Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Beautiful New Piano

Fun Fact: in 1893 Good Morning to All, now known as Happy Birthday to You was the number one song for that year. Therefore, keeping with the spirit this will be the first song I learn to play on my new piano. Which brings me to today's entry. I have been looking for an antique piano for many months now. Its hard to find the right combination of price, quality, sound, and size when dealing with large antique pianos. Finally, I found the PERFECT one. In good condition with only three or four chipped keys, and a few loose pins, I feel like I made a good choice. It is a John Broadwood and Sons, one of the oldest and most prestigious piano makers to date (They still hold the royal warrant as manufactures to Queen Elizabeth II). Originally brought over from the United Kingdom the serial number on the inside dates it to a manufacturing time frame somewhere between 1885-1890. During this time frame John Braodwood and Sons were on the cusp of innovation, being one of the first to make upright pianos which moved away from the traditional birdcage settings and instead began placing the wires for the dampers behind the action as we see in traditional piano's today. This is good news for Mister Swendsen (apparently the best piano tuner in Calgary) who will becoming in a few weeks for a tune up.
What caught my eye about this piano was the open jigsaw fretwork on the front panels. Its hard to say if the fabric behind it is original or not, but there's a good chance it is by observing the wear marks. The legs have hand carved flowers on them which equates to each being slightly different. The keys are an ivory in a cream color with strong horizontal grain which would be next to impossible to match if I choose to restore them. Due to this, I think I am going to leave them as is and chalk the chips up to well-played. I believe this to be a mahogany piano with a dark stain judging by the wood grain but popular woods at the time included walnut,  and rosewood for higher-end models. I still have to find a piano stool, as the matching one has went MIA somewhere in its 121 years. Below are some more detailed pictures of my new toy.

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