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#2158980 - 09/28/13 08:24 AM would you attempt restoration? Albrecht  
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Katimaybe Offline
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Katimaybe  Offline
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Circa 1790 Albrecht Square grand piano. Case in good shape. Has all keys. Dampers not attached but in possession.Hand stop functional. Would you try to make this beautiful antique functional? Or would you leave it alone? Also-would any of you have an idea as to approximate value?

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#2158994 - 09/28/13 08:49 AM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Rickster Offline
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Hi, and welcome to Piano World!

I’ve seen old square grands for sale pretty cheap (or free). I admit that they are beautiful, but, as for me, I would not want one in my home. They are a relic of days gone by and a part of piano history; but me personally, I want a piano as modern and as good an instrument as I can get.

Also, for what it would cost to have it completely, and properly, restored, you could buy a very nice modern piano, or a restored vintage instrument.

Hey, you asked what I would do, and that is about it… smile

Good luck!

Rick


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#2159028 - 09/28/13 10:08 AM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Online content
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Albrecht pianos are among the earliest ones made in the USA. Some date before independence.

Conservation and preservation would be advised if you can afford it.

Can you post pictures with serial number showing?


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
#2159031 - 09/28/13 10:11 AM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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terminaldegree Offline
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Are you interested in it as a working musical instrument or a historical piece?

If the former is the case, no, I would never attempt to pour money into restoring a square piano.


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#2159116 - 09/28/13 01:55 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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musicpassion Offline
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I wouldn't dump money into a square grand if the goal is a musical instrument.

If the goal is historical interest, then it's a different story.


Pianist and Piano Teacher
#2159122 - 09/28/13 02:04 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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I believe this piano predates what we commonly associate with "square grand." I agree with Ed; this piano almost certainly has historical significance and probably ought to be preserved.

Here's a photo of a 1790 Albrecht square I found on line: [Linked Image]

It would be a museum piece.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2159158 - 09/28/13 02:47 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Minnesota Marty  Offline

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Is it a true piano or a clavichord?


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2159207 - 09/28/13 04:36 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Online content
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The historical record of early keyboard making in the new world does not have any records of clavichords or harpsichords being made there. Only pianos.

Unless I missed something in my studies.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
#2159209 - 09/28/13 04:38 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Thanks.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2159704 - 09/29/13 02:23 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Katimaybe Offline
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Thanks all. I have looked everywhere and I'm unable to find a serial number. I think I can figure out how to upload pictures.will try on home computer as mobile seems not to work.So then who does this type of restoration? Kate

#2159719 - 09/29/13 02:57 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Katimaybe Offline
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I do love this piece but am debating its future in our family.
Unable to find serial numbers - is that odd? Here is a picture - think I have this figured out.

Attached Files Albrecht.jpg
#2159721 - 09/29/13 02:59 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Katimaybe Offline
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ok. I don't have it figured out. Sorry - no pics today.

#2159789 - 09/29/13 06:22 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Is it similar in appearance to the one I posted?

I think for a 1790-vintage piano, there may well be no serial number.

If you don't want to keep it, I'm certain any number of music-related museums would be interested in it.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2159877 - 09/29/13 11:07 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
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East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
It would probably be a really short number as in 2 -3 digits. I have an 1806 Stodart & Dubois which has a 3 digit SN. It too has a beautiful cabinet with quite a bit of gold leaf and a really odd base. It's a great conversation piece but does not play. We too decided to keep it original as they are only that way once.

Museums love to trade so if you go that route and have something they want maybe they have something you might like .





J. Christie
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#2160202 - 09/30/13 06:05 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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David-G Online content
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This is completely different from the sort of "square grand" to which Rickster was referring. This might better be described as a square fortepiano. I love these instruments - the sound is delicate, they have a very light touch and would suit Mozart admirably. And they are extremely elegant as pieces of furniture. I understand that it may not be too difficult to restore this type of instrument, but you will want to be historically sensitive and you will need guidance.

