One of the less obvious advantages of a piano’s expense is that their value can increase with restoration and be sold for a profit – with the right buyer, of course. This is just what Junior League of Charleston, S.C. intends to do when the restoration of their 1865 Broadwood Cottage Grand Piano is complete.
The piano was a gift to the organization, which is made up of women, and which is exclusively educational and charitable. Their goal is to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Fortunately, the organization has committed funds to restore the piano to its former glory. Once fully restored, one lucky buyer will not only get the satisfaction of owning a piece of restored musical history, but also know that their purchase will help this Junior League chapter do more good for the women in their community.
At Antique Piano Shop, we love to surmise about a piano’s past. We know that John Broadwood is one of the oldest and most renowned piano makers in the world. Furthermore, the Cottage Grand Piano is one of Broadwood’s most famous European style baby grand pianos. This particular Broadwood was the probable possession of a wealthy buyer in Charleston during the Civil War era, and was imported from London. Established in the mid-1700s, Broadwood has continued to construct some of Europe’s finest pianos to date.
In order create a true sense of the piano’s history, Antique Piano Shop is utilizing its entire staff. This piano is unique in shape at six foot, five inches long, but only 49 inches wide. This creates a delicate appearance, which is to be admired. The piano has a very unique look overall. Staying true to the piano itself, we decided to apply a rosewood finish to the piece.
After the restoration process is completed, the piece will be placed in the appropriate home. Antique Piano Shop intends to sell the piano on behalf of the Junior League. The funds raised from the purchase of this item will be donated to support the Junior League, which will aid in the collaboration with nonprofits to combat hunger and homelessness in the tri-county community.
With so many pianos being sent to the dump instead of given a chance at a second life, I think this model for restoration is most certainly a “win-win.” Not only do the organization, the people they serve and the buyer win, but potentially so will all the people who see or hear the fully-restored piano. Even those who don’t ever see or hear it may sleep more soundly at night knowing one more piano was saved.
I may sound like a romantic, but the truth is, restored pianos will likely go on living well past their current owners. Every restored piano is a win for society and for future generations. Restoring pianos keeps pianos in places where they were meant to be: in parlors, music halls, schools, churches, and more.
Michael Stinnett, Founder, Antique Piano Shop