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Any help with building the backstory of this Wm Knabe & Co Louis XV Grand?

https://www.surfacesrx.com/wm-knabe-co-louis-xv-style-grand-piano-refinishing/


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Hi Mark,

A serial number would tell us more, but all of the premium makers, including Knabe, would make a piano to a custom design. This piano is obviously not a regular run piano. I noticed it also has mother of pearl keytops, which were much more expensive at the time than ivory.

Beautiful piece, but it likely has no real historic value besides being ordered by a customer with the money to pay for a cabinet that special. I know nothing about this particular piano.


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Did you buy this piano, Mark?

I'll tell you one way it is special: I usually hate those tarted-up, special-finish pianos. But with this one, I love the look. It speaks of class, elegance, and a talented craftsperson who wrought it, but it doesn't let its obvious restraint keep it from saying what it has to say; something sassy, if I read the look right. And if it's saying it on a marble floor in a glass room, it could be a pretty bright sound--- if it can still be played.

Have you made the photos yourself, in the room where the piano has been kept and used? It strikes me as a volatile and changeable environment which would challenge a piano--- but what a look. And it's old--- a real Baltimore Knabe.


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Das ist ja so einmalig. So prunkvoll.


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We are working with the owner creating a finish that he and his decorator want on the Case and Bench. Another company is restoring the instrument. The number that we have on piano case can be seen here: https://www.surfacesrx.com/wm-knabe-co-louis-xv-style-grand-piano-refinishing/#Piano-Art-Case

https://www.surfacesrx.com/wp-conte...by-Surfaces-Rx-Dallas-TX-3-1024x768.jpeg


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Originally Posted by ChatNoir
Das ist ja so einmalig. So prunkvoll.

Yes, it is magnificently unique!


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Mark - Do you know where and when the owner purchased the piano?


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Wow! What a piano!

Is the serial number 1647? (as stamped inside the case, though there was no photo showing the spot where we usually expect to see the serial number on the plate)


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I am trying it find the Serial Number, but have not found it yet. The only number we have is 1647 and it's in the case. You can see it here.

https://www.surfacesrx.com/wp-conte...by-Surfaces-Rx-Dallas-TX-3-1024x768.jpeg

https://www.surfacesrx.com/wm-knabe-co-louis-xv-style-grand-piano-refinishing/#Piano-Art-Case


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Knabes of that period probably had the serial number stamped on the plate near the lid prop. Slightly earlier, and it would have been near the soundboard decal, which would have been different from the one that is now on the piano.


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I poked around online and a four-digit serial number seems unlikely?? Hopefully someone else can address question.


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I think it must be because it is old but being tarted up like that to me......well it would give me nightmares.Perhaps when it is rebuilt and refinished it would be nice in someone's house.


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Isn't that case style more Louis the XVI?


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I suspect that it is within 10 years of 1920.


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Go to antiquepianoshop.com. Search Knabe in their online museum.
You will find a 1923 catalog of Knabe art case pianos. In that catalog there is a piano that looks pretty much identical to the one you are speaking about. So, my guess is that it was made in the late teens/early 1920s. The serial number as was already mentioned on Knabe pianos of that era would be 6 digits and would be found stamped with paint or some kind of ink on the plate near the bottom of the lid prop. It may have been painted over if the piano was restrung before.

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It may well be
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Isn't that case style more Louis the XVI?


It may well be a Louis XVI. How do you tell the difference?


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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Isn't that case style more Louis the XVI?
Louis XVI lost his lost head in the French Revolution.I think that if this piano is finished off and its done beautifully It can be exquisite.I believe it needs to overcome over its present macabre look.The pictures do not reveal the detail of it's decoration.It does remind me of an elaborate 19th century horse-drawn hearse that I once saw in New Orleans. (which was both magnificent and grotesque) Perhaps if I saw the piano in real life I would feel differently.Nevertheless when well restored it can be beautiful again in the right setting.

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Louis the 15th furniture had heavy curving legs and curving edges to furniture with some carving on the moldings at the edges of the curves.

Louis the 16th had multiple small legs usually square, with inlays of various decorative styles.


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