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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Piano


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A couple years ago we got this beautiful piano handed down to us. We've tried to track down how old it is, but there is no date. The only thing we can go off is the design carved into it which would make it around 130-140 years old. It was in my grandma's home and about 20 years ago she dropped it off at my aunt's house and it sat in their garage since. I have always wanted a piano in my home and was so excited when my aunt offered it to me. It was a little scary when we uncovered it. It had 20 years of dirt and grime and had been bumped with the car quite a few times. The keys were originally done in ivory, but most of it had come off and the black keys were very faded and scratched up as was the rest of the body, but it sounded beautifully and only needed to be tuned. We had it moved for us. This thing is heavy and even with six adult in good shape men they were still struggling. I wanted to keep the piano it's natural color and even leave the scratches and dents. I think that's part of what makes it so beautiful and shows it's age. We gave it a good cleaning with warm water and vacuumed it all out. We sent the white keys to be redone and put a new coat of spray paint on the black keys. We used Mohawk Scratch-Off furniture polish over the entire piano. This helped to cover and blend the scratches as well as give it a shiny polish. The bench was in very bad shape. It had been broken in many places and really looked unsalvageable. My husband wanted to throw it away, but I was adamant that we keep it. I wanted the original bench with it, but to be honest I wasn't sure if it could be fixed so it sat in our basement. In the photo you can see that the bench has been restored. It is the best present that my husband has ever gotten me! I was so excited when he brought it home...I didn't even know it was missing! I'm so glad I didn't let him throw it away! It turned out so beautiful and is sturdy. The person that restored it did an amazing job!Also my grandma had upholstered the top and when I went to recover it I found that it was beautiful underneath and decided to leave it as it was. I absolutely love having this piece of furniture in our home and that it brings history and reminds me of my grandma! Enjoy!
*UPDATE August 10: Thanks to a fabulous reader I was able to track down some information about my piano. If you'd like to read more about it click here. Then click on the first of the two catalogs then on pages 12-14. The last catalog it is in was in 1912 so we know that it is at least a century old. I'm so grateful to those that stop and leave comments here especially that lead to so much information. Thank you thank you thank you!

22 comments:

Whitney said...

OOOOOOOHHHH pretty! I am so in love with that piano. It's just the perfect amount of imperfect. I love that you can tell it has a history.

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

What a gorgeous, heirloom-quality piece! Love it.

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

What a beautiful family piece...you are so very lucky!!

Blessings,
Linda

Jill said...

Gorgeous! It's great that you saved this piano! We have an old-ish piano which needs a good tuning and refinishing. Luckily the keys themselves are okay. I kinda want to paint it a vintagey white color. Have you seen some of the painted piano makeovers that other people have done? they're amazing.

Kimberly said...

It's beautiful! What a labor of love.

Kelli said...

Looks great!

Kelli @ TheTurquoisePiano.blogspot.com

Kathleen said...

I don't play but I've always wanted a piano! :) Great job. I especially like that it was handed down from your aunt. Those are the best hand me downs!
Blessings,
AlwaysSewLove

Connie said...

What a treasure you've restored. Those old pianos bring back such memories for those of us who are seniors now.

My mother was raised during the 1920's in a farm family of ten children. I'm sure they didn't have a lot of material possessions but the one thing they did have in their home was a piano. Only my Aunt Sadie had some lessons but several of the family played by "ear". The piano was their entertainment and my mother told of many gatherings around for sing-a-longs.
When I was a child in the 1950's, pianos were still common in homes and my sisters and I practiced on an upright piano. The top was decorated for Christmas or held family photos. I remember crawling up to dust the top as instructed by mother. As we grew up and left home, she passed it on to a nephew.
After I was married, my husband bought a Christmas piano for me which my daughters and I still enjoy. A piano gives "presence" to a room as no other piece of furniture can. So glad you saved a family treasure.

Rosa B. said...

Oh, lovely! My husband refinished a piano for me a few years ago, but unfortunately, we had to leave it behind when we moved half-way across the country. Yours is so pretty! :)

Michelle said...

Gorgeous!! I am visiting from Lines Across My Face and I am a new follower!!! Hope you are having a great day and I see you around soon!!
Michelle
www.delicateconstruction.blogspot.com

Marilyn said...

I love the fact that you did not paint the piano. It looks so good now! My upright has the date of manufacture in side the top of the piano where you lift the lid. Could yours be hidden up there, too? Mine is from 1896 or 98..can't remember without looking again. My true treasured antique!♥♫

Kim from Maiden D'Shade said...

stopping in from Momma's Kinda Crafty... this piano is gorgeous!! What an undertaking but so worth it, right?? Just lovely!

shopannies said...

looks so great

Kristine @ JandMs Eye Candy said...

It is beautiful!!

Thanks for sharing it and linking it up to “Help a Momma Out Tuesdays” on our blog!! We appreciate it! :)

Kristine
www.jandmseyecandy.blogspot.com

Amy said...

That's a Beckwith Oak Empire or Artist's Concert Grand Piano, Pompeian Style. It is made of the purchaser's choice of "mahogany, walnut, golden, Flemish or fumed oak." And you're right about the weight: it's about 1000 pounds! It is about a century old, since it shows up in a Beckwith catalog c. 1912, but not later catalogs.

Beckwith was a company started by Sears Roebuck & Company. Beckwith made pianos of very good quality which were available at local stores around the country or by mail order.

Have you had the insides refinished? Based on the original quality of the instrument, it might be worth doing, if you could find someone good and it didn't cost a fortune.

Here's a little more information about the Beckwith, including a picture in the original Beckwith catalog (click on the first of the two catalogs and it's pages 12-13):

http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/online-museum/beckwith/

And how lovely to have something like that to remind you of your grandmother. Besides being a reminder of her, it is a real piece of Americana and a good quality instrument.

Blue Wolf said...

Gorgeous! Thank you so much for not painting her!! She is so beautiful, wish she could talk and tell us stories of where she's been. It's starting to really bug me that everyone is painting all these great wood pieces. Oak! Hickory! Maple! You did a great job with this piano. Thank you.

chris said...

Your piano turned out so well. She is a treasure! We recently inherited a piano, not as old as this one, but in definite need of some tlc. Thanks for sharing your tips.

Nike@ChooseToThrive said...

Beautiful! I'm so glad you kept the original color and soul of the piano (rather than painting it some wild color). This piece looks graceful and elegant -- wonderful restoration.

christini yogini said...

Beautiful

liZ evans said...

I love your piano. We have my dad's old piano and it is one of my favorite things.

My parents have my great grandfathers upright piano in their home. It was built in 1927 and has the original ivory keys as well. It is a player piano and is such a great piece of history.

I'm glad you saved and restored this one. It's beautiful.
liZ
(simplesimonandco)

Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust said...

Thank you, Marie, for sharing this at my Fab Friday linky party. What a beautiful labor of love. Please come back again this Friday.

Warmly, Michelle

Jami said...

Beautiful piano and post! Thanks for linking to the Tuesday To Do Party!
Smiles!
Jami
www.blackberryvine.blogspot.com

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