Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

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Barrie Heaton
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Post by Barrie Heaton » 09 Jun 2003, 12:10

In the UK they can go for &1,000.00 + in a retail outlet in good condition, Privately I tuned one a few week ago they paid &600.00 case was battered but it played well.

Most tuners don't like tuning them especially in the USA where they use a muting strip.

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Eavestaff Mini

Post by Bill Kibby » 20 Jun 2003, 11:59

We have assumed that this is the original 1934-style minipiano, Eavestaffs made various other models. I have historical notes, pictures and old ads on file. Valuation of a piano is impossible without on-the-spot inspection. Have a look at
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Eavestaff

Post by Bill Kibby » 24 Jun 2003, 10:13

"All the same stuff" has to be there to make it work, but the precise layout depends which Eavestaff mini we're talking about, there were several models including 1934 and 1969. The strings have to be shorter if there is no space!
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Post by Bill Kibby » 24 Jun 2003, 10:18

I think Barrie missed the point that many of the 1934-style back-action minis are now untuneable wrecks, with tuning pins which cannot be obtained or replaced. Valuation in that situation is a gallon of paraffin and a box of matches!
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Post by Barrie Heaton » 24 Jun 2003, 18:00

Bill Kibby MIMIT wrote:I think Barrie missed the point that many of the 1934-style back-action minis are now untuneable wrecks, with tuning pins which cannot be obtained or replaced. Valuation in that situation is a gallon of paraffin and a box of matches!
I would agree most of the back actions ones even paraffin is a waste of money and the guy who designed them must have hated tuners.

However, it was the back action I was taking about and they do fetch that sort of price in the north of England Small terraced houses (Coronation Street)

Now the 2 Royal models tend to fetch more money, I have 2 on my round with the 45 degree action in the base a pig to work on when you take the action out. There is one for sale in a shop in Blackburn and that will probably end up on my round

BTW you can get tuning pins for back action, I have used the metal packing sleeves to good effect. Not that I would wish to restring one again that was in the 80s.


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Eavestaff Back-action Mini

Post by Bill Kibby » 08 Sep 2003, 14:42

Assuming that it's a back-action mini, which it sounds like, with tuning under the keyboard, the number will be there on the left, inside the tuning flap, and they appear to run at a thousand per year from 1934. See
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Eavestaff

Post by Bill Kibby » 23 Feb 2004, 09:36

I am trying to get some correlation between the two sets of numbers on the Eavestaff minipianos which have a tuning flap under the keyboard. Can you give me the number there, and the one inside the back, on the soundboard?
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Bill Kibby » 28 Feb 2010, 12:39

We would like to have a thirties-style Eavestaff minipiano for our Piano History Centre, if anyone in Britain would like to donate one. It will be just a display object, and doesn't have to be playable or tuneable as long as it is the "back-action" type with the tuning pins under the keyboard.
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Bill Kibby » 06 Apr 2010, 09:34

Isn't the internet strange? Sometimes, an item can sit there unnoticed for months or years, this one took just 2 days to get a response. I would like to thank Audrey for the piano, which now stands back-to-back with a Pape Console Piano of the 1830s, for comparison. I have said on occasions that the Eavestaff Minipiano numbers seem to run at a thousand per year from 1934, but this is not the case, because Audrey tells me that #10369 was bought for her secondhand in 1939, so it cannot be from 1944, and some of the estimates will have to be revised.
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Gill the Piano » 06 Apr 2010, 16:32

Have lots of fun tuning it! :D
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Wainwright » 01 Jun 2011, 05:21

I live in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada (North shores of Great Slave Lake). I just received #3963 into my workshop to see if I can 'revive' it. I may have to sleeve a couple of pins as a few strings are very flat. This is a black one (I gather from the History page they came in many colours .... an unusual feature in those days) and it has the 'as used by Princesses Ingrid (Sweden), Elizabeth and Margaret' stencils on it ...... does this make it a 'Royal' model? The action seems to functioning OK, but as with any piano, if it won't stay in tune it is not a musical instrument ...... so that will be my first task - it's such a cute little piano I'm prepared to invest a little time 'on spec.' to see if it is salvageable ...... I'll let you know how it goes. Brian Wainwright - Yellowknife's Resident Piano Technician.

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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Bill Kibby » 01 Jun 2011, 09:20

Our mini is not here for tuning, it is a display item for an important in the piano history of the 1930s, but there are more comfortable, logical ways to tne back-action minis if the pins hold.

There's no "Royal Model". There were various different models, but #3963 may the most troublesome - the original 1934 type with the wrestpins inside a flap under the front of the keyboard, because you can't "sleeve" these easily, they go all the way through to the back, where the strings are. Something like Pintite may be the answer. However, the reference to the princesses suggests a later, more conventional piano.

