Dating a Chappell & Co piano

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AlexisRose
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Dating a Chappell & Co piano

Post by AlexisRose » 15 Jan 2019, 21:35

Hello from California—
I write on behalf of a slightly unfortunate circumstance! I’ve rescued a Chappell piano from going to the landfill, it was very, very broken so I had to dismember it for transport. I will make many new and beautiful things out of it... seemed tragic for the ivory keys and all that old wood to go to the dump. I’ve found the serial number which is 2296, but wanted to double check and see if it’s safe to assume the piano is from the 1840’s?
Thanks so much in advance—I appreciate any input someone may have.
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Bill Kibby
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Re: Dating a Chappell & Co piano

Post by Bill Kibby » 16 Jan 2019, 17:21

If you have a look at the Chappell information on my Numbers page at
pianohistory.info
"Samuel Chappell was involved in the music business by 1810, but although they quote serial number dates from 1840, the company didn’t start making their own pianos until 1861. The main numbers for Chappell pianos are hard to find in some of their Victorian pianos, and their other numbers are misleading"
it appears that the early published numbers are a complete nonsense.
Have a look at my Victorian page for clues as well.
I can't find any record of them using that type of name transfer before the 1870s.

If you can post photos to show what the piano looks like, that is the most important thing that doesn't seem to occur to people. I may be able to tell you more.
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Gill the Piano
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Re: Dating a Chappell & Co piano

Post by Gill the Piano » 16 Jan 2019, 18:00

If you still have the bottom most key there might be a date written on it. Similarly there could be something written - or a label - on the keyframe under the keys.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

AlexisRose
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Re: Dating a Chappell & Co piano

Post by AlexisRose » 16 Jan 2019, 20:30

Thanks Bill! I did have a look at your page before I posted, but as you said the numbers are hard to find and misleading. Hence why I’m here! I didn’t think to post pictures of the full piano because the way it looks now is quite bare bones! But looking back I actually did take a screen shot of the piano from the ad in which is was originally posted online about how it was going to go to the dump— so I will post. Thanks for the tip about the key frame, I’ll go look now. Much appreciated!
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3D79CC9F-72F5-4F2D-8367-2087D8B7FC18.jpeg
Chappell and Co piano serial#: 2296
5DF13575-08FD-49D3-9440-0D21E4E8DD13.jpeg
Chappell and Co serial# 2296c

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Bill Kibby
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Re: Dating a Chappell & Co piano

Post by Bill Kibby » 16 Jan 2019, 22:58

Thanks. On my Victorian page, I mention Pan Legs, and these were not common before 1860, but this is an early style of casework which might be 1850s. The page also refers to the dating of pianos on the bottom keys as early as the 1850s. At that time, it seems that Chappells mainly sold pianos in the style of the French Pianino, which may mean they imported them.
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AlexisRose
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Re: Dating a Chappell & Co piano

Post by AlexisRose » 18 Jan 2019, 18:22

That’s very interesting Bill! Thanks again. No luck with finding anything on the key frame. I haven’t had the time yet to look underneath any of the actual keys yet, as they had to be removed individually when I was taking it apart. Who knows which is the bottom one at this point! I’m hoping to be able to do it today. I’ll go check out what you’ve written on Pan Legs.

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