Information needed...Please

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ALFAHOLIC
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Information needed...Please

Post by ALFAHOLIC » 11 Feb 2012, 23:46

My wife's grandadfather has recently died and we are in the process of sorting his house out.
There is a Upright traditional Piano aprx 5-6 ft in a dark wood, marked on front W Rogers & Son Weymouth - Full Trichord, believed to be at least 70 years old, with a nice patterned finish on front.
What we would like to know is aprox how old this piano really is, where would we find serial number and I cannot fing trace of a W Rogers???? And any other information would be greatly appreicated....
Many thanks
Dan

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by Colin Nicholson » 12 Feb 2012, 12:45

Hi Dan
I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

There are no records of a W. Rogers Weymouth. (The name could be a spin-off from George Rogers.... who were reputable). This means that your piano is likely to be a copy, or what is known as a "Stencil piano".... the name on the fallboard (lid that covers the keys) does not guarantee the true name of the makers - this could be the wholesaler's or tradesperson's name.... very common in those days. If there is a true name, this may be inside the piano.

Wording like "nice patterned finish" is of no use, unless we can see it. Any descriptions you give need to be backed up with photos. (See below how to upload photos)

There were many "blank" pianos made for the trade in the early 1900's - generally budget pianos, for the wholesaler to add their own name. It is also very common for traders to misspell names, or to give them authentic name that sounds genuine to the buyer. Eg.... Steinmayer has nothing to do with Steinway! The name on your piano could be genuine enough, but generally speaking, many small companies folded or were destroyed during WWI .... leaving no records of their piano serial numbers. Only the surviving companies regularly up-date their numbers to Pierce Atlas.

The serial number (even if found) will probably be of no market value for an unknown piano, and nor do serial numbers readily change its value - unless a good name of course. If the name on the lid is in gold - transfer looking with some ornamentation, and perhaps with floral designs inlaid in wood, or brass candlesticks (sconces) .... these are the classic signs of a stencil piano.

For further info on your piano, it must be seen here on the forum. Whatever you describe in words (above & more) - should be backed up with photos.... ie serial number/ name on lid/ internal mechansim.... photos clear & focussed.

If you click on "How to download images" at the top of the Piano Advice topic, I show here how to uploads photos using pictures & explanation. For an idea of what kind of photos to send, maybe see the post "Knight K10 Dating" (History section) as an example. A picture speaks a thousand words!! If a post contains pictures or added attachments - there will be a black paper clip on the left hand side of the topic heading. Just click on any of these.... also "Rubinstein/ Yamaha" is a good post - but some photos were too far away. Serial numbers/ mechanism etc need to be taken fairly close - and the right way up!

By the sounds of you saying "Full trichord" - this could be a straight-strung piano with an overdamped mechanism inside.... however, we need to see it thanks.

Hope that helps

Colin
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ALFAHOLIC
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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by ALFAHOLIC » 12 Feb 2012, 16:47

Thanks Colin for your help,
I will upload photo sometime during the week!!!
Cheers
Dan

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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by francmulloy » 13 Feb 2012, 03:58

this is very informative....



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Last edited by francmulloy on 21 Feb 2012, 02:02, edited 1 time in total.

ALFAHOLIC
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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by ALFAHOLIC » 18 Feb 2012, 23:26

So when I try to upload photo's I get'
The image file you tried to attach is invalid.

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by Colin Nicholson » 19 Feb 2012, 11:28

They may be in TIFF format?
If so, change them to JPG format, and not too big

Here is an example >>>
TIFF to JPG.JPG
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ALFAHOLIC
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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by ALFAHOLIC » 19 Feb 2012, 17:26

431427_10150548360432477_717817476_9325611_1522135011_n.jpg
431427_10150548360432477_717817476_9325611_1522135011_n.jpg (16.23 KiB) Viewed 8717 times

ALFAHOLIC
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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by ALFAHOLIC » 19 Feb 2012, 17:42

420671_10150549776737477_717817476_9329863_1361448920_n.jpg
399835_10150549788742477_717817476_9329868_1497517542_n.jpg
408858_10150549803542477_717817476_9329869_1158651157_n.jpg
429656_10150549809782477_717817476_9329875_1311028992_n.jpg
419486_10150549815307477_717817476_9329880_1775649685_n.jpg

ALFAHOLIC
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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by ALFAHOLIC » 19 Feb 2012, 17:51

Thanks Colin in your assistance to loading up the photo's.
Have found Serial number 4170, but no other name inside....
Best Wishes
Dan

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by Colin Nicholson » 19 Feb 2012, 22:21

What would be really nice for new members to say to me after reading my text, and alongside the photos would be .... "Yes Colin, as you said, the name Rogers is just stuck onto the fallboard in gold lettering, and it has inlaid floral designs, and its straight strung, and it has (or had) brass candlesticks on the front" ...... and as you may have guessed by now...... its a stencil piano..... and still is!

I think that there is a hope of sending photos with a serial number in that I might change my mind, or be mistaken - and that its a rare German piano!! ??

