Steck small grand

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Godric
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Steck small grand

Post by Godric » 23 Oct 2018, 12:15

Hello, I have a Steck baby (the case is under 5ft front to back) grand which I have inherited from my mother who passed away in January. It is the piano on which I taught my self to play as a 9 year old (50 years ago).

The casework, legs etc carry the serial 21067 in various places, but I can't see any number on the string-frame, although this is marked both "Steck" and "The Aeolian Company Ltd", the action is stamped "Schwander patented". For clarity it is not a "player-piano".

The cast iron frame is coated in a bronze/gold effect paint with the branding highlighted in contrasting black. Some of the vertical surfaces of the struts running across the frame show signs of pitting of the casting which, being painted, would seem to be a manufacturing defect that appears to have been tolerated, although there is some sign (scuffmarks to the interior of the case) that the frame has been removed/reinstalled at some point.

It has three square-sectioned legs terminating in yellow-metal casters and the curved lyre carries two pedals ('soft' and 'sustain/damper').

It is in need of a tune, which is booked for the 5th November, but otherwise plays and sounds well.

It was bought second hand from Cramers in London in 1963 for £250. I understand that the Steck company was a German business bought by the American company Aeolian at some point and that pianos with this brand were made both in Germany and in the UK at a factory in Hayes, London.

I am interested to know a little more about this piano, such as age and country of manufacture.

I can take pictures of any detail if this might help.

Thank you for any assistance.

Godric
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Bill Kibby
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Re: Steck small grand

Post by Bill Kibby » 23 Oct 2018, 21:21

Does the Schwander action have a number? And is the name Herrburger Brooks mentioned on it? This would suggest a date after 1919.

It is usually impossible to date grands of the 1900s by their appearance, because by about 1920, they were all so similar. To quote my Numbers page
http://www.pianohistory.info/numbers.html
The numbers generally quoted for Steck pianos are highly misleading, at least for the European production. They clearly make no sense, and do not allow for the fact that these pianos were made in three different countries using three different sets of numbers. Some, like a 1906 example we saw recently, do seem about right, but the published numbers might suggest 1930 in what looks more like a 1920 piano, and a Steck dated 1926 has a number suggesting 1930.
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Godric
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Re: Steck small grand

Post by Godric » 29 Oct 2018, 15:38

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your reply.

The action has a silver colour (it looks like a polished iron casting) metal frame at each end. The left-hand frame has the number "510" on the inside face of it towards the base of the casting, which is part of the casting - ie not engraved or stamped etc. With the action in place I can't see any other numbers which might be on it.

Where might any other numbers be, or would they only be visible on removal of the action?

regards

Godric

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Steck small grand

Post by Bill Kibby » 29 Oct 2018, 23:07

We are not looking for other numbers, it is a matter of whether the published dates are correct, I can't answer that.
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Godric
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Re: Steck small grand

Post by Godric » 30 Oct 2018, 15:15

Hi Bill

I'm sorry but you asked me if the action had a number, that's why I replied with the number.

I can't see the name Herrburger Brooks on it on - it just says Schwander Patented emboseed in black on the fron of the top bar.

However I did find a serial number on the left side of the top bar of the action which says:
P
50
2282

regards

Godric
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Bill Kibby
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Re: Steck small grand

Post by Bill Kibby » 30 Oct 2018, 20:22

I'm sorry if we were at cross-purposes, but the matter of numbers in pianos is not simple, as my Numbers page explains. With a Schwander action, we would hope for a 6-digit number, probably next to the Schwander name. Many actions and keys have other numbers that meant something someone at the time, but no archives are available to make sense of them.
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If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, alter these to pianohistory.info

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