Thursday, May 23, 2013

Antique Piano

Yesterday we got a piano delivered.
It's a family heirloom, belonging (presumably) to my great-great-father. His son (my great-grandfather) is the first one with confirmation of ownership, but given the family's status and history in the Boston area at the time, it makes sense that his parents (well-to-do shop owners) would have bought it new. Plus, my great-grandfather wasn't born when the piano was built. Or so we think.
Our New England Piano Co. antique piano from 1890.
It's a beautiful piece, and once repaired a bit, will definitely get played. Some details:



After the first round of cleaning, the piano is starting to look very nice.
The New England Piano Co.
was known for fine workmanship.
The piano itself is from the New England Piano Company. Based on the styles listed in a catalog from 1891, we believe it's a Cabinet Grand Model 53 piano, Mahogany wood construction, circa 1890 (+/- 7 or 8 years). We can't get a firm date locked down, but based on the catalog, this piano was being produced in 1891. By the early 1900's, the styles had changed, so the look and feel of the new lines would have been modified in within 9 years. We believe it's pretty accurate to place it around 1890. Definitely pre-1900.
Real copper inlays add lots
of visual character.
The decorative panels are made of real copper. We can tell because in some places, the copper is starting to "green" just a bit, like only real copper can. The carving is beautiful. We need to get some copper polish to get the grime off a bit.
We tapped a few keys, and it DOES make sound (yay!). We're letting it sit for a while because A) it's really really really out of tune and B) the humidity levels need to stabilize after sitting in a Colorado garage for the last 20 years then riding in a truck to Tennessee.
The wood carving is exquisite. It arrived very dusty and dirty, and a lot of the detail was not evident until we took some rags to it. It hasn't really been used in close to 50 years. My second cousin has been hanging on to it after my great aunt passed (may God rest her soul). It's been in a corner of a garage for the last 10 or so, and it's taken several years to arrange reasonable transportation across the country. In that time, it has naturally accumulated a few...er...blemishes.
But after the first round of  cleaning, it's coming into focus as a beatiful instrument.
I've in contact with some piano tuners, and it is repairable. To make it even sweeter, a family friend has generously agreed to fund the repairs.
So will will get to actually use it in our homeschool lessons. How awesome for the kids to learn piano on such a classic instrument!
We're excited about it.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of great aunt Barb, and for Mrs. K and her family.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks! We're still trying to find a way to get it up to playable, though.

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