Some later models of the fifties were called "Miniroyal", and the Miniroyal Model 90 was a very different type introduced in 1969, one of my favourite low uprights, with the distinctive hood that opens up the whole front, and reflects the sound towards the pianist or tuner. Not much fun working on the action though!

I saw one sell for 52 pounds, while another similar one fetched 400.
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 06 Jun 2011, 07:56

Hi Simon
The page below may be of interest as it details to the 2 main types of eavestaff minipiano. They are 2 very different pianos.

Eavestaff MiniPiano
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Bill Kibby » 06 Jun 2011, 13:23

Why have I never heard of a MiniroyalE with an "E" on the end? There are a lot more than two Eavestaff Minipiano models, and I don't know which this refers to. Is it a modern import with an Eavestaff name on the front?
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 06 Jun 2011, 13:55

If you are referring to my page it could be a typo... but I thought there was a Royale
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Trouty » 27 Jan 2012, 19:47

I have an eavestaff mini piano 1930s traditional art deco design I have a great tuner and it's tuned to concert pitch. I play mine daily and love it I got the piano and matching stool for under £100 at a local auction . My tuner appreciates the fact that I love this piano and he is willing to take the extra time it takes to tune as it is awkward, but if you can get a good one mechanically and only have a small space these are great

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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Bill Kibby » 28 Jan 2012, 14:30

These little instruments have given a great deal of pleasure to many people over the years, and if you are happy with the tuning and tonal quality, that's fine. Tuners find them to be a nuisance, but what is more important is that many examples are untuneable now, and not suitable for repinning.
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Colin Nicholson » 28 Jan 2012, 15:45

Trouty....

Good to hear about your piano, and you were one of the lucky ones - it works fine!

In case you are interested, I restored a 1930's Eavestaff Mini piano a few years ago for a customer - proper Art Decor, and with fluted chrome 240 volt electric candle bulbs.... mmm, not sure what Health & Safety would say these days!!

The piano was completely ridden with moths, everything eaten away inside, and the customer wanted it "as new" ...... so here we are....
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Trouty » 30 Jan 2012, 13:25

WOW that is one fantastic eavestaff I love the lights and you have done a fantastic job thank you for the photo I had heard of these with lights but had never seen one... I am now happy...

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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 02 Feb 2012, 11:16

Loving that photo Colin!
what are the metal bars for underneath the bulbs do you think?
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Colin Nicholson » 02 Feb 2012, 12:26

Just pure Art Decor!!.... and all part n parcel of the bulb holders. Very tempting to use them as hand grips during a removal - so I had to warn the removal lads not to touch!! These are just hollow - fluted metal tubes - the wiring at the top goes right through the centre of each cheek - a sod of a job to rewire! Also I had to have them re-chromed.... and cost well over £100 just for that, but worth it. The internal screw-in fitting for the bulbs was originally porcelain!! .... and it just shattered - so had to fit complete new fittings/ wiring. Also fitted a pull-out plug extension at the rear - bit like those on a caravan, so easier during tuning. I had to master my circus degree though to tune it!!....
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Colin Nicholson » 02 Feb 2012, 13:01

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY !!....

Here is the rear of the piano, before & after. As you can see, hammer felt munched away (top left) - and virtually nothing left inside the mechanism, except some small piles of dusty felt.... and moth POO !!

Not sure if anyone is aware of this.... but the whole action & keyboard tips right over to gain access to the strings - for the muting strip. Various screws have to be removed from the centre key rail, and the pivot bolts at the bottom of the action need to be loosened slightly .... BUT NOT REMOVED!!.... also note the stringing & action is back to front / bass strings on the right! .... and re-strung anti-clockwise. The original wrest pins were fine - very expensive for a new set, just the odd one needed some fettling.

Anyone wanting one restoring.... FORGET IT!!....
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 03 Feb 2012, 14:08

The wife would love one of those!
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by acd » 10 Jul 2018, 16:14

Hi there, I have a friend who is looking to sell her beloved mini piano. Its in great shape and seems to hold a tune. I know she wants it to go to a good home. Can anyone here connect me to anyone to help??

Piano is located in Leigh on Sea essex.
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Re: Eavestaff Pianette "Minipiano"

Post by Bill Kibby » 10 Jul 2018, 21:14

Thanks for showing us what it looks like. Under the keyboard is the tuning flap. If you open it, there should be a serial number at the lefthand end, imprinted in the wood. Can you tell me what it is?

My experience of these is that although they can fetch a few hundred pounds, they often raise very little, especially if the tuning pins are not holding, and I have one that was given to me for nothing for this reason.

Leigh-on-sea? I wonder if I ever tuned it when I lived over that way?
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