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#3171246 11/16/21 05:24 PM
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We just bought this piano. It's in good shape, my wife likes the sound, the price is reasonable, we're pretty happy with it. But I'm very curious what it is. It appears to be a Baldwin and it has a serial number which would make it a 1974 Baldwin (There's even a "74" cast into the frame). However the smallest Baldwin I can find is the model M, which is 5'2", but this one is 4'8". Also the frames of all the model M pianos I can find online have distinctive circles in the metal, this one does not.

Anybody know what kind of piano this is? thanks

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It's not a Baldwin, but may have been built by Baldwin. The Baldwin name would be cast in the plate if it was an actual Baldwin.
I don't recognize this piano off hand. Baldwin built second line pianos such as Howard and Hamilton and others. The Baldwin emblem was common on them though it's possible to remove it and put it in another piano.


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That is a lesser Baldwin make, like a Howard or Ellington. It was probably made in 1928.


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Originally Posted by BDB
That is a lesser Baldwin make, like a Howard or Ellington. It was probably made in 1928.
The only old Howard baby grands I could find online date back to the early 1930s and clearly have "Howard: on both the fallboard and plate. The serial number places the piano in the late 1920's as you state. The plate on the 1930 era Howards I found looked identical to the one on the OP's piano - with the exception of the Howard name. Perhaps the best we can come up with is that the OP's piano was built by Baldwin in the 1920s. It certainly isn't a 1974 Baldwin.


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Baldwin was no longer using the old world font in '74.
Baldwins traditionally have their alphabetic scales stamped in the plate (e.g. the M is "SA").
As noted above, the shortest Baldwin, at 5'2", was the M.

They made a 4'8" Howard (and 4'10" & 5'2" Hamiltons).

It looks like someone has "upgraded" something to "Baldwin" by applying a Baldwin decal.

These were the Baldwin-built grands c. 1967 (there were also two Howard models built by Kawai, the 330 and 550, but the service manual does not indicate their lengths(I believe their plates included Kawai markings, but not certain)):

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Originally Posted by OrbitalSander
We just bought this piano. It's in good shape, my wife likes the sound, the price is reasonable, we're pretty happy with it. But I'm very curious what it is. It appears to be a Baldwin and it has a serial number which would make it a 1974 Baldwin (There's even a "74" cast into the frame). However the smallest Baldwin I can find is the model M, which is 5'2", but this one is 4'8". Also the frames of all the model M pianos I can find online have distinctive circles in the metal, this one does not.

Anybody know what kind of piano this is? thanks

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Welcome to Piano World!

You've gotten some great advice already on your new-to-you and your wife, Baldwin. I don't have any info to add, other than to say that it appears that the exterior refinish looks to be much newer than the insides of the piano, which does look much older than 1974.

If your wife likes the sound and you all were pleased with the price, that is what matters. We don't always need a proper piano pedigree, although it is nice to have one, if possible.

Congratulations on your newly acquired Baldwin/Howard/Hamilton, or a combination of the three! smile

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Originally Posted by Bill McKaig,RPT
It's not a Baldwin, but may have been built by Baldwin. The Baldwin name would be cast in the plate if it was an actual Baldwin.
I don't recognize this piano off hand. Baldwin built second line pianos such as Howard and Hamilton and others. The Baldwin emblem was common on them though it's possible to remove it and put it in another piano.

Agreed that's a good possibility. At my tuning school the teachers had a box full of various manufacturers emblems and medallions and decals and stencils and such that could be transferred or applied to lesser instruments, that they had collected over the years. For laughs there was an Acrosonic with a Steinway logo on the fallboard in the practice rooms. The exterior finish here is obviously recentish, and the Baldwin decal at least used to be available.

btw, this: http://mckaigpianoservice.com/action_analysis.htm

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Thanks Old Square!

I do a lot of action work and have advanced my methods since writing that web page (my site could use a good update). Besides my own work, I do actions for a number of local Technicians. Its work I really enjoy!


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Where did you buy it?


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I am just curious why it says HOUSE and and then BALDWIN?
Is it possible a dealer wanted a customized petite Baldwin called Baldwin? (from Baldwin)

Perhaps such small grands were popular at some stage.By the way congratulations on your piano.It looks charming.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
I am just curious why it says HOUSE and and then BALDWIN?
Is it possible a dealer wanted a customized petite Baldwin called Baldwin? (from Baldwin)

Perhaps such small grands were popular at some stage.By the way congratulations on your piano.It looks charming.
And the answer is ......"Baldwin built several different lines of pianos under the “House of Baldwin” label including Acrosonic, Ellington, Hamilton, Howard, Valley Gem, Monarch, St. Regis, Modello and Manualo."

Hard to see, but the small metal plate actually says The House of Baldwin Established 1852. "The" and "of" are very small.


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In the 70s, Kawai made "Howards" for Baldwin to import, and they would have been clearly marked "Kawai" on the plates and elsewhere. The music school that I went to had some 70s "Baldwin" uprights that were rebranded Hamiltons (as in obviously changed decals). I never understood what the difference was. The Baldwin brand-names empire was strange.


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I remember reading about a very small Yamaha grand that was that was made by Yamaha at one time.One knowledgeable poster wrote that the model was a good one,the piano was in fact very well made.There has been at least one instance of a European brand which produced a special anniversary model upright.The piano was a little less costly than the other regular models.The cabinet was perhaps a little more fancy though.

Of course I am familiar with Baldwin making Hamilton grands and Baldwin Hamilton 243 institutional models.The acrosonic of course I also knew of.I just wondered if Baldwin for any reason such as a special anniversary would have made a limited number of smaller pianos branded Baldwin instead of being called Hamilton or Ellington.

Baldwin being at one time a really prestige brand(almost like Steinway) probably would never do that.So just a thought..

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The piano was obviously refinished, and a Baldwin decal applied at the time.


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This is the first time I've seen how a piano gets its logo. Just like press-on tattoos! (skip to 0:47)



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That is not the way that the original decal would have been applied. Originally, decals had to essentially be glued to the fallboard with varnish, and then the backing paper would come away from it when it was wetted. The backing paper is no longer made, and the rub-on decals are easier to use.


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Where did you buy it?

Private sale, from an individual. They don't know much about its history

Last edited by OrbitalSander; 11/18/21 05:40 PM.
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It’s very pretty! 😍


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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
These were the Baldwin-built grands c. 1967 (there were also two Howard models built by Kawai, the 330 and 550, but the service manual does not indicate their lengths(I believe their plates included Kawai markings, but not certain))

Just to clarify (after re-reading), the image includes then current production and historical models (since they'd likely still be in service). For example, the G and the E were no longer in production, and the 4'8" Howard was likely replaced by the Kawai produced Howards mentioned on a different page of the guide (not in the image).


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by tre corda
I am just curious why it says HOUSE and and then BALDWIN?
Is it possible a dealer wanted a customized petite Baldwin called Baldwin? (from Baldwin)

Perhaps such small grands were popular at some stage.By the way congratulations on your piano.It looks charming.
And the answer is ......"Baldwin built several different lines of pianos under the “House of Baldwin” label including Acrosonic, Ellington, Hamilton, Howard, Valley Gem, Monarch, St. Regis, Modello and Manualo."

Hard to see, but the small metal plate actually says The House of Baldwin Established 1852. "The" and "of" are very small.

Yeah, I think this is sort of Baldwin's variation of "designed by ...". For example, Baldwin had Kawai produce Howards (analogous to S&S having Kawai produce Bostons). A variety of products were sold "in the house of Baldwin," but they weren't all "Baldwin" pianos, if that makes sense.


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