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So I saw a piano last weekend with a story behind it. The guy who has it says that the guy he's storing it for says that it was a gift from Elton John, but he doesn't know to who.... The guy who has it thinks what most of you are probably thinking, that the story is totally bogus.

But is there any way to check that out? It's an off-white Yamaha GC1. According to Pierce, it's from early 2006. EJ has a C&A deal with Yamaha. I checked that first, as being C&A with any other company would disprove the story. And why would he give someone such a small piano?

TIA for any thoughts on this question.....


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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
you are probably thinking, that the story is totally bogus.

Antique dealers are notorious for inventing provenance. I wouldn't be surprised if others do the same.

Anyway, perhaps the easiest thing would be to reach out to Elton John's people and inquire. Obviously, he's still living and might remember such a gift only 15 years ago.


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From The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972):
Quote
"Hat worn by Napoleon the day of the battle of Wagram."

I've already seen 3 hats Napoleon wore at the battle of Wagram.

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Not directly relevant perhaps, but Elton has form in this area. He donated a piano which sits in St Pancras station in London, as well as gifting one to a BBC radio station. I believe he signed both...

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Written provenance with an authentic signature is needed. An acknowledgment of the gift by Sir Elton John also helps.


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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
you are probably thinking, that the story is totally bogus.

Antique dealers are notorious for inventing provenance. I wouldn't be surprised if others do the same.

Anyway, perhaps the easiest thing would be to reach out to Elton John's people and inquire. Obviously, he's still living and might remember such a gift only 15 years ago.

Not related to Sir Elton John's gift pianos here, but years ago I went to look at a smallish, older Baldwin baby grand piano that was listed for sale on Craigslist, and it was located only a few miles from my home. Not that I was in the market for another piano, but since it was so close to home I figured it was worth a look.

I called and made an appointment to go look at the piano, and the lady invited me inside and took me to the room where the piano was located. I could tell at first glance I was no longer interested in the piano, because it was in rough shape, inside and out. It did look like it had had some restoration work done on it in the past, but was still in rough shape.

So, as a matter of courtesy and appreciation of the owners time, I did sit and play the piano a few minutes and tried to look like I was interested, instead of blatantly saying "no thanks, goodbye".

Right away, the owner began to tell me that the piano once belonged to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Ironically, that made me even less interested, because I doubt the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra would own such an old and smallish baby grand piano, Baldwin or not; and, even if the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra did once own the piano, I was still not at all impressed.

So, yea, Retsacnal, you are right, sellers can say or invent or dream-up any provenance they wish when selling a piano, or other items. But I'm more interested in the sound and playability of a piano than who may have owned it in the past. But that is just me...

Rick


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The Atlantic ocean might have something to do with it, too.

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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
you are probably thinking, that the story is totally bogus.

Antique dealers are notorious for inventing provenance. I wouldn't be surprised if others do the same.

Anyway, perhaps the easiest thing would be to reach out to Elton John's people and inquire. Obviously, he's still living and might remember such a gift only 15 years ago.

Not related to Sir Elton John's gift pianos here, but years ago I went to look at a smallish, older Baldwin baby grand piano that was listed for sale on Craigslist, and it was located only a few miles from my home. Not that I was in the market for another piano, but since it was so close to home I figured it was worth a look.

I called and made an appointment to go look at the piano, and the lady invited me inside and took me to the room where the piano was located. I could tell at first glance I was no longer interested in the piano, because it was in rough shape, inside and out. It did look like it had had some restoration work done on it in the past, but was still in rough shape.

So, as a matter of courtesy and appreciation of the owners time, I did sit and play the piano a few minutes and tried to look like I was interested, instead of blatantly saying "no thanks, goodbye".

Right away, the owner began to tell me that the piano once belonged to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Ironically, that made me even less interested, because I doubt the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra would own such an old and smallish baby grand piano, Baldwin or not; and, even if the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra did once own the piano, I was still not at all impressed.

So, yea, Retsacnal, you are right, sellers can say or invent or dream-up any provenance they wish when selling a piano, or other items. But I'm more interested in the sound and playability of a piano than who may have owned it in the past. But that is just me...

Rick

Yes, for an instrument the size of an acoustic piano, sound and playability matter more than who owned it, because I can really only fit one grand piano. If I played guitar and had tons of excess money to spend I might be tempted to buy a Stevie Ray Vaughan or a signed Eddy Van Halen guitar. Like that song by Nickelback, I’d have a tour bus full of old guitars.


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Anyway, perhaps the easiest thing would be to reach out to Elton John's people and inquire.

Yes. I was hoping someone here would know how to find his people....


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From Elton john’s website, the contact us

https://www.eltonjohn.com/contact


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Would it count if turns out the story is true but he was never in the same room as the piano (a remote gifting)?

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In the end, unless it can be undeniably proven, it is nothing more than an off white Yamaha piano. Why didn't EJ sign it? He of all people should know the importance of that.

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I am an Elton John fan but hate white pianos. Would I be interested in the 2nd smallest Yamaha made in a color I hate if it was gifted by Elton John to someone else? I’d only be interested if it was a gift to me from Sir Elton John. As a personal gift, I’d get over the white. Otherwise I’d pass. No paperwork to show it was gifted by Elton John, it’s just a Yamaha small grand in white.

Last edited by j&j; 09/19/21 07:26 PM.

J & J
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I caught Elton John in concert about 20 years ago, and also enjoyed the recent movie about him. That said, I’m not bowled over by this sort of provenance. Ironically, even the “recipient” apparently didn’t care enough to keep it.


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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
I caught Elton John in concert about 20 years ago, and also enjoyed the recent movie about him. That said, I’m not bowled over by this sort of provenance. Ironically, even the “recipient” apparently didn’t care enough to keep it.
I remember Elton John's catchy songs from the 80's and 90's.
However I have lost track of his later music.I think if it was a piano that belonged to Horowitz or Arthur Rubinstein I would be continually curious about it....So as J&J has implied if there is no documentation then the piano is just a small white Yamaha grand(very nice!) with a story about Elton John. Perhaps the story will become a legend.😉 Perhaps one day you may find out it was true! At the moment....just marketing though.


My piano's voice is my voice to the great unknown, out there..in other words a hymn.That is all but that is enough.

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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
I caught Elton John in concert about 20 years ago, and also enjoyed the recent movie about him. That said, I’m not bowled over by this sort of provenance. Ironically, even the “recipient” apparently didn’t care enough to keep it.

There is a small group of people that love white pianos. We seen several posts where they want white to match their white furniture or white kitchen. I’ve always had adopted animals with most living indoors and horses that lived in a big corral with attached barn. Horses, dogs, cats, and birds don’t do well with high white kitchens or flooring so I never needed to consider buying a white piano.


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