I am looking to buy a piano and have been offered an old instrument for a nominal price.
It is marked C. H. Bornkessel - and beneath crests the name/place 'Sangerhausen'
serial number 2151
It's from 'before the war' (that's all they know about it) - it originally held candelabras and body is in reasonable condition but badly needs tuning.
Just wondering whether any of you wonderful, knowledgeable folk happen to know any history about this instrument and how old it is.
Thanks a lot!
Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it
- Colin Nicholson
- Executive Poster
- Posts: 1839
- Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
- Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Usual scenarios to watch out for in old Pre war pianos are....
1. Unable/ difficult to be tuned.
2. Loose tuning pins / cracks in wrest plank
3. (more common for over-damped) .... ringing on dampers / warped rail or dampers lifting too early.
4. Broken (or about to break) bridle tapes - so overdamped pianos need repaired before tuning
In many cases with pianos sounding wildly out of tune (e.g. a client thought a hammer was hitting the next door strings.... but it wasn't, it was because there was a loose tuning pin, one string was a semitone below the other 2).... there are often tuning issues, and such pianos need to undergo various repairs/ servicing before they can be tuned.... depends on condition and how well looked after.
I found your answers fascinating and really helpful.
I had no idea it would be that old! I think that the Bornkessel needs to go to someone who already has a good piano but who has space and time and love enough to take this one in and look after it. That's not us, sadly. We need an easy to play and take care of instrument for learners, so I think I will pass on this opportunity. I hope the piano gets a home in the family it deserves!
Many thanks indeed for your thoughts and expertise.