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#2768117 09/28/18 09:08 AM
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Hello


I am currently in possession of a pretty unique Steinway (NY) concert grand from the late '70s with not one but both Steinway brothers signatures on it.
I'd like to ask how often they were signing pianos together? In what occasions? I can't find even a piece of information about it. I think it could be the only Steinway piano like that in the world.

I don't want to get in to too many details but anyone there willing to help - let's talk through the private message.

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Unless you are curating a piano museum, please don't pay extra for a piano just because it has signatures.

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There is a long history of signed pianos in the marketplace - makers, artists, celebrities...these signatures may add interest but do not specifically add to the value. It does, without a doubt, add to the romance and history of an instrument and can make it easier to sell, but not really for a premium. It would matter more the provenance of why it was signed by both, and during what event as part of observing a historic event than the signatures themselves. Quite a few C&A instruments collect signatures from A-list artists before they are retired. In some cases, we've known customers to ask for all of the signatures to be removed.

While 2 signatures may be more rare than 1, 2 x $0 is still $0. I'm sorry to offer disappointing news. If you can uncover the history, that would be fun to share here. Sometimes during the rebuilding process, we will recognize signatures from some of Steinway's famous techs inside the piano, tucked away. It's fun to see Franz Mohr's signature on a key frame.


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Thank you for your replay.

Well, I'm interested in the history of this piano only.

Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
It does, without a doubt, add to the romance and history of an instrument


For some people it is exactly what they pay extra for and these values translate to money directly.

According to my investigation, this piano could be somehow connected with Elvis Presley.

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I liken it to having a baseball signed by Cal Ripkin.

He signed thousands of them during his 120-year career. They sell online very inexpensively.

The Steinway family attended "signing sales" where one or more of them were paid $5000 or so plus expenses by a local Steinway dealer to shake hands and sign pianos for potential buyers.


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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
He signed thousands of them during his 120-year career. They sell online very inexpensively.

I'm surprised. I would think that a baseball signed by an active(!) centenarian player would go for quite a bit, no matter how many there are... laugh


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Like Steve above, we have observed that signatures don't translate to a difference monetarily on the price of a Steinway piano. There is a certain coolness factor to them, but it usually ends at that point.


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Originally Posted by thekrepa


Well, I'm interested in the history of this piano only....

For some people it is exactly what they pay extra for and these values translate to money directly.

According to my investigation, this piano could be somehow connected with Elvis Presley.


I will echo my experience as being similar to what you have already heard from others, thekrepa. The late '70s was the height of the "signing sales" that Steve mentioned. I would suspect if there are 2 signatures, this may have been a piano sold in NY, but I could be wrong about that.

I don't what to mislead you with false hope, but there can also be "a needle in the haystack" situation. For instance, the President of The Three Stooges fan club purchased Curly's spinet piano and had it sent directly to us. The piano was not well built when new, had structural issues, and we did not recommend doing what was necessary to restore it to new. (Frankly, we did not want to do that work either).

The customer asked for our proposal, so we gave a proposal that included a disclaimer stating that we did not recommend doing the work and the real value after completion would be a small fraction of the cost. She did the work anyway. To her, it had value.

I wish you luck and I would interested to hear anything you find out about this piano.


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If you know the serial number you can contact Steinway and find out where this piano was sold to and trace its respective owner(s) with that information.

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I've been with Steinway over 35 years; I personally traveled with John Steinway and with Henry Steinway - many times - to events where they signed pianos, upon request.

Never once in my experience did a dealer pay either Henry or John for this.


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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
For instance, the President of The Three Stooges fan club purchased Curly's spinet piano and had it sent directly to us.


This made the thread for me!

Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Never once in my experience did a dealer pay either Henry or John for this.

Nevertheless, Steinway will use this as a selling point (though admittedly minor) for their pianos bearing signatures; I just experienced that several months ago at a factory showroom near Chicago.

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I asked my salesman if he would ask Henry Z Steinway to sign my piano. He did, no charge. Its fun to point it out to those interested. I have seen several signed Steinways, usually its a well known artist.

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Originally Posted by LJC
I have seen several signed Steinways, usually its a well known artist.



Well, to spice things up, my investigation about this piano lead me to Memphis where it arrived just few months before Elvis Presley's death. Isn't it interesting?

Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
She did the work anyway. To her, it had value.


Exactly!


For me just the fact of investigating this piano's history is really fun. I truly enjoy it and it's an exiting journey. I'd like to say thank you to all the great people that helped me so far here and on other more or less virtual places. I'll keep you guys updated, wish me luck!


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