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square grand pianos #278617
02/10/08 07:42 PM
02/10/08 07:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1
K
ken.s Offline OP
Junior Member
ken.s  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1
I have a 1850 chickering square grand made in Boston and a 1867 Heintzman square grand made in Toronto. Both are in really good condition Anyone have info re: historical value? or monetary value. thanks

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Re: square grand pianos #278618
02/10/08 07:59 PM
02/10/08 07:59 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,659
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,659
Victoria, BC
ken.s :

Welcome to the Piano Forum.

What constitutes "really good condition" with respect to these pianos? Have they been completely restored? If so, when were they restored and by whom? 150 year old pianos, if not restored, would need extensive restoration costing much more than the pianos are worth.

My non-professional guess is that these pianos would have little, if any, value, historical or monetary. Only a piano technician examining the pianos could tell you their real condition, and that assessment would help determine if they have any value.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: square grand pianos #278619
02/10/08 08:58 PM
02/10/08 08:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Supply  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
There are collectors of early pianos, and a 1850s Chickering would interest someone, I'm sure. But not for a great deal of $$. It is a specialty market, and a small one at that. Probably a fair bit of supply for the small demand.

The value would probably be higher if they were untouched, unrestored, and in "original" condition.

Re: square grand pianos #278620
02/10/08 09:01 PM
02/10/08 09:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,892
London
D
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member
David-G  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,892
London
It would be very interesting to see pictures of these pianos, if you could post them!

Re: square grand pianos #278621
02/10/08 09:05 PM
02/10/08 09:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 260
Phoenix, AZ
agraffe Offline
Full Member
agraffe  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 260
Phoenix, AZ
Hi ken.s,

You might do a Google search on "vintage piano" or "square piano," as a start. Also, I know of a place at this website that restores old square grands and holds them in high esteem:

www.vintagepianoshop.com/

There is definitely a "following" for these pianos, and I must admit I have one, myself, that I really love.

Best of luck in your search.

--Joe

Re: square grand pianos #278622
02/11/08 12:50 AM
02/11/08 12:50 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 285
Missouri USA
F
faucon Offline
Full Member
faucon  Offline
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F

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 285
Missouri USA
There is a restorer in the St Louis area, D. L. Bullock, who specializes in square "grand" pianos:
http://www.thepianoworld.com/square_grands.htm
He has one for sale at almost $29,000. Square grands of the mid-to-late nineteenth century are quite large and heavy and wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea (I'd personally like to own an earlier piano, say 1810 to 1825). They were made in the US up until about 1900, long after they went out of fashion in Europe. Steinway built thousands of them.

The restorer above uses custom-made parts to duplicate the action and sound of the original, unlike some restorations I've heard of that substitute modern hammers, etc. The market for large square pianos may be small, but it does seem to exist.

Re: square grand pianos #278623
02/11/08 07:15 PM
02/11/08 07:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Craigen  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Square grands are/were a defunct branch on the piano evolutionary tree. The basic design was flawed in several ways. They did not play very well even when new. Most tuners will not work on them today. They are not a rare as many folks think. There is litte demand and therefore little market value. I have seen severl converted into beautifule bars, desks, and even dinning room tables. This is probably their best use today.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: square grand pianos #278624
02/11/08 09:26 PM
02/11/08 09:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
R
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member
RachFan  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
My parents owned a 19th century Chickering square grand that I had to use for my first two years of lessons in the 1950s before we got a real piano. The tone was lacking and uninspiring. And, the piano was a bear to maintain. If the tuner tried to repair one part, there was a probability another would break. He nearly had a nervous breakdown and retired. Personally, I would never want to mess with one of those old square Chickerings again! From what I've read, people who still have them these days mostly use them as decorative furniture, not as musical instruments.

Re: square grand pianos #278625
02/11/08 11:33 PM
02/11/08 11:33 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
K
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member
kenny  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
K

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
But there is still a market because many buyers are uninformed.

Hope PW helps to shrink that unfortunate group.

I remember a neighbor had an estate sale.
They had a Steinway square someone paid $19K for. IIRC

help


Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

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