Grand pianos just for show

General discussion about piano makes, problems with pianos, or just seeking advice.

Moderators: Feg, Gill the Piano, Melodytune

Post Reply
User avatar
NewAge
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 428
Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 18:29

Grand pianos just for show

Post by NewAge » 20 Aug 2011, 09:01

I frequently read on the piano forum 'across the pond' that many grand pianos are purchased just as a status symbol or as a centerpiece to fill a large space - often as a suggestion from a home designer or the like. Needless to say these pianos would never or seldom be tuned. And virtually never played which is sad, more-so in fact, to me just about as frustrating as being a eunuch in a harem. :cry:
Do any of you dealers or tuner technicians here have experience of this in the UK - expensive pianos being sold primarily for display purposes? I'm sure it must occasionally occur, which is great for sellers in the business but not so for the aftermarket. And almost criminal for those of us who love pianos for what they are - to be admired and played daily.
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

mdw
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
Posts: 606
Joined: 05 Jan 2008, 19:18

Re: Grand pianos just for show

Post by mdw » 20 Aug 2011, 11:10

Only one that sticks in the memory. About 15 years ago i went to look at a 7foot ish Bluthner in rosewood they wanted to sell. Looked great from across the marble tiled hall. Opened the fall up to play, nice creamy ivories in perfect nick. Started to play and no sound. Looked in the top and no action strings or dampers. They had bought it like that just to fill a space in their huge hall.

User avatar
Barrie Heaton
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4003
Joined: 30 May 2003, 20:42
Location: Lanc's
Contact:

Re: Grand pianos just for show

Post by Barrie Heaton » 20 Aug 2011, 13:28

I have quite a lot some very expensive ones. We are finding that grands that are self playing are sat there manly doing nothing bought them as a novelty

Have a client who has a 9' concert grand in dining room it only gets played once a year when they have a dinner party, they get in a pianist. Been tuning that piano for over 20 years

I would add that certain parts of Lancashire seem to have more pianos for display than others like Southport, ParrBold and Lytham St Annes


Barrie,
Barrie Heaton
Web Master UK Piano Page

Gill the Piano
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4210
Joined: 25 Oct 2003, 19:39
Location: Thames Valley

Re: Grand pianos just for show

Post by Gill the Piano » 20 Aug 2011, 17:16

Try some of the posher bits of Buckinghamshire, oxfordshire & Berkshire: One lady insisted the grand
pi-AH-no was used regularly for soirees (!) but a hair I laid across the hammers around middle C was still there a year later.
Another (new) grand piano was in TERRIBLE tune and hadn't been tuned since its purchase 4 years prior from a certain posh store in Knaightsbridge. 'Who plays?' I asked. 'O, nobody - but we just HAD to have a grand piano for that bay window...'
:shock: :roll:
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

David B
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 153
Joined: 26 Jul 2006, 09:25
Location: Kent, England

Re: Grand pianos just for show

Post by David B » 30 Aug 2011, 10:34

NewAge wrote:just about as frustrating as being a eunuch in a harem. :cry:
Surely a eunich would have no sex drive, the whole point of putting them in charge of harems?

User avatar
MarkGoodwinPianos
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
Posts: 698
Joined: 04 Nov 2006, 05:28

Re: Grand pianos just for show

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 30 Aug 2011, 11:01

I sold a Steinway Model B for £12,000 about 5 years ago to a chap who had never had a piano lesson but he was building a house from scratch to his own designs and he needed a Steinway to fill a particular hole.
Yamaha Pianos for sale (usually 50+ in stock)
email markgoodwinpianos@gmail.com with any Yamaha, Kawai, Bechstein or Steinway questions :)

joe
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 322
Joined: 24 Apr 2009, 08:40

Re: Grand pianos just for show

Post by joe » 30 Aug 2011, 14:44

Aye bet you wish you had a few Steinway pianos to sell at this time,as a decent amateur player and many years of piano retail expeirence very many of the customers are either Ist time buyers usually for children and dont play themselves,the others are very often furniture buyers looking for a nice piece for their home,the more the merrier.Often found the gifted players where the most difficult as they where often more concerned on price than tone and Yamaha filled that criteria at the lower end of the market.Piano market is so diverse and peoples aspirations so different what a piano should look and sound like,thank God as it would have been tedious selling black lacquered instruments all day.

Gill the Piano
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4210
Joined: 25 Oct 2003, 19:39
Location: Thames Valley

Re: Grand pianos just for show

Post by Gill the Piano » 30 Aug 2011, 17:40

Breaks my heart to tune a heap which is only kept upright by the woodworm holding hands, then after telling the owner that the brat won't get much beyond grade 1 on it, being told 'Eaugh, she's orn grade 7!' Particularly when I've parked next to a new Porsche and Range Rover outside...
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

User avatar
sussexpianos
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
Posts: 752
Joined: 19 Aug 2006, 17:01
Location: East Sussex
Contact:

Re: Grand pianos just for show

Post by sussexpianos » 30 Aug 2011, 18:30

I helped find a Steinway B , never used 3 year old for £54k, for someone who had never played the piano but did research and found that it held its price well! It did look nice in his reception room, but the fireplace was bigger!!
A piano tuner is the "Unseen artist". www.sussexpianos.co.uk
Members of the PTA & I.M.I.T., MIA and Trading Standards Approved. C&G qualified and N&S Diploma. PTD(Precision Touch Design) Technician.

Post Reply