I have been trying to find out information on my Erard. It has been in our family for 50 years and has been well played and loved. We purchased it from a couple in Dorset but know nothing about it before this. It is black, but the black is coming off in places where it has been moved and rubbed against something. Would it have been veneer? Ebony? Or just a black stain? I cannot find any pictures of any black upright Erards on the Internet. The serial number is 85053 so I think it was made in 1902 in Paris. Would you be able to give me any further information please?
Thank you in advance for your help.
I have attached a photo below.
Most pianos were veneered. "Ebonised" cases were quite common a century ago, simply a very dark polish, or dark stain under the polish, often covering up the fact that the piano is made of various different woods, as you will find out if it is stripped. If you want to search for clues inside the piano, have a look at
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If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, they should refer to pianohistory.info
Although most of Erard pianos were veneered with Rosewood or mahogany, some were just black, usually a tainted varnish. The pattern with two birds on the front panel was quite common, as it is the third piano I see advertised with this. They were made for the British market, as the Erard for the Frenchs were rather plain. I'll have a look at the workshop register to get a bit more information, but do not expected too much. The register will only give the date of manufacture and tell that it's been sold to S et P Erard in London. The Erard London archives have been lost, so we cannot find whom the piano was sold to.