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Art Case Pianos? #2913205 11/17/19 04:13 PM
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malkin Offline OP
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Are they only mostly for show and to attract attention or to people actually own them and have them at home?

Are they the piano equivalent of concept cars?

What do you think?
Please discuss.


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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913221 11/17/19 05:38 PM
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Of course people own them. They are all for sale. Some people may buy them for more for show and some buy them because they find them beautiful.

Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913250 11/17/19 06:46 PM
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And some people, like Liberace, bought them both for show and beauty:

[Linked Image]


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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913259 11/17/19 07:09 PM
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When I hear the term "Art Case" piano, I think of the Queen-Ann style case, with the French legs and fancy music desk, or other ornate woodwork. There may be other definitions for the term "Art Case".

I own a Baldwin R model 226, which is an Art Case style, if my definition of Art Case is correct. I bought the Baldwin R 226 primarily because I had an opportunity to get it a very good price, to be a Baldwin R baby grand, and not so much just for the Art Case style. I also like the regular, spade leg style grand piano.

As a piece of furniture, it looks great; as a piano, it sounds and plays great, to me at least.

So, yea, there are average homeowners and piano players (or wannabe piano players in my case smile ) that own Art Case style pianos.

Rick




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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2913263 11/17/19 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
And some people, like Liberace, bought them both for show and beauty:

[Linked Image]

I first saw the man in the red cape and thought it was a scene from an opera.Then I recognized
the pianist Liberace !
That piano looks as if glitter is stuck to it ? I hope not !
.

Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913266 11/17/19 07:28 PM
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It's a BALDWIN ?

Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: Lady Bird] #2913267 11/17/19 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
It's a BALDWIN ?


Yes, Liberace played Baldwin’s (the one shown is covered in rhinestones)

Last edited by dogperson; 11/17/19 07:33 PM. Reason: Typo

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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: Lady Bird] #2913268 11/17/19 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
[...]
That piano looks as if glitter is stuck to it ? I hope not !
.


Liberace's piano was studded with rhinestones. From Piano Mill's website:

As a premier Baldwin Dealership, one of Liberace’s famous bejeweled Baldwin pianos will be at home and on display at Piano Mill showroom for an extended period of time. This 9 ft Baldwin SD-10 is adorned with 200 pounds of Austrian Rhinestones and has made it’s way around the world on the Smithsonian Piano Tour as well as had a stint at New York’s famous recording studio the Hit Factory (piano shown with Pink below) and long time fixture at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City . Another similar piano was featured in the Las Vegas based “Liberace Museum” for over 30 years until it’s closing September of 2010.

Regards,


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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913277 11/17/19 08:09 PM
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Interesting!
200 pounds of Rhinestones ! Amazing!
I suppose custom ordered that way.

Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: Lady Bird] #2913285 11/17/19 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
It's a BALDWIN ?


I believe Liberace was a Baldwin artist.


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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913336 11/18/19 12:14 AM
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Yes, he was. There are some recordings where I assume he is not playing a Baldwin, by the way that the name on the fallboard is deliberately covered.

Besbrode pianos in Leeds seem usually to have one or more of the "arts and crafts" C Bechsteins in stock. Much as I love Bechsteins, I wouldn't want one of these, but some people would:

http://www.besbrodepianos.mobi/piano-sale/bechstein-upright-piano-arts-and-crafts-jshenry.htm


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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913405 11/18/19 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
It's a BALDWIN ?


You seemed surprised, Lady Bird. The "Artist Series" of Baldwin could be spoken in the same breath as any of the high end builders if we go back a couple of decades or so. Leonard Bernstein, Dave Brubeck, and Jorge Bolet were all Baldwin artists and there were many others at that time (although Bernstein's professed favorite piano was Bösendorfer - he owned both pianos in his Manhattan apartment and they were auctioned off at his death).

Originally Posted by malkin
Are they only mostly for show and to attract attention or to people actually own them and have them at home?

Are they the piano equivalent of concept cars?


Thank you for starting this thread, malkin. The answer is yes... and no.

Art Grands have been around and were popular as marketing devices, as symbols of status for the wealthy, and as beautiful pieces of art for institutions and businesses since, and before, there was a modern piano. Royalty, wealthy patrons, and sometimes institutions would commission pianos to be built (or forte pianos - or harpsichords, for that matter). When doing so, it made sense to custom design a cabinet as well. That way they could have something that nobody else had.

Manufactures quickly found that building a "one of a kind" or a "limited edition" art grand that was unusual or wild could garner attention in a flagship showroom or in the news. This also paid off because eventually someone would pay the premium that the instrument demanded as well (or they wouldn't and the manufacturer just did not publicize that fact).

For instance, the Bösendorfer Lounge at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando is centered around a modern art grand Bösendorfer Imperial, designed by Hans Höllein, an Austrian architect. There were a very small number of these Imperials made, so this business is set up around the piano. It is refreshing that this is in the USA, and in Orlando, of all places:

[Linked Image]

Here is a rare Steinway called "The Centennial" that has been referred to as the first modern piano. I think it would be fair to call this an art grand:

[Linked Image]

You can also hear this piano by clicking here.

Art grands fell everywhere between these to extremes in style of design. I am looking forward to hearing others share their thoughts and perspectives.

Great thread!



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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913406 11/18/19 07:45 AM
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I found a better photos of the model of piano in the Bösendorfer Lounge. You really could not appreciate it from the first photo:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913417 11/18/19 09:04 AM
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Just my humble opinion of course. I just couldn’t stand 200 pounds of rhinestone on a Baldwin SD-10, no matter how much I love the classic


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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: j&j] #2913419 11/18/19 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Just my humble opinion of course. I just couldn’t stand 200 pounds of rhinestone on a Baldwin SD-10, no matter how much I love the classic


I would love to have a plain old SD-10!


[Linked Image]
Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: j&j] #2913478 11/18/19 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Just my humble opinion of course. I just couldn’t stand 200 pounds of rhinestone on a Baldwin SD-10, no matter how much I love the classic

Baldwin sound.


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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913636 11/19/19 12:14 AM
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Actually tuned one in a home about a week ago. Made in the 1930s, fancy legs, portraits on the fallboard, pastoral scene painted on the music desk, painted decoration everywhere else. And it quite nicely matched the rest of the furniture in the living room! The owner said she had spotted it in pictures of a home that was for sale - she didn't want the home but made them an offer on the piano and got it. I thought it was pretty cool.

Last edited by Nathan M., RPT; 11/19/19 12:16 AM.

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Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: Rich Galassini] #2913644 11/19/19 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
I found a better photos of the model of piano in the Bösendorfer Lounge. You really could not appreciate it from the first photo:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I love that Bösendorfer ! Just need to be a bit younger and more fashionable in my sense of dress !
But ! . It's a Bösendorfer nothing better !
I was surprised that Liberace's piano was a Baldwin yes ! Somehow Baldwin always at that time
seemed like a high end AMERICAN piano ! I somehow could never imagine this piano to end up being covered with crystals ! It was a shock.
Liberace gave many people much joy however ,so why should we care .It was his style ! His piano !

Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913650 11/19/19 02:45 AM
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To me Baldwin is an American icon ! So crystals seemed amazing!
Actually one can order the Sauter Ambient(Maly ) semi concert with crystals.
I doubt it would be covered in stones unless there is another Liberace
around.

Re: Art Case Pianos? [Re: malkin] #2913723 11/19/19 08:31 AM
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For years, I've been smitten with the Otmar Alt Schimmel, but even if I could afford it (which I can't), it is too big to fit into my house.


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