Schwander Simplex in Bosendorfer

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chrislackner
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Schwander Simplex in Bosendorfer

Post by chrislackner » 16 Oct 2018, 19:37

Hello all,
this is my first post.
I have an 1898 Bosendorfer 6ft (approx) grand, serial number 14930. Most surprisingly, it has a non-repeating Schwander action, serial 412752. As far as I have been able to discover, this looks like a Simplex D "spring & loop" design, which I understand was mainly fitted to small, cheaper grands. Actually, it has a "C" stamped at one end of the action rail (Simplex C??) My question is, would Bosendorfer have built it this way, or is the action a later modification? It all works quite well and reliably, though the touch is nothing special, as one would expect.
Perhaps Bosendorfer themselves might keep records?
Is it possible to fit a complete new roller action, and would it be prohibitively expensive..?
Thanks to anyone who might be able to help.
Chris

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Schwander Simplex in Bosendorfer

Post by Bill Kibby » 18 Oct 2018, 12:15

The Schwander number confirms that it is about 1898, as you can see on my own website at
http://www.pianohistory.info/numbers.html
so it seems to be original. After what they did to his family in the 1914 war, Schwander refused to deal with Germans, but I don't know if that applied to Austria.

I tend to avoid using the word "Simplex" because it has so many different uses in and out of the piano trade, like the Simplex gears in cars, the Simplex upright action, and the one you mention which, as you say, is mainly found in cheap, average baby grands.

Perhaps Bosendorfers' website can help you.
Piano History Centre
http://pianohistory.info
Email bill@pianohistory.info
If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

chrislackner
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Re: Schwander Simplex in Bosendorfer

Post by chrislackner » 20 Oct 2018, 17:23

Many thanks, Bill. It is good to know that the action is contemporary with the piano - I feel much better about it now! Someone told me it looked like a Simplex D action, but it does have a C stamped on the left end of the action rail. At first I wondered if anyone had replaced a Viennese action with this Schwander one (which I assume would be superior to the old Viennese action?) but I see no evidence of a Viennese action having been in the piano at all. I don't even know how feasible such a swap would be...
I've emailed Bosendorfer to see what more (if anything) they can tell me about the piano.
Attachments
B Piano w.jpg
B Piano c.jpg
B Piano w.jpg
B Piano t.jpg
B Piano m.jpg

chrislackner
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Re: Schwander Simplex in Bosendorfer

Post by chrislackner » 20 Oct 2018, 18:00

Until I looked again, I had no idea that the pictures I tried to attach had actually appeared! You will notice that the piano has at some time been "modernised" with square tapered legs instead of the fancy turned ones it would have had. Also, the music desk is a plainer, later style than the elaborate fretwork one that was almost certainly on it originally.
You will see that the hammers are in dire need of replacement, but it actually plays quite well, with a nice full, warm tone, and it holds tune well.
I believe it is 190cm.
It is going to be replaced with a 1911 170cm Grotrian Steinweg whose restoration will be finished in a few months' time.

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