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If it's a 4 digits serial number, is probably early-mid 1890s or older. Serial # 7000 is 1890 and 16000 is 1895 if that gives you any context.

Of the ones I've seen, it is pretty common to see the cast in lettering along the top for the patent dated on the ones from the 1890s and newer. I believe they even carried their patent branding scheme into the 1920s models. Since your plate seems to be pretty plain, and with the styling looking more victorian, I'm guessing mid 1880s for your piano.

A lot of the Ivers and ponds parents were released in 1888 or the late 1880s based on what I see from my piano, so the lack of that detail showing up leads me to believe it's probably older than those dates.


I'm restoring an 1890 Ivers & Pond Upright piano
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Whether it is from the early or late 1890s is moot at this point. It is well past its sell-by date.

What bothers me about people who crow about these old wrecks is when they have a piano that is in really bad shape, and they declare they are going to perform a perfect restoration of it, having absolutely no idea of what is involved: what it needs, where to source materials, what the goals should be, etc. Particularly when pianos in much better shape, with much better prospects for restoration, are going begging for someone to take them off the owners' hands.


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Originally Posted by BDB
Whether it is from the early or late 1890s is moot at this point. It is well past its sell-by date.

What bothers me about people who crow about these old wrecks is when they have a piano that is in really bad shape, and they declare they are going to perform a perfect restoration of it, having absolutely no idea of what is involved: what it needs, where to source materials, what the goals should be, etc. Particularly when pianos in much better shape, with much better prospects for restoration, are going begging for someone to take them off the owners' hands.

I get what you're saying and you're not wrong, but your point is also debatable. The pianos in better condition that stand the test of time will surely get restored sooner or later. However, anyone claiming a perfect anything is already off to a bad start.

Perhaps the single greatest thing about anything old is how quickly they teach you. You will learn far more from an old wreck than something that just needs a little TLC.

Also I looked everywhere for a sell-by date and couldnt find one (I'm just giving you a hard time laugh )

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Originally Posted by markag
If it's a 4 digits serial number, is probably early-mid 1890s or older. Serial # 7000 is 1890 and 16000 is 1895 if that gives you any context.

Of the ones I've seen, it is pretty common to see the cast in lettering along the top for the patent dated on the ones from the 1890s and newer. I believe they even carried their patent branding scheme into the 1920s models. Since your plate seems to be pretty plain, and with the styling looking more victorian, I'm guessing mid 1880s for your piano.

A lot of the Ivers and ponds parents were released in 1888 or the late 1880s based on what I see from my piano, so the lack of that detail showing up leads me to believe it's probably older than those dates.


Very good to know. I wasnt sure if maybe the aeolian/winter companies made new Ivers and Pond to look like old ones. Or if maybe someone put a newer piano frame in an old piano case.

I wonder if there is a way to verify if the metal frame is original with the case?

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Originally Posted by EBerlioz
I wonder if there is a way to verify if the metal frame is original with the case?

There would be absolutely no economic reason for a rebuild of that magnitude. It would be cheaper to make a new piano.


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Originally Posted by EBerlioz
So here's some pics of the ol' gal. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to post pics on this forum so hopefully they will come out clear.

Let me know if the pics are too small.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



Below is a shot of what I believe to be the serial number. If you were to go underneath the piano and look up at the keys, that is were this stamped number is located. Could it just be a part number?

[Linked Image]
Can't see any of the images


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Originally Posted by LarryShone
Can't see any of the images

Thanks Larry. I had meant to update the links. Unfortunately I went over the edit time. The pics below are updated ones of that post.

Front view
[Linked Image]

View with top door removed
[Linked Image]

Numbers under the keys
[Linked Image]

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Have you removed any of the keys yet? Check the lowest 2 and highest 2 keys. Very often, there are hand written signatures and dates on the sides of they keys. The style of the case, the music desk, the pedals, and the way the action is mounted suggests to me pre-1890.


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Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Have you removed any of the keys yet? Check the lowest 2 and highest 2 keys. Very often, there are hand written signatures and dates on the sides of they keys. The style of the case, the music desk, the pedals, and the way the action is mounted suggests to me pre-1890.

I have removed the keys, but I didn't think to check for any hand written notes, thanks for the tip. I'll take a look later tonight. I did find about 93 cents in change when I removed the keys though hah!

I'm glad you also suggested the pre-1890 date. Looking at the Ivers and Pond catalog from 1889 my piano most closely resembles the Style "Y" of the time.

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Here's the shell of an 1886 Ivers & Pond upright, turned into a bar. I'm posting this so you can compare your case to it. The case looks similar to yours, as do the spaces for the music desk and decorative side pieces of the top panel.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/788376075/1886-ivers-and-pond-piano-bar


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That is so sad


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Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Here's the shell of an 1886 Ivers & Pond upright, turned into a bar. I'm posting this so you can compare your case to it. The case looks similar to yours, as do the spaces for the music desk and decorative side pieces of the top panel.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/788376075/1886-ivers-and-pond-piano-bar

Originally Posted by WBLynch
That is so sad

Yeah the shell definitely looks similar to mine, thanks. I have not seen another model that has the music desk like that either. Neat idea to turn into a bar too, but indeed sad as WBLynch said.




So I went exploring the keys for some hand written notes. I definitely found some, but still scratching my head as to what they definitely mean haha.


Below is a picture of the last key (#88). It has the word "HALL" stamped in the wood. Does that mean anything to anyone?
[Linked Image]

Then a pic of the first key (#1) which also has "HALL" as well as "G.H.B" stamped into it. Maybe that's the initials of the piano tech or something?
[Linked Image]

Lastly I found actual hand written note that reads "8/23" then has "44" stamped into the wood. This is found on the back end of the first key.
[Linked Image]

Sorry for the low lighting in the photos, I didn't realize till now. If anyone has any thoughts on what these mean, let me know. I'm thinking 8/23 is a date, but why without the year unless the stamped 44 is the year. confused Also hall? I know hall is a piano company.

