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#1196305 - 05/09/09 05:44 PM Myster "M"  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 12
micsan Offline
Junior Member
micsan  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 12
Hi folks;
Am about to begin a major job on a very old Steinway "M" (including new pins, strings, etc.) but have a concern about authenticity of the piano. No where, other than on the fall board which has the regular appearing Steinway name, can I find evidence that this is a Steinway. No where is is stamped on the plate, no where can I find a serial number. Have pulled the action, checked under the piano, everywhere, and nothing. Have written Steinway, but no reply. Being relatively inexperienced, I wonder if any of you have run into a situation like this. It was purchased "sight unseen" from a mid-western state and shipped to present location in Alabama (because of the "terrific price" according to the present owner ($8,000) plus a considerable shipping charge. Owner was told it was about a 1930 model.
I don't want to start a major job on this thing if by some remote chance, this isn't the real thing. Thank you so much for any advice you can give. Ray Micsan

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#1196309 - 05/09/09 06:05 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: micsan]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,320
BDB Offline
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BDB  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
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All Steinways have the name cast into the plate, as far as I know. All Steinway grands since the 1880s have the characteristic metal action rails.

If you want more information, you should supply a photograph.

Semipro Tech
#1196365 - 05/09/09 08:14 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: BDB]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 110
SuperTuner Offline
Full Member
SuperTuner  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 110
Manhattan, Montana

My Dad once restored an old player that had no name whatsoever. When he asked the owner what name she wanted on the fallboard she said "whatever - anything will do", so he used a Steinway decal!

It's easy to put any decal on the fallboard, sometimes for unethical purposes.

If you are unable to take a picture for us, compare the appearance of the plate to another M (many pictures on ebay), and see if it looks the same. As BDB said, I've never seen a Steinway without the name cast into the plate.

Elizabeth Heppler, R.P.T.
#1196393 - 05/09/09 09:16 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: SuperTuner]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,198
Les Koltvedt Offline
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Les Koltvedt  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,198
Canton, MI
We've got a couple of M's in the shop from before that time frame. They all have markings on the plate...also have serial #'s on all parts. You should be able to find a serial # somewhere. I have an A from 1909 that has plate markings that I can post some pics of if you want...

Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
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#1196437 - 05/09/09 11:10 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: Les Koltvedt]  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 283
Thomson Lawrie Offline
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Thomson Lawrie  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 283
Grimsby ON Canada
It's not a Steinway. They should have had it checked out by a technician before it was shipped. Buyer beware times ten when buying over the internet!

Piano Technician
Piano tuners make the world a better place, one string at a time.
#1196448 - 05/09/09 11:38 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: Thomson Lawrie]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 17
N Reyburn Offline
Junior Member
N Reyburn  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 17
Grand Rapids, MI
It's all Steinway style though? Hammers, scallop flanges, scale, rim style...

North Bennet Street School alumni
#1196692 - 05/10/09 12:25 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: N Reyburn]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
It ain't no Steinway...
Does it have a Steinway action...?
If you can't recognize a Steinway action I wonder how on earth you expect to work on it...
Have you done any rebuilding before?

Could be a very expensive lesson...

Please post a pic of the action for us all to look at...we can then offer more help in identifying it.

But, as stated above...the plate is the thing....in a nutshell.

Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician

#1198443 - 05/13/09 11:10 AM Re: Myster "M" [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member
pianobroker  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
Actually I have heard of counterfeit Steinways in the marketplace.Haven't actually seen any.
If someone's intent was to do this they could actually take an old vintage Kurtzman or ? and COSMETICALLY make it look pretty convincing as for the case and top end with a few alterations. Add duplex bars,miscellaneous plate grinding and casting etc.The giveaway is the action stack. If that fools you, you deserve to be taken.
Actually a similar scenario applies when I converse to persons that later realize that they purchased an explayer Steinway grand at what they thought was a STEAL of a deal. A gutted XR,OR or ?.Should've sprung for that extra $ and hired that tech in hindsight.

As for the no serial # predictament, Steinway is not very helpful as for cross referencing the part # with that nowhere to be found serial #. I've been down this road already with them.
So....a pic is worth a thousand words.


Last edited by pianobroker; 05/13/09 05:07 PM.

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#1198771 - 05/13/09 09:36 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: pianobroker]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,567
Bob Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Bob  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,567
I saw a fake once. The store took it in on trade. Nobody inspected the piano beforehand. Once we saw it, I had to break the bad news to the store owner.

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