The casework looks German - very attractive, and typical of the late 1800's - some Schiedmayer & Carl Mand pianos have a similar looking moulding around the front panel, so the floral design is set back - almost 3D looking. The truss work at either side continues onto the cheeks, and then recessed for the legs - so very German, and I think the cabinet only was exported. Lovely cabinet work - and attractive.... but you know, have you ever driven down the road, and seen a nicely figured lady with long blonde hair - then when she looks over - she is about 90 years of age? !! - well, thats how I felt when I saw the "insides" ...... oops

However...... thats the end of the nice bits!

The insides & the mechanism/ cast frame is very British looking - and regrettably bears all the deadly sins of an upright piano.

1. Spring & Loop mechanism (to be avoided like the plague) .... they rarely work properly, and most parts are obsolete now.

2. Over-damped (hence looks like a bird cage from the front) - sometimes notes ring on for several seconds after letting go of a note?

3. Straight-strung or vertically strung (not over-strung)

4. 3/4 size cast iron frame with fully exposed wrest plank.

5. Wooden bridges at the top.

However, casework looks nice (but very faded) - keys are celluloid topped (not ivory), and definitely a stencil piano - unfortunately with no history, no makers name inside, and no records and no mention even of a W. Rogers - so the serial number is of no use, but looks an early one, and had made just over 4000 pianos at that point. The serial number tells you the number of pianos made up to that one.... but, there is no name in the census book - so obviously no serial numbers & dates either.

If you want a 2nd opinion, write to Pierce Piano Atlas - just google them, but you have to pay in advance, even if they cant find any info - and no refund.

Back in the late 1800's - early 1900's, they had good sized workshops, many parts were assembled there. Then the mechanism & keys would be added later.

Sometimes there may be a pencil marking on the side of the first key - usually showing a date of tuning or general activity..... but not usually the year of manufacture. Sometimes cinema tickets, bits of paper can be found under the keys - and the paper washers sometimes made from newspaper reveal a date .... but the keys must be numbered in order 1 - 85.... and if I were you - leave the mechanism in!!

Not worth much now...... ideal for a luring lady as a wedding present maybe, but these pianos now only serve as a piece of lovely furniture, but not as a musical instrument anymore. At auction, worth anything from £1.00 - £50.00 - maybe a taj more. Very nice in their hey day.... but also the sconces are missing? there would be 2 ornate candlesticks & holders to slot into those brackets - are they missing? (These are worth around £50 - £100 on their own!! - and sought after)

I would probably date this piano somewhere around 1890 - 1910.

But.... the spring & loop action & the other sins above bring this piano right down in value - and of course, not a real name - just a wholesaler's or trade name on the fallboard.

Tri-chord is as on every piano - 3 strings per treble note - a useless bit of advertising - bit like saying "Fuel Injection" on the back of a new M3 GTR BMW !!

Hope that helps ......

Colin
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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by NewAge » 19 Feb 2012, 23:54

Loads of detailed info as usual from Colin. Excellent! How do you find the time to put these replies together? Not unlike a busman's holiday weekend...... :wink:
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!"

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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 22 Feb 2012, 02:39

That is a great reply from Colin.
If you are looking for a valuation it is likely to be between £0 - £50

The big killer is the straight-strung and overdamper situation
Yamaha Pianos for sale (usually 50+ in stock)
email markgoodwinpianos@gmail.com with any Yamaha, Kawai, Bechstein or Steinway questions :)

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Post by carrie39 » 24 Jun 2012, 20:46

My family currently owns a Rogers piano that is fairly modern (last 50 years) and as there are no records of a Roger's specifically am I to assume that this is also a stencil piano?
When I next visit I could see if there are any indications as to who made it or if I'm lucky they may have signed the bass key with a date.

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Re: Information needed...Please

Post by Colin Nicholson » 25 Jun 2012, 14:42

Carrie39....

Welcome to the forum.
Please dont assume that your 'Rogers' piano is a stencil piano - there were various piano companies with similar sounding names, and W. Rogers has possibly nothing to do with 'Rogers' . If I guess correctly, first of all, your piano may just have ''Rogers'' on the fallboard? (lid that covers the keys). This may be George Rogers - who didnt usually display his first name or the initial letter 'G'. ..and usually the top panel is quite plain looking with rounded edges at the top.

If you open the top lid, look inside to the right, and you may find a serial number - possibly 5 digits on the gold frame, starting 4XXXX - this serial number will tell us the date. In most cases, don't rely on pencil markings or other numbers, and if a date is stamped on, it may be found at the SIDE of the first left hand key (A1).... other numbers & letters are stock/parts numbers.

If you look at the first topic ''How to download an image'' .... this explains how to show us a picture of your piano. Images speak volumes, rather than someone attempting to reel off a whole host of unwanted numbers & letters that may be meaningless.

Hope that helps

Colin

ps.... George Rogers (Rogers) are not stencil pianos, and are the original maker's name..... but a photo will confirm this.
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Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
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