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Originally Posted by David-G
Here is a Roenisch I found for sale on the German ebay, supposedly from the 1850s-60s. What struck me is that the name on the fallboard looks more antique in its style than yours does.

1850-60? I don't think so, you can see the pattern...

gseppe piano was probably refinished, so fallboard decal is probably wrong one for this piano

Last edited by ambrozy; 02/12/21 01:47 PM.
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Well, it does look to me that 4029 is the serial number - David B, would you agree? From the Roenisch date information that I can find, that would make the date 1872.

But does this look like an 1872 piano? I think I might be prepared to say 1890s for the general look of the frame. But early 1870s? Well, Bluthners of the 1870s don't look like that. So is 4029 not the serial number after all? Rather a mystery here.

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David-G I agree with your observations. According to The Musicians Piano Atlas, 4029 would date it to 1872/1873 and I just can't believe that plate is as old as that. The square legs and the plain, modern-looking sans serif font for the decal could be explained by some restoration work having been carried out, but not the 88-note compass, the layout and appearance of the scale, and the decorative plate. I take your point about the 1890s Bluthner decorative plate, but I can't believe anyone made plates like that in 1872. Maybe that 4029 was a case work number follwing the piano through the factory, and not its serial number.
Another place one sometimes finds a serial number embossed, is on the beading at the edge of the soundboard, right up at the treble end, beside the capo bar - might be worth looking there in case a number has been obscured by dirt. But in the end, maybe this piano is just going to remain a mystery!

Last edited by David Boyce; 02/12/21 03:33 PM.
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Cross strung baby grand with ornate plate, 88 keys, yet cheap inferior action, all of those things doesn't add up to 1872 and maybe it's not even a ronisch.
I guess we'll never know...

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David, I agree with you. And I don't think there were capo bars in 1872 either!

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All pre-WWII Ronisch grands that I have seen have the mame "Ronisch" cast into the plate in large ornate letters.

After WWII poor quality Ronisch-named piano were made somewhere else for a while. Currently, Ronisch do make reasonable new pianos in Germany.

Possibly this is a post-WWII piano and we don't know who actually made it.


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I see that Rönisch has now merged with Blüthner. I had not realised that.

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so, properly regulated, it can repeats like standard double repetition action!
watch from 2:23

Last edited by ambrozy; 02/12/21 06:19 PM.
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When this kind of action is regulated, like it was on mine some years ago, the double repetition works, and it still works, but you can easily feel de difference between a full sized action. The keyboard is overall lighter, making it difficult to control dynamics, and I think this is also caused by the lower frictions given the minor number of pieces inside the action. It's like in the middle between an upright piano and a modern grand, it can repeat notes but not so precisely. It's also difficult to find technicians who already worked on that kind of action, at least near my location.

I still don't understand, in my opinion making a plate with this ornaments could be an expensive and difficult task, I might be wrong. But if it was so expensive to make a plate like this, what is the purpose of making a piano with a beautiful plate but a cheap action?

Last edited by gseppe; 02/13/21 04:58 AM.
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I agree with you, gseppe. (Incidentally, I have a student in my Higher English class called Joseph Green and I call him Giuseppe Verdi, but he doesn't get the reference....)

It is a mystery, as you say, why an action like that would be fitted to a piano that otherwise looks to be of high quality. In English-made pianos, D-Type Spring & Loop actions were generally fitted to baby grands that were the cheapest in the maker's range. Usually cost savings were made in all aspects, including the quality of the timbers, even down to the screws. While regulation is possible, and the action when well-regulated will reapeat quite rapidly, the age and cheap quality of most of these pianos means that they simply aren't worth spending the money on full regulation. Plus, of course, many are of an age when all the felt a leather parts are very worn and compressed. And even when well-regulated, as you note, they don't feel the same as a full grand repetition action.

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I am curious that the Russian title on the video posted above appears to say: "Langer variant of the Brinsmead action". Was this invented by Brinsmead?

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