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Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Rich Galassini #2950262 02/22/20 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
. Now, earlier prototypes were built. I think there were 5, or maybe as many as seven, that this piano might be. But those pianos were earlier than 1875.


I wasn't really clear, so I need to clarify that I meant 5 to 7 different versions of this model, not 5 to 7 pianos.

Anyway, if you are close enough, go and play the piano. Bring a technician knowledgable about older American S&S pianos that you might not see a lot of where you are.

Good luck - and feel free to ask more questions,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Philadelphia, King of Prussia, and Cherry Hill, NJ
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rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2950321 02/22/20 08:12 PM
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I can attest that you don't restore a soundboard with steel string and pins.
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Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2950327 02/22/20 08:31 PM
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There was that little "imbroglio" with the brothers Mangiot about selling "Steinway" pianos in France back in the 19th century.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
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Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2950329 02/22/20 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
There was that little "imbroglio" with the brothers Mangiot about selling "Steinway" pianos in France back in the 19th century.


If it was in France, it was probably a little "contretemps"! smile

Cheers!


BruceD
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Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2950622 02/23/20 05:23 PM
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Not as fake as this piano that I saw on a Chinese TV drama years ago
https://imgur.com/rMfBY4S

Last edited by iObsessed; 02/23/20 05:25 PM.
Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2950772 02/24/20 12:05 AM
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It's a Mangeot! Mangeot was a Steinway dealer in France in the 19th Century, and they also imported rims and I think actions and keysets from Steinway in New York, and assembled the pianos in France. This I think pre-dates the Hamburg factory. I looked up some Mangeot "Steinways" online, and they have this same plate. Whoever restored this piano or repainted it has done some things like replaced the legs and cut down the lyre, and changed the desk out, and been a little bit liberal with the truth in applying the new decal.

These pianos are not to be regarded as Steinway pianos, there is quite a number of differences, but there is also quite a lot of similarity. This piano will probably date from somewhere between 1860 and 1875, but it wouldn't qualify as being one of the oldest Steinways because.... it's not a Steinway.

It's rather like what Chris Maene did with the Barenboim piano - it uses a Model D rim and action, but it has a different plate and soundboard and scale design.

Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Joseph Fleetwood #2950826 02/24/20 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by joe80
It's a Mangeot! Mangeot was a Steinway dealer in France in the 19th Century, and they also imported rims and I think actions and keysets from Steinway in New York, and assembled the pianos in France. This I think pre-dates the Hamburg factory.

These pianos are not to be regarded as Steinway pianos, there is quite a number of differences, but there is also quite a lot of similarity. This piano will probably date from somewhere between 1860 and 1875, but it wouldn't qualify as being one of the oldest Steinways because.... it's not a Steinway.


So, it is a kind of Steingeot... or Manway piano?
What a (hi)story!

Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2950908 02/24/20 10:05 AM
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To be fair it might even have a Steinway plate from America but they didn't at that time always say Steinway and Sons on them. Whether it was a genuine Steinway from this era or the Mangeot Steinway, it's nothing like a Steinway from today at all.

Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Joseph Fleetwood #2951159 02/24/20 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by joe80
It's a Mangeot! Mangeot was a Steinway dealer in France in the 19th Century, and they also imported rims and I think actions and keysets from Steinway in New York, and assembled the pianos in France. This I think pre-dates the Hamburg factory. I looked up some Mangeot "Steinways" online, and they have this same plate. Whoever restored this piano or repainted it has done some things like replaced the legs and cut down the lyre, and changed the desk out, and been a little bit liberal with the truth in applying the new decal.

These pianos are not to be regarded as Steinway pianos, there is quite a number of differences, but there is also quite a lot of similarity. This piano will probably date from somewhere between 1860 and 1875, but it wouldn't qualify as being one of the oldest Steinways because.... it's not a Steinway.

It's rather like what Chris Maene did with the Barenboim piano - it uses a Model D rim and action, but it has a different plate and soundboard and scale design.

This sort of strategic alliance at that point in time was pretty forward thinking!



