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A poor old Steinway
#2858797 06/15/19 11:55 AM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Steinway-Rosewood-Art-Case-Concert-Grand-Piano-model-C-7-2/323834432112

This has been on Ebay for a while. It seems to be a Plain case 85-key instrument with legs taken from a square. The tail view is particularly informative. The music desk is wrong and so is the fallboard decal.
Was there actually a 7'2" Steinway of that period? My Concert Grand is 8'4" and the only other grand was in the 6-foot range, as far as I know.
What is a "back action"? Are they talking about the damper rods?
I know it's easy to be critical. It's easier to be critical about some "restorations" than others, though.

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Re: A poor old Steinway
edferris #2858804 06/15/19 12:22 PM
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Yes, the 7-octave Model C, or Style 3 was made from 1878 to 1880 with a sectional case, and then with a bent rim case until 1886.


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Re: A poor old Steinway
edferris #2858819 06/15/19 12:55 PM
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I don’t know if it’s the lighting or photography but it looks kinda beat up. I hope somebody adopts it.


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Re: A poor old Steinway
edferris #2858822 06/15/19 12:59 PM
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In the 1881 catalog, they list a 7'2" Parlor Grand, but with the turned and fluted legs and fluted pedal lyre. The side moldings also have a leaf ornament at the keyboard which seems to be missing here. I would say this is an earlier Parlor Grand and is probably 6'4". Of course I haven't measured the instrument.
I wonder if they used the letter designations back then. They are present in the 1881 catalog, but they also give a Style number and descriptive title. Perhaps people would say they wanted a "letter C", pointing to the catalog, and the company got accustomed to calling the pianos that.

Re: A poor old Steinway
edferris #2858830 06/15/19 01:09 PM
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The back action is the damper action. On a piano that age, it was probably a necessity to replace rather than refurbish. The desk is a Steinway desk frequently found on later Victorian model. It was offered concurrently and after the ornately scrolled desks. The original fallboard decal isn't available right now because of some misunderstandings on Steinway's part, but putting a modern decal on a vintage instrument is less of a liberty than swapping legs.


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Re: A poor old Steinway
edferris #2858836 06/15/19 01:37 PM
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Serial number 40914 dates from 1879. The plate has an 1878 patent date cast into it.
I didn't notice this at first, but the piano has three pedals. However, Steinway patented the sostenuto and was the first to offer it in the US, so it may be authentic. The pedal lyre is not -- any lyre of that period would be carved, not squared-off.
Here's a link to the 1881 catalog:
https://archive.org/details/illustratedcatal00stei
I am all in favor of getting these old instruments into playing condition, but I have to wonder about the technical ability of somebody who can hack up the case that badly. It is possible to get repro turned legs. The action does look brand-new.

Re: A poor old Steinway
edferris #2858838 06/15/19 02:02 PM
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However, in the picture of the damper action, there is no sostenuto bar, and no bracket for it.
Oh well, I'm not going to buy the piano anyway.

Re: A poor old Steinway
edferris #2858883 06/15/19 04:54 PM
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My piano atlas app dates the piano to between 1878 and 1881. Since the first serial number for the C (or Style 3, as it was called in the catalog) is 38675, it seems likely this instrument is from 1879-80. Steinway introduced a bent-rim case to the C line in 1880, and then 88 keys in 1886. These pianos measured 7'2".

Here's more detail on the history:

History of the Steinway C

The ad says it was totally rebuilt in 2014 (including sound board), and the YouTube clip shows a piano with great tone. It might be a really nice instrument.


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