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silent piano (upright instrument) #641264
02/12/06 03:49 PM
02/12/06 03:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
K
keyboardqueries1 Offline OP
Junior Member
keyboardqueries1  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
I'm trying to find out the approximate value of an antique silent piano. It appears to be (to my novice's eye) in very good condition. The only information I can provide is that it has a patent date of July 19, 1892 listed on the back, along with the number 8141 and letters BAK. It belongs to an aunt who was a piano teacher. She inherited it from a friend who was a voice teacher, so both women had a musical background and knew what the instrument was used for. I should mention that this instrument looks basically like a standard upright piano, complete with bench. (The only photo I've seen of one so far on the Web is at www.markgoodwinpianos.co.uk.) I'd appreciate any information that forum readers can provide. Been posting at Piano Forum, but readers there recommended that I try on this forum.

Thanks in advance for any input/advice!

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Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641265
02/18/06 02:09 AM
02/18/06 02:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 141
Morgan Hill, CA
R Barber Offline
Full Member
R Barber  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 141
Morgan Hill, CA
Go take some clean well lit close ups of everything.


Richard Barber, piano technician
Santa Clara Valley, CA
tune@pianoregulation.com
Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641266
02/18/06 09:35 AM
02/18/06 09:35 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
K
keyboardqueries1 Offline OP
Junior Member
keyboardqueries1  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
That was my next step. Will be doing so this coming Tuesday. Can I scan and send them to you directly? Also, is there any way to post photos for the forum in general that I'm not aware of?

Thanks!

Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641267
02/20/06 05:49 PM
02/20/06 05:49 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 141
Morgan Hill, CA
R Barber Offline
Full Member
R Barber  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 141
Morgan Hill, CA
What I usually do is get them on my own domain, and then post a public link here.


Richard Barber, piano technician
Santa Clara Valley, CA
tune@pianoregulation.com
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Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641268
02/21/06 05:11 PM
02/21/06 05:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
K
keyboardqueries1 Offline OP
Junior Member
keyboardqueries1  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
Well I got the photos today, so should have them sent in the next few days. Turns out this is a Virgil Practice Clavier, patent date July 19, 1892. The actual number of this particular instrument is 8141, and has a handwritten date of Jan. 31, 1910 as, I presume, a date of sale. This information, plus original directions on how to use the instrument, are glued inside the top cover.

Hopefully the pictures will turn out well, as long as my flash cooperated.

Any and all information on this instrument would be appreciated. In the meantime, I'll keep researching as well.

Thanks!

Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641269
02/28/06 12:31 PM
02/28/06 12:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 141
Morgan Hill, CA
R Barber Offline
Full Member
R Barber  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 141
Morgan Hill, CA
I saved the attached photos in this folder:
http://virgil.pianoregulation.com/


Richard Barber, piano technician
Santa Clara Valley, CA
tune@pianoregulation.com
Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641270
03/02/06 11:34 AM
03/02/06 11:34 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
K
keyboardqueries1 Offline OP
Junior Member
keyboardqueries1  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
For anyone who is interested, photos of the Virgil Practice Clavier are now in the folder listed in the above posting by Rick Barber, who has been a big help in trying to track down the value of this instrument. If, after viewing these photos, anyone has information regarding its approximate value, please let me know.

Thanks!

Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641271
03/02/06 01:38 PM
03/02/06 01:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 574
Toronto, ON
Anne Francis Offline
500 Post Club Member
Anne Francis  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 574
Toronto, ON
What the heck is a silent piano anyway? I can see from the photos there are no strings or soundboard, but what's the point of that?

Anne


Anne Francis
Piano Tuner-Technician

Check out my blog! www.annefrancis.ca/blog

1906 Heintzman upright (rebuilt)
Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641272
03/02/06 05:59 PM
03/02/06 05:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
K
keyboardqueries1 Offline OP
Junior Member
keyboardqueries1  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
Anne:

Silent pianos were built strictly for students to practice technique. The keys are adjusted to varying degrees of tension.

See the earlier replies under "Silent piano" in the Piano Forum. One of the responders describes it well.

Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641273
03/03/06 06:18 PM
03/03/06 06:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 574
Toronto, ON
Anne Francis Offline
500 Post Club Member
Anne Francis  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 574
Toronto, ON
Very interesting. I have never heard of this. Live and learn. I hope it turns out to be worth a lot of money!

Anne


Anne Francis
Piano Tuner-Technician

Check out my blog! www.annefrancis.ca/blog

1906 Heintzman upright (rebuilt)
Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641274
03/04/06 07:19 AM
03/04/06 07:19 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
K
keyboardqueries1 Offline OP
Junior Member
keyboardqueries1  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
Anne:

A lot of folks haven't heard of it before, which is why I'm having a difficult time finding out what it's worth! By all means, please tell your contacts who are involved with pianos/keyboards about it. I think that only by networking am I going to find out anything more.