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin
Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2951276 02/25/20 06:46 AM
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Before Steinway opened their 2nd factory in Hamburg, there were several operations and co-operations with some piano makers. Imagine, the Steinway comp. was quite successful, and the death of two Steinway co founders in 1865 had urged the eldest son Theo to come from Germany, Brunswick, to New York city also. He sold his Brunswick based business to the son of his former partner Grotrian and to two foremen. The sales contract included the right for the Brunswick company to use the Newyorkian designs for ten years and also the name of "Theodor Steinweg Nachf." (successors).

This covers the time 1865 to 1875. At the end there were some trials of the Brunswick comp. to firm like being part of the Steinway imperium... There exist some pianos with the fallboard textes "Steinway & Sons - New York, Braunschweig" which were immediately fought by William Steinway and his quite good contacts to some prussian lawyers in Brunswick.

In the meantime there was huge success to sell Steinway pianos to Europe, the importers had to pay big taxes at the harbours…, and the Steinway bros. thought that it might have been a bad decision to have sold the Brunswick business... They (mainly Theo) started some cooperational trials. First of this was a cooperation with the Mangeot brothers in Nancy around 1868/69. Edouard Mangeot visited New York to learn the "american way" to produce pianos. They made a contract to enable the Mangeot comp. to finish-produce Mangeot-Steinway pianos, to build the furniture in Nancy, get a soundboard, get a harp, get a playing mechanism from New York, put all this together, and sell the stuff in France and England. The augures struggle on the question how many "knocked-down-pianos" or building sets were built and sold. Rumour is around 200 building sets mainly of the C size precedessor, a Parlor Grand, acoustic design by Henry Sr. and Henry Jr. derived from the Erard pianos, Paris, France, and constantly improved, culminating in the overstrung development 1858/59 and patented for Steinway & Sons.

All Mangeot Steinway grands which I know are parlor grands, size seven feet, around 220cm. This piano pictured is bigger. It is unknown AFAIK if there were ever other sizes of grand pianos of the Steinway design and partial make, put together in the Mangeot workshop in Nancy. I only know parlors.

Then the Steinway men had another idea. To establish a second Steinway Hall in London, for a dealership with the owner coming from reputable Germany, and the Steinway men supporting him with money and pianos. For that purpose they hired a sales person from Blüthner, Leipzig, and set off a piano manufacture around 1875 which was run some months only.

The preparations to do so will have included to cut off the contractual bindings to Mangeot Freres... but with some pianos "not yet built" - or several - or a lot, in the Mangeot premises? The Mangeot bros. kept on producing - and found themselves invited to court for having built "counterfeited Steinway pianos" - this is the second part, the nastier part of the cooperation which once had started in good sense of cooperation which is told in the Steinway comp. tellings.

But with the ex Blüthner man, William Steinway also was not happy. There were problems with the money. At the time of the big Centennial exhibition in Philadelphia 1976, the London business must have had ordered a big batch of Steinway pianos, and the William Steinway diaries sometimes tell that there was a lot of trouble with the London Steinway Hall management. The Steinway men bought this man’s London business – and kept him as an employee, store manager. Later on, one or two years later, they fired him for fraud behavior. (I own a London bought concert grand of that era, built 1877, it must have been ordered in 1876 during the Centennial exhibition…, and I doubt that this piano ever was paid from London management to the New York originators… )

So at last the Steinway Bros. set off to do their own manufacture – in Hamburg, starting 1880 and a german foreman, closely connected with Theo Steinway, became the first Hamburg plant manager – with the old boss Theo being General Manager for European affairs.

The piano pictured… I don’t know all of the earliest Steinway harps of grand pianos, dated 1856 to 1860. All Steinway harps which I know definitely have holes, the ancient version is an “Ilex” geometry, a rhombus with curved sides. In 1875 there is a transient time when Theo experimented in his now-own casting plant with geometries how to cover the pinblock and how to build the geometries which later on were known for the cupola frame and the Duplex Scale. So know that the Steinway-own casting plant at Rikers started to work in 1872. (BTW Rich Galassini owns an extremely interesting concert grand built early in 1875 with a seldom found special hole geometry (looks like a raindrop) but a piano WITH plate holes. HE says that this were a Centennial grand, and he knows that my vote is that his piano is one of the VERY DIRECT precedessors to the famous Centennial design. Greetings to Philly!, dear Rich.) :-D

This piano either may have originated at the Mangeot bros. who set on to produce good grands but not of Steinway design or parts, or may have been originated at the Grotrian factory, OR may have it’s origin at one of the several piano workshops who tried to copy Steinway grands, or to do some similar work. Pls know that Theo was quite open with his german fellows piano makers, he was friend with the young Grotrian, he was friend with the Schiedmayer family in Stuttgart, he was friend with a Hannoverian pianomaker who went to Vienna, and all these men then built grand pianos acc., to the Steinway building principles.