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Originally Posted by EBerlioz
[

Yeah the shell definitely looks similar to mine, thanks. I have not seen another model that has the music desk like that either. Neat idea to turn into a bar too, but indeed sad as WBLynch said.




So I went exploring the keys for some hand written notes. I definitely found some, but still scratching my head as to what they definitely mean haha.


Below is a picture of the last key (#88). It has the word "HALL" stamped in the wood. Does that mean anything to anyone?

Then a pic of the first key (#1) which also has "HALL" as well as "G.H.B" stamped into it. Maybe that's the initials of the piano tech or something?


Lastly I found actual hand written note that reads "8/23" then has "44" stamped into the wood. This is found on the back end of the first key.


Sorry for the low lighting in the photos, I didn't realize till now. If anyone has any thoughts on what these mean, let me know. I'm thinking 8/23 is a date, but why without the year unless the stamped 44 is the year. confused Also hall? I know hall is a piano company.

The names and initials might be original factory employees who assembled the piano.

No matter. IMO, all of this information is moot considering the age and the condition of the piano. That's all that matters at this point.

Most of the names of the workers from the truly great firms of the time, i.e., Baldwin, Mason, Steinway, Chickering, are all forgotten now. I'm not sure why a second-tier factory like Ivers and Pond would be worth noting at this point. It might be a fun history exercise, but it will have no bearing on the instrument as it is currently.

Last edited by violarules; 09/15/20 01:12 PM.
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Stamped number 44 may be the key number. Take a look at other keys also. If not, and if you are taking the keys off the key frame, write the key numbers 1-88 from the A0-C88 on the wooden part with a pencil. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for a sort of a jigsaw puzzle when you are ready to put the keys back on!

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Originally Posted by violarules
The names and initials might be original factory employees who assembled the piano.

No matter. IMO, all of this information is moot considering the age and the condition of the piano. That's all that matters at this point.

Most of the names of the workers from the truly great firms of the time, i.e., Baldwin, Mason, Steinway, Chickering, are all forgotten now. I'm not sure why a second-tier factory like Ivers and Pond would be worth noting at this point. It might be a fun history exercise, but it will have no bearing on the instrument as it is currently.

Everytime someone says moot I cant help, but think of the "Jump to Conclusions" mat from office space. laugh

I suppose so you know, this piano matters to me because it has been in my fiances family for a very long time. History connects us all and I feel particularly happy to be working on this exact piano.

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Originally Posted by EBerlioz
Originally Posted by violarules
The names and initials might be original factory employees who assembled the piano.

No matter. IMO, all of this information is moot considering the age and the condition of the piano. That's all that matters at this point.

Most of the names of the workers from the truly great firms of the time, i.e., Baldwin, Mason, Steinway, Chickering, are all forgotten now. I'm not sure why a second-tier factory like Ivers and Pond would be worth noting at this point. It might be a fun history exercise, but it will have no bearing on the instrument as it is currently.

Everytime someone says moot I cant help, but think of the "Jump to Conclusions" mat from office space. laugh

I suppose so you know, this piano matters to me because it has been in my fiances family for a very long time. History connects us all and I feel particularly happy to be working on this exact piano.

I’ve had two vintage pianos and I felt the same way about both but have been unsuccessful with getting any records. (Stieff and M & H). I still am hopeful.😺


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by K8KT
Stamped number 44 may be the key number. Take a look at other keys also. If not, and if you are taking the keys off the key frame, write the key numbers 1-88 from the A0-C88 on the wooden part with a pencil. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for a sort of a jigsaw puzzle when you are ready to put the keys back on!

Thank you for the heads up! The next time I take all the keys out I'll look at each one for more punched numbers. Luckily someone already labeled the keys 1-88 in pencil and red marker haha.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
I’ve had two vintage pianos and I felt the same way about both but have been unsuccessful with getting any records. (Stieff and M & H). I still am hopeful.😺


All we can do is try haha. I was really hoping I'd find a note tucked away in my piano somewhere with a brief history. Wishful thinking, I know. So far I cant even get a serial number!

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Originally Posted by violarules
Most of the names of the workers from the truly great firms of the time, i.e., Baldwin, Mason, Steinway, Chickering, are all forgotten now. I'm not sure why a second-tier factory like Ivers and Pond would be worth noting at this point. It might be a fun history exercise, but it will have no bearing on the instrument as it is currently.

At that time, Ivers & Pond was producing top quality pianos. EBerlioz is trying to find out as much about the piano as possible, and there's no harm in that.

Many times the people who worked on the keys wrote or stamped their name on them. I'm guessing that's what those stamps are.


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Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
At that time, Ivers & Pond was producing top quality pianos. EBerlioz is trying to find out as much about the piano as possible, and there's no harm in that.

Many times the people who worked on the keys wrote or stamped their name on them. I'm guessing that's what those stamps are.

Thanks for the info Eric! Maybe one day I'll figure out who put my piano together. I'll have to keep looking for more hand written notes.

So I'm just going to assuming my piano is pre-1890 until I learn otherwise. I'm absolutely amazed at the condition it's in all considering. I know some people would not agree with me, but it functions just fine and a RPT confirmed the pin block and soundboard are fine.




Does anyone know of more resources I could use to gather information about my piano? I see several books for sale online. Any recommendations? I'm also going to email the antique piano shop sometime soon.

Thanks again for all the help everyone, I really appreciate it.

Last edited by EBerlioz; 09/16/20 03:18 PM.
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