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Joined: Apr 2021
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New to the forum - came across it while trying to look up information on this piano I have. This place is amazing in terms of amount and quality of information. Read through most of the threads I could find and got a general idea from the 2010, 2013 and 2015 threads on the Chickering grand pianos. Having said that, I come to you with this dilemma:

There is a Chickering and Sons 110B grand piano which I picked up some 5 years ago basically for the price of moving it (my wife is a recreational player and always wanted a grand piano). The piano is in poor cosmetic shape with some discoloration, delamination and other issues. I'm neither a tech nor a player and cannot really attest to the quality or condition of the action, but it definitely needs work as the keys are uneven in terms of height, travel, feel and sound; some keys barely produce sound at all - assumption is that it needs a lot of work. The cast iron frame has been repainted at some point in time, though I do not know the extent of any other work that's been done to the piano, if at all.

I am now at a point where I have to decide what to do with this piano as there's some major renovation work about to start on the house and the living room layout is to be established. The grand piano will technically fit though I believe it to be a bit too large for the roughly 20'x24' room. The choice as I see it is either:
a. keep the Chickering and see about restoring it to acceptable condition for our purposes (recreational use, teaching kids to play some years down the line)
b. get rid of it and replace it with a decent quality upright for the same purposes

In case of option B - does it make sense even trying to sell it, or would I be lucky to simply give it away?
I am fond of old things and appreciate the genuine American quality and workmanship, however doubt that I'll have the budget to restore it completely, definitely not all at once. Perhaps I'll try tackling the cosmetic aspect of it myself.

I'm really on the fence about this one - would appreciate any input! Pictured is the piano in question - don't mind the mess as we're beginning the renovation process.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/dSBJeepdY5sPuFyB6


Thank you!

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It would be very expensive to restore this piano properly.


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I figured as much. That's why I doubt I'll have the fortitude to pay someone for a full restoration. Maybe do it piecemeal or some of it myself.
If you had to throw a number at it, what would you say? Ballpark

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$35k or more.

However, if its the model I think it is, it could be pretty awesome when done. But I'm nit sure if it is. I did one about 30 years ago that looked quite a bit like that. Sweet!

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 04/21/21 09:11 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
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It is otherwise worthless on the market.

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Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Like Peter says. Great piano, cost a fortune for restoration

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My regular piano technician had a friend who restored one of these yacht tailed Chickerings. Received it in rough shape and but when restored, all the techs and pianists who played it said it was one of the best pianos they've ever seen/played. It was a titan of a piano. There are several devoted Chickering fans here. I believe a user named Chickgrand has a Chickering concert grand.

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For your purposes, definitely go for a decent upright.


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Thanks everyone for the input and advice! I'm leaning towards replacing it with an upright as Steve suggested.
Is anyone interested in it by chance?

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Not me in today's market.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Thanks. I ended up listing it on Facebook marketplace, free to anyone who can pick up. No bites yet.

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Can anyone estimate an approximate date of manufacture for this Chickering?

And by the way, welcome to Piano World! Do let us know how your search progresses.

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Thank you David! My previous research into this suggested that it was made around 1890, though I have no way of confirming this. Will start looking for an upright piano for the living room in a few months once the renovation is complete. There is a newer Yamaha tall upright that's sitting unused in my parents' apartment - I may be able to take it assuming none of my siblings laid claim to it yet.


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