Bill.... looks very much like a copy, and the casework doesn't look right.
Errard.jpg
The T-Cut test....
TcutTest.jpg
Thank you very much for your reply! It helped me a lot!
I guess i will just sell it on a secondhand website.

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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Bill Kibby » 13 Jan 2016, 13:19

See the separate postings for EVrard! :)
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by vernon » 13 Jan 2016, 23:29

The sloping/opening top door indicates a Canadian influence. This feature(to increase the volume) was often worked by a third pedal or hand lever. Check for these. Never seen the principle in any other nationality. Heinzmann used them.
Interestingly,some ancient harpsichords had a pedal or lever that raised the whole top lid as an attepmt at forte. Of course Christofori and his co-developers made that redundant as they could do " forte" and "piano!"
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Re: Elcke 33612

Post by Bill Kibby » 14 Jan 2016, 15:47

So my hunch about Canadian fits in with yours! :lol:
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