"Friends of Square Pianos" is based in the UK, but you will find their web site very informative:

http://www.friendsofsquarepianos.co.uk/

Despite the distance, I am sure that you would find David Hackett very helpful. In the US, a person who is very knowledgeable about this type of instrument is Tom Strange, "Square Piano Tech". His web site is

http://www.squarepianotech.com/

I suggest that you contact him, I am sure that he would be pleased to give you advice.

You have a lovely instrument Kati, you should try to restore it.

Last edited by David-G; 09/30/13 06:15 PM.
#2160277 - 10/01/13 12:03 AM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Supply Offline
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If it is really from 1790, it should never be restored. It should be be conserved. Too many vintage and historical pianos have been ruined by restoration by well-meaning individuals. Fewer and fewer remain in original condition for viewing and study.

If someone wants to play period music on a forte piano from around 1800, the way to go is to get a replica. These are commonly found in universities and music academies. There are numerous makers who specialize in replicating period keyboard instruments and early pianos.

#2160292 - 10/01/13 01:22 AM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Supply]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Originally Posted by Supply
If it is really from 1790, it should never be restored. It should be be conserved. Too many vintage and historical pianos have been ruined by restoration by well-meaning individuals. Fewer and fewer remain in original condition for viewing and study.

If someone wants to play period music on a forte piano from around 1800, the way to go is to get a replica. These are commonly found in universities and music academies. There are numerous makers who specialize in replicating period keyboard instruments and early pianos.


Amen, Jurgen!



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2160339 - 10/01/13 05:44 AM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Supply]  
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Rich Galassini Online content
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Rich Galassini  Online Content
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Originally Posted by Supply
If it is really from 1790, it should never be restored. It should be be conserved. Too many vintage and historical pianos have been ruined by restoration by well-meaning individuals. Fewer and fewer remain in original condition for viewing and study.

If someone wants to play period music on a forte piano from around 1800, the way to go is to get a replica. These are commonly found in universities and music academies. There are numerous makers who specialize in replicating period keyboard instruments and early pianos.



I agree with OT - beautifully said.

I am in Philadelphia (where Albrecht built) and I have seen several of these and at least one is on display in our local museums. What is the exact name of the piano? Does it say "Albrecht", "Charles Albrecht", "Albrecht & Co.", or something else?

This would give us some clue as to its age. A picture would be grand also.

He was also a retailer and sold a variety of early pianos and perhaps harpsichords. These could have a secondary label of "Albrecht" since he was the seller. I am throwing that in there in case there is another name on it.


Rich Galassini
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#2160422 - 10/01/13 09:54 AM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Jeff Clef Offline
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Kate, as to the value of this piece, an appraisal by someone qualified to give an opinion would be the way to go (and would be much more affordable than launching into a restoration or conservation project). You don't mention your location, but an easy way to begin might be by sending letters (stating provenance as far as you are able, and including photographs of the instrument, inside and out) to museums, or to universities with departments which publish on historic keyboard instruments. For example, the Smithsonian, Yale, University of Indiana, Oxford--- there will be many more which don't come to mind immediately. Maybe some of the more prominent conservatories.

As to Ed McMorrow's observation, "...The historical record of early keyboard making in the new world does not have any records of clavichords or harpsichords being made there. Only pianos..." It is, no doubt, true, yet curious. One would think the clavichord would have been just the thing for musical people to drag West, or around the Horn. But, no. We hear of the piano, the pump organ, the fiddle, the harmonica. Even the guitar gets scant mention, and the lighter brass and reed instruments even less.

Anyway, best of luck with your researches.


Clef

#2161430 - 10/03/13 08:34 PM Re: would you attempt restoration? Albrecht [Re: Katimaybe]  
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Gary Fowler Offline
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Agree with Supply! You want to leave this thing unmolested


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