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Joined: Oct 2014
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Hi All!

This is my first post on here and I wanted to share my excitement about my new (to me anyway) 1906 Chickering & Sons Parlor Grand Piano. It's 6'4" long and is in amazing condition. The previous owner bought it from the original owner's estate 25 years ago. She had it regularly tuned and serviced every sixth months by a competent tech, Francois Doucette. I'm hoping to take delivery of it within the next 2-3 weeks. Here are a few pictures that I took on Friday (the first one is from the ad with the music stand attached).


[Linked Image]

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I can't tell you how relieved I am to have such a beautiful instrument to practice on as I move on from my keyboard. Does anyone here have any additional information on this model or any other experience that they'd like to share? The serial number is 107561.

Thanks so much!
Jeanne

Last edited by ShadowoftheMoon; 11/02/14 02:08 AM.
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Congratulations!

What a beautiful instrument!

And, welcome to Piano World!

Rick


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What a beautiful, rare find! Congratulations!

I must ask: Are the key tops ivory?



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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Thank you! I'm fairly happy with the price that I paid as well, $2200. The key tops are the original ivory; the family told me that their mom babied it during her ownership which was not hard to believe after seeing and playing it in person.

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As a Chickering owner myself (a 6'-5" "yacht tail" from around 1884) I can appreciate your enthusiasm!


What do snowflakes and Chickerings have in common? There are no two exactly alike!
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I've seen a very similar "swoop" in the plate design (where the plate doesn't follow the line of the case, but curves inward) in some Sohmer grands too. I wonder if there's a connection? Or maybe just the same plate manufacturer.

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Originally Posted by ShadowoftheMoon
Thank you! I'm fairly happy with the price that I paid as well, $2200. The key tops are the original ivory; the family told me that their mom babied it during her ownership which was not hard to believe after seeing and playing it in person.


Then it seems that piano is very much in pristine original condition. A rare find indeed.

If it's spent it's entire life in Las Vegas, with the dry climate, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it keeps going for another generation or two.



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It looks like it had been restrung at some point.


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BDB,

You may be correct. The current tech mentioned that he had personaly replaced a few strings (in the bass) in the last 25 years. It was still holding an A440 tune this last Friday before he inspected it.

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$2200? You stole it, man! You got a fine piano at an amazing price.


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OperaTenor,

That is good to hear! I hope to keep this piano around and in playable condition for a good long while yet. It spent the last 25 years in Carson City and our humidity here in Northern Nevada is fairly low so if your advice is any indication, it would seem that this is more than feasible.

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Originally Posted by BDB
It looks like it had been restrung at some point.
Possibly, but it looked to me like the coils had that grimy original look to them. And, the rest of the piano is so darn clean, that maybe the strings were still pretty clean, too.

Once again, I think that's all possible if the piano's been in Reno most of its life.

I'd have to see it in person to know for sure.

[edit to add] I saw the post about Carson City. Yeah, I think I'm right about its future. You done good!

Last edited by OperaTenor; 11/03/14 02:54 PM.

Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
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All the old Chickerings had purple stringing felt. Yours now has red. The strings would have had to be changed to change the felt.


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Glenn Gould also loved Chickering pianos. He owned one that he placed in his "get away" home and used it for practice.



Like many artists, unfortunately, he did not tune it religiously.

I have had this experience before. When I asked one famous artist about that, he replied, "I don't really need it in tune. I already know what it will sound like."




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Hi Rich,
That famous artist that you talked to, gave a strange answer on so many levels. If they already know how it sounds, then why have a piano at all. Just be a pianist of the mind.
With being famous, you have put yourself in a position to set an example for the next generation. What a bad example.

Thanks for sharing the GG video.

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I went to Reno for the first time just over a year ago for Volleyball Nationals. It's a really neat city. Things have gotten a little sad looking downtown but there's a great feeling of a population with a desire to realize great potential. Now with the battery factory replacing some of the economic stimulus lost to local indian gaming, who knows?

I don't normally like ornate piano but this one has a really lovely balanced set of lines that I just can't help but admire it. It already has musical soul baked into its DNA. May it bring you joy.

Kurt


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Interesting legs on your piano. I have not seen that type before on a 1907 vintage Chickering. Very nice, enjoy.


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Originally Posted by chernobieff
Hi Rich,
That famous artist that you talked to, gave a strange answer on so many levels. If they already know how it sounds, then why have a piano at all.


I get what he is saying Chris. This particular artist (Marc Andre Hamelin) was making the point that he was only in town for short periods and only needed the feel. He could already hear the pieces in his head.

Many fine musicians can say this, I think.


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What a lovely looking piano! Edvard Grieg was also a great fan of Chickering pianos, although his last piano was a Steinway.

Robert.

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Hi Rich,
That makes perfect sense to say that if he is in town for a short time.
Does that mean concert halls don't keep them in tune for famous visiting artists?

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