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Rebuilding or vandalism? #2882852 08/23/19 06:40 PM
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dogperson Offline OP
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Not my question, but there is a post in ‘Piano FAQ’ which needs attention and help titled ‘rebuilding or vandalism’

I was just afraid it would get missed

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Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: dogperson] #2882955 08/24/19 07:36 AM
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P W Grey Offline
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Where is Piano FAQ?

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: P W Grey] #2882956 08/24/19 07:39 AM
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backto_study_piano Offline
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Where is Piano FAQ?Pwg

Home page - one of the boxes at the top (top row, 2nd from LH). [but I can't see the one referred to]


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: backto_study_piano] #2882958 08/24/19 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
[but I can't see the one referred to]

It's this post here


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Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: dogperson] #2883034 08/24/19 01:00 PM
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WhoDwaldi Offline
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A rebuilder is proposing to ebonize a wood-finish Steinway and to replace gate legs with straight ones. It has many subtle, art-case details and beautiful veneers. I'll reiterate a meek little opinion here that I posted there:

Good Lord! No!

That's a work of art! Does the case really even need refinishing?

grin



WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: dogperson] #2883050 08/24/19 01:45 PM
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johnstaf Offline
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Since you asked... Vandalism.

Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: dogperson] #2883368 08/25/19 02:51 PM
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etherline Offline
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Thank you for the responses. I did ask and I appreciate your opinions. I hadn't thought too much about the origins of the piano to that point and it was only when I clocked the name on the case that I questioned it.

But look, this seems to me a bit more complex. My first thought was that they must have built their own case but then that would mean that they would have had to install a new soundboard. My instinct is that they did nothing of the kind (the marks are all correct for the era I think and why bother? ) and that what I am looking at is a modification and re-veneer of a bona-fide 1912 Steinway. The frame will date to 1912 - but when did Maple & Co re-work it? My money is on a customer who bought furniture and wanted their piano to match. So who would be the vandal here if that were the situation?


Are we not simply about to do to the piano exactly what Maple & Co may have done? Or rather, partially undo what they did. If anyone knows any history of what furniture makers of the era did in respect of pianos I would be very glad to know. I don't want to vandalise something of value, but equally I don't want to steward something that doesn't really have any artistic merit and I have a serious lack of information here.

To address your question, WhoDwaldi the finish is a little bit chipped at the corners here and there but would quite probably come back quite nicely with careful repair (which the re-builders are certainly capable of). One of the things that I like about the piano is that it gives every indication of having been well cared for (it also has an exceptionally clear and tonal treble - well it did until the strings came off). However, up close satinwood is quite an undramatic and subtle finish. There is little contrast to the inlay. The music desk is a bit warped and would need to be replaced anyway.

We have other ideas about the piano's future that a black finish will enhance. I would expect it to come out looking a bit more like this one:


Steinway Model O restored






Last edited by etherline; 08/25/19 02:57 PM.
Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: dogperson] #2883429 08/25/19 05:23 PM
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Maybe the veneer was done later. Steinway used to supply "rough" pianos, which were finished by someone of the owners choosing. Most famously, this is how Steinway supplied the pianos for the Titanic -also in 1912.

Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: dogperson] #2883476 08/25/19 09:01 PM
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WhoDwaldi Offline
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Similar piano?



WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: dogperson] #2883498 08/25/19 09:46 PM
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WhoDwaldi Offline
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Very interesting comments for this vid on the numbers of black vs. wood-finish pianos in the UK in the early 20th century. Black was rarer, so that might be why the rebuilder is proposing the change. You might consult with Roberts Piano about what they know of Maple and Co. (2nd opinion, if they are amenable).



WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: dogperson] #2883503 08/25/19 10:03 PM
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The finish of the above piano is very nice.I would never change it !

Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: WhoDwaldi] #2883647 08/26/19 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Similar piano?






Superficially, but not sharing in detail. The Maple & Co is squared off more in keeping with the New York style and has both the Steinway and a smaller Maple & Co decal on the fallboard. If I thought it was capable of such an attractive restoration I would stick with that but I don't see satinwood coming back like that. The marquetry in mine is like little chips of wood laid vertically - not evenly spaced; more running into each other. I don't know what that style is called.


Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Very interesting comments for this vid on the numbers of black vs. wood-finish pianos in the UK in the early 20th century. Black was rarer, so that might be why the rebuilder is proposing the change. You might consult with Roberts Piano about what they know of Maple and Co. (2nd opinion, if they are amenable).




This one is very interesting. Mr Roberts' comments about keeping highly figured rosewood or walnut ring true of modern tastes but given that I associate him with very conservative restorations it's significant that he would have no compunction in re-finishing this one. It is less interesting than mine but neither is mine as interesting as the first one.

Re: Rebuilding or vandalism? [Re: johnstaf] #2883650 08/26/19 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Maybe the veneer was done later. Steinway used to supply "rough" pianos, which were finished by someone of the owners choosing. Most famously, this is how Steinway supplied the pianos for the Titanic -also in 1912.


That's really interesting. I had no idea that Steinway did that. Makes a lot of sense.


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