Steinway Vertegrand - aka models K and V ?

Posted by: James Carney

Steinway Vertegrand - aka models K and V ? - 07/17/11 11:22 AM

Hi all. I've done some search engine work but have come up with more questions than answers.

Can anyone shed some light on the history of these Steinway vertical models and how they can be properly identified/differentiated? I now have a few clients with old "Vertegrands" which I believe are also called the Model K, although I have not seen the model number stamped anywhere on the piano.

Can a "Vertegrand" be either a Model K or a Model V? What is the difference?

Also, what year did Steinway discontinue use of the double flange in their vertical actions? Did they ever manufacture a vertegrand without these flanges?

I've tuned three "Vertegrands" over the last six months and have been quite impressed with the bass response and overall quality of sound, even though the parts are original and quite worn in all three pianos. (1912, 1923, 1925) Any insights greatly appreciated.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Steinway Vertegrand - aka models K and V ? - 07/17/11 01:40 PM

A K is 51 inches, a V is 49". I think the double flanges were used until the introduction of the 40" upright, which used a Pratt Read action. There was a gap of several years between the last of the early uprights and the 40" models. It is said that there was nobody who remembered making an upright when they designed the 40" model. Pratt Read made the action for the first reintroduced Ks, but then Renner has been used. The V has a long history in Hamburg, and I have never seen Hamburg actions from any period.

I like the V a little better than the K. The shorter action makes it feel very firm. But they are all good pianos, even the 40". The 45" models seem to be cobbled together out of a bit of the 40" and a bit of the larger pianos, and never struck me as great.
Posted by: James Carney

Re: Steinway Vertegrand - aka models K and V ? - 07/17/11 07:51 PM

Thanks BDB...Here is an older thread I discovered showing a beautifully restored Vertegrand from Rod Verhnjak.
Posted by: Worrigee73

Re: Steinway Vertegrand - aka models K and V ? - 07/18/11 01:56 AM

Hi ,
I have a Steinway upright as well and its a 1911 model "I".The Piano Book lists the Model "I" reproducing (player) pianos as 55 1/4" tall, manufactured between 1909 and 1914.

The non-player Model "I" was 54 1/4" tall, from 1898 to 1913. It was 54" tall from 1914 to 1923.

I have the player piano model here.

Dan smile
Posted by: James Carney

Re: Steinway Vertegrand - aka models K and V ? - 07/18/11 07:25 AM

The Model I sounds like a rare piano.

I'm still wondering, though, if a Vertegrand can be either a model K or V.
Posted by: Erchoukyrie

Re: Steinway Vertegrand - aka models K and V ? - 08/27/15 11:24 AM

My apologies for responding to a very old thread; I thought I would just provide some closure for the sake of anyone researching the topic who might have come across this thread from a web search (as I did).

The name "Vertegrand", written across the top of the frame on applicable instruments, applies only to the original Model K (52") introduced in 1903. When the modern Model K52 was restarted, the name was simply dropped. The Model V seems never to have had a special brand name of this kind.

The choice of wording was influenced by the fact that they already had an "Upright Grand" in the line-up. "Upright Grand String Frame", written across the capo bar on applicable instruments, applies to the 54" or so models introduced in the 1890s, first the Model I and slightly later (not sure exactly when) the Model R in Hamburg.
Posted by: David Boyce

Re: Steinway Vertegrand - aka models K and V ? - 08/30/15 07:24 AM

Thank you for that information, Erchoukyrie. One of my clients had a Vertegrand - a magnificent thing which we kept going for years within the realms of what was possible without a major workshop refurbishment. Eventually he sold it and bought a new Bosendorfer upright, also magnificent.
Posted by: Erchoukyrie

Re: Steinway Vertegrand - aka models K and V ? - 09/03/15 08:52 AM

Good to hear of your appreciation of these instruments, David, your opinion certainly counts for far more than mine. But I had likewise been around a friend's 1924 K for years before getting my R, and have been amazed with what they accomplished with those old uprights in terms of sound as well as durability. I even think the actions are really good, whilst I understand that most technicians do not like working on the double flange.