Last week, we obtained two Steinway upright pianos, both mid 1880’s. One, a 54″ upright is almost 100% original. Although needing restoration, it plays and sounds good and is remarkable for its age. The original ivory is almost intact. A full and proper restoration will be a pleasure.
The other, a 48″ Ebonized model that was ‘refinished’ is another story. It had been ‘rebuilt’ previously and represents what we see in the majority of such ‘rebuilt’ pianos. A horrible restringing job with cheap tuning pins and inappropriate wire, modern hard pressed Japanese piano hammers, action held together with numerous bandaids, terrible key recovering which makes the sharp keys dip below the white keys enough to cut little fingers, and to top it off, the ‘Butchering of the Soundboard’ with poor gluing, numerous screws and bolts and careless work. This piano will be off to the dump.