Upright Pianos around 1912

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Bill Kibby
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Upright Pianos around 1912

Post by Bill Kibby » 02 Feb 2011, 20:15

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS AROUND 1910

Post by Colin Nicholson » 03 Feb 2011, 00:28

Very interesting Bill, thanks.
I am also amazed (and elaborating slightly on what you said) that when I point out to a customer a three-quarter frame, not many really understand that pianos dated around 100 years ago will not hold their pitch as well as a full iron frame.

The headbar you mention (I sometimes call it a capping bar) is also beggars belief - as some people are deceived into thinking they are full iron framed, when in fact its just an extra piece of iron frame 'added on' - merely just adding weight to the piano!
Also sometimes the wrest plank was sprayed in gold to make it look like metal - but at least some of the German pianos I have seen sometimes use a brass sheet to cover the wrest plank, on 3/4 frames.

For some strange reason also, most of my new customers who have bought a 1910 straight-strung are lady customers (and thats not a sexist comment) - and often is the case they are lured into the beauty of what you mentioned - marquetry, and of course Mother of Pearl, and ornate carvings of birds of paradise/ daffodil arrangements.... and so on - is this part of the piano a "woman thing" ??. Whilst we desperately try to rescue these pianos and attempt to tune them, they look wonderful, but some are un-tuneable to a resonable degree, but they make nice pieces of furniture.
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Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS AROUND 1910

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 03 Feb 2011, 09:30

but they make nice pieces of furniture
...but are often very smelly, musty and full of horrid cobwebs and the worst kind of dust imagineable. When I used to do piano moving 3 days per week I was amazed at how many old junk pianos were being shipped around the country at a cost way above the value of the instrument.

I'm all for recycling and I don't scrap any of my part-exs (they get exported intact or stripped down and turned into coffee tables!).
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Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS AROUND 1910

Post by Bill Kibby » 03 Feb 2011, 12:09

I am not entirely convinced that a full iron frame guarantees in any way that the wrestpins will "hold their pitch" but it certainly does have the advantage that the wrestplank will not explode through the front of the piano in the middle of the night, as some have done!
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Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS AROUND 1910

Post by Colin Nicholson » 04 Feb 2011, 15:29

That's a nice story Kari, and I myself like some of the old traditions, but sometimes we need to keep up with time, move on, and although I didn't want to let go of my old over-damped piano, back in the 80's, I am glad I did in a way, otherwise I may not have improved my playing skills much.

A few years ago, my colleague & I (who emigrated to Oz) used to visit the Birmingham Piano Conventions/ Exhibitions, and we stayed at the Copthorn hotel - just opposite - can't remember the name of the building, maybe NEC Centre? - it was huge, and every year we used to stay overnight and visit all the piano companies inc. Heckschers, F&N, Renner, (Yamaha had a special room!) etc. Very educational aswell. There was one particular company that renovated old Victorian pianos - and I mean they completely ripped out the insides, and put a brand-spanking new action & keys in it - can't remember their name, but well worth looking at. I don't know if the piano exhibition still exists....
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Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS AROUND 1910

Post by Gill the Piano » 04 Feb 2011, 18:55

Kari, your grandad's house sounds like ours! (I'm typing by the open fire surrounded by STUFF...all old!)
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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