Squire Longson baby Grand - Can you help date it?

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MikeC
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Squire Longson baby Grand - Can you help date it?

Post by MikeC » 25 Apr 2016, 05:26

Hi I would be really grateful if one of your experts could help me find out about my grandpas Piano which my father brought over from the UK some 35 years ago.

A baby grand by Squire Longson with Herrburger Brooks hammers and a metal frame inside the dark wood.
It has numbers 16347 on the wood and 538 on the metal frame plus I have found as24935 also on the wood
It has 'medals' stamped on the frame with the highest date of 1930 so as I read somewhere the name changed in 1933 to Kemble I'm assuming it was made between 1930 to 1933.
The keyboard cover has Squire Longson not Squire & Longson as some of the Pianos I have seen in my research
Can you help me with some background details?

I would much appreciate it
Mike

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Squire Longson baby Grand - Can you help date it?

Post by Bill Kibby » 25 Apr 2016, 10:24

It is usually impossible to date grands of the 1900s by their appearance, as explained at
http://www.pianohistory.info/grand.html

My 1951 Directory of the British Music Industries lists "Squire & Longson" as a trade name used by Squire & Longson Ltd., but the pianos were, by then, being made by Kemble. The name on the pianos did not change, it is always "Squire & Longson" in my experience, so I suspect this is a transfer made up from separate letters, applied when it was repolished, and we have no way of knowing if it was a mistake genuinely trying to reproduce the original name, or just a fake. There are many examples on Google Images if you search for...

squire longson piano

The only dates published for their numbers are for the ones made by Kemble, which should be preceded by a K. 16347 would be in the twenties. 1933 is said to be the approximate date of a Squire & Longson piano which has #15395 on the end of the case, #16,376 on the belly, so very similar to yours. On a more definite point of reference, 1931 Squire & Longson upright piano #14,700 was sold in March 1931 for 72gns by W.H. Barnes, of Stratford, East London, so we can say that 16347 is after 1931.

Short numbers, and numbers preceded by other letters, are no help unless those letters indicate a retailer whose stock numbers are known. The Herrburger Brooks action dates it to after 1919. The 1930 medal tells us it is after 1929, as explained at
http://www.pianohistory.info/exhibition.html

Your best hope is if you can find a number preceded by a K, perhaps on the soundboard, under the strings. Alastair Laurence's books are available through this website, they have greatly expanded on the information I gave him about the various Squire firms and names, they all claimed to have begun in 1829, and yet aspired to separate identities.
Piano History Centre
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If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

MikeC
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Re: Squire Longson baby Grand - Can you help date it?

Post by MikeC » 25 Apr 2016, 13:10

Thank you very much for your help on this
I have used your search and found a few images like my pain where its just Squire Longson with out the "&" in the middle
I'll press on but any other feedback input would be most welcome
Thanks you
Mike

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Re: Squire Longson baby Grand - Can you help date it?

Post by Bill Kibby » 25 Apr 2016, 17:18

SquireLongson5519n.jpg
Yes, you are quite right. I searched again, ruled out the mistyped ones, and the ones with no evidence, and still found a number of pianos made over a period of 30 or 40 years which had precisely the same lettering, but no & sign. I have no explanation for that, except that some seem to have an unusually large gap between the 2 words, as if there could have been one there. In fact, the spacing shown above is identical.

There is no historical evidence in my files, and throughout their long period of manufacture, Squire & Longson were always known by the same name.
Piano History Centre
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Email bill@pianohistory.info
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

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