Technically spoken, I am engineer but no casting specialist. As far as I know there are technical reasons for the holes, to have some “thicker” geometries to be able to feed liquid metal (which cools down later) to the structure during the casting process, and to insulate eventual hollow points of the structure, so it is no good design, and Theo for sure knew this, and would never have allowed such a geometry to pass his nose.

So I severely doubt that this piano is a Steinway & Sons original grand piano.


Pls excuse any bad english.

Centennial D Sept 1877

Working on Berceuse op.57
Nocturnes op. 9-1,3 15-1,2,3 27-2 32-1,2
Going Home (Mark Knopfler)
Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2951317 02/25/20 10:14 AM
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I vaguely remember reading about those piano assemblies, but not in so much detail. Thanks, BerndAB.



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin
Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2951448 02/25/20 04:00 PM
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Now I have got an additional information from a Vienna Klaviermachermeister who has got a german translation of my posting above.

He is sure that he once had worked on a piano exactly like same photograph which was renovated with a new pinblock in 1897 by a master pianomaker of Grotrian Steinweg in Brunswick - written on a litlle working paper in the inside of the grand.


Pls excuse any bad english.

Centennial D Sept 1877

Working on Berceuse op.57
Nocturnes op. 9-1,3 15-1,2,3 27-2 32-1,2
Going Home (Mark Knopfler)
Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2951452 02/25/20 04:13 PM
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Thanks Bernd. That was really interesting.

Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2951854 02/26/20 02:26 PM
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We have an 1863 Steinway of a similar design. It has no relief ports in the casting, but it does have the name cast into the plate. It also has more struts.
Was there a time before Steinway added a plate boss? I have never seen an example.


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Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2951953 02/26/20 07:11 PM
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We always look to the plate, and if Steinway is not there, we assume it is not legitimate. That said, some others above seem to be aware of some interesting (and rare) exceptions to the rule, which I had never known. Thanks for sharing this.


Ronen

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Re: Is this a genuine Steinway & Sons?
Man #2951974 02/26/20 09:08 PM
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Pls take into account that Steinway had to rely for plates/harps on suppliers in the time 1853 to 1872. (And again after they closed down their casting plant in the 1930ies).

There definitely WERE times of huge demand - otherwise it would not be possible to explain the extraordinary growth of the company 1853 to 1860 .. 1865 ... etc.

There also were several exhibitions with huge success for the Steinway brand. The 1855 NYC Crystal Palace exhibition, the London exhibition in the 1860ies, the Paris exhibition AFAIK 1867, etc. Sometimes the family, in first row William Steinway, must have been overrun by eagerly striving customers to get such a prominent, contest-winning piano...

Maybe that in times of huge demand for pianos the Steinway men accepted singularily ...(??)... some harp deliveries where a plate boss was not present. Maybe that there were compromises...

But I doubt a bit that these plates would have been accepted at the Steinway workshops.

Everybody knew that the heads of Steinway always looked on the brand's reputation. This goes with markings in the product which are quite safe against falsification. The plate is a prominent maybe first place of the measures.

So my conclusion: a plate without any cast name "Steinway & Sons" is a severe candidate for a potential piano falsification when being advertized or offered as a genuine Steinway piano.

And not the man who doubts that this piano IS REALLY a Steinway piano has to proof his doubt...

It is the other way around, a man who insists on the status - this piano being "ORIGINAL STEINWAY & SONS product" - has to proof his claim.


Pls excuse any bad english.

Centennial D Sept 1877

Working on Berceuse op.57
Nocturnes op. 9-1,3 15-1,2,3 27-2 32-1,2
Going Home (Mark Knopfler)
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