Thanks much!

Judy

Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641275
03/04/06 11:36 AM
03/04/06 11:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Cy Shuster, RPT  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
Larry Ashley will do research for you (for a fee):
http://www.pianoatlas.com/howold.html

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641276
03/04/06 01:18 PM
03/04/06 01:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
G
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Gyro  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
I have no experience in pricing an item like
this, and moreover, I'm biased in favor of
silent pianos, but I would think that this would
have considerable value to the right collector.
It appears to be completely intact and in
good condition (this looks just like the
one Claudio Arrau owned), and it still has
the instructions on how to use it (the content
of that that instruction sheet is valuable
because it contains secrets to developing
technique that have been lost over the yrs.).

As for putting a dollar amt. on it, because
of its rarity and intact condition, I
would be inclined to just keep it--this
is something that belongs in a piano museum
as a example of our piano heritage, not
something to be bartered for cash. But if
you absolutely must have the cash, then
I personally (keep in mind that I'm
biased in favor of silent keyboards and
have no experience in pricing piano
items), pulling a figure out of the air,
would put a price of 10,000.00 firm
on it.

Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641277
03/04/06 04:15 PM
03/04/06 04:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
K
keyboardqueries1 Offline OP
Junior Member
keyboardqueries1  Offline OP
Junior Member
K

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Pennsylvania
Thank you Cy and Gyro. Gyro, I, too, thought it appeared to be in good condition, but am no expert in pianos/keyboards; however, I do love antiques and this certainly seems to qualify as one. Also, good point about the directions providing long lost keys to developing technique.

As for selling it, it's not mine to keep or sell. Belongs to an aunt and I'm doing the research for her, so the ultimate decision is hers. The best I can do is pass information along to her.

Thanks again for the input!

Judy

All in all, it reminds me of something one would see on Antiques Roadshow.

Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641278
03/20/06 11:29 PM
03/20/06 11:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,777
Auckland, New Zealand
T
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ted  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
T

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,777
Auckland, New Zealand
I have used one for almost forty years. My teacher rebuilt it and sold it to me. It is embossed "Virgil Practice Clavier" and "London, Berlin 1888 - 1892".

There is one which has been up for sale here on TradeMe for several days without exciting any interest.

Virgil clavier

Mine is a fully functioning instrument with a new keyboard and mechanism inside. I am not interested in selling it and I cannot imagine that it would be of much value to somebody who doesn't use it.

I have posted, in various places on forums, how to use it to best advantage. Quite a few noted pianists used them all the time; Claudio Arrau, in particular, comes to mind.

It has been of invaluable help to me. However, I have found that it has to be used with discretion. It is of greatest use for movements requiring a high degree of pure finger dexterity - double notes, rapid cadenzas, scales and the like.

The trap most people fall into is that they try it and find it makes the piano seem so easy it runs away with them. They then get carried away and keep on increasing the resistance until they cannot play it by finger work alone. The resulting use of weight in all the wrong ways gives them a really horrible touch at the piano.
Also, around five or ten minutes a day is usually quite sufficient; it is only a gymnastic aid, after all.

With those provisos, I find it really useful. There is also the added benefit of silence, which enables me to use it early in the morning or late at night if people in the house are asleep.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: silent piano (upright instrument) #641279
06/20/08 05:33 PM
06/20/08 05:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1
Toronto
S
Sue1705 Offline
Junior Member
Sue1705  Offline
Junior Member
S

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1
Toronto
Hello Judy,
I realize your post and this thread are several years old, but I'm hoping you can tell me what you did find out about the value of your silent piano. I have one too, a Virgil Practice Clavier, and I would like to find a good home for it.
Sue


Quote
Originally posted by keyboardqueries1:
I'm trying to find out the approximate value of an antique silent piano. It appears to be (to my novice's eye) in very good condition. The only information I can provide is that it has a patent date of July 19, 1892 listed on the back, along with the number 8141 and letters BAK. It belongs to an aunt who was a piano teacher. She inherited it from a friend who was a voice teacher, so both women had a musical background and knew what the instrument was used for. I should mention that this instrument looks basically like a standard upright piano, complete with bench. (The only photo I've seen of one so far on the Web is at www.markgoodwinpianos.co.uk.) I'd appreciate any information that forum readers can provide. Been posting at Piano Forum, but readers there recommended that I try on this forum.

Thanks in advance for any input/advice!


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