Chickering was the first piano builder in America, established in 1823. Chickering is known for building some of the finest pianos in history.
Established in 1823, Chickering was the first piano manufacturer in American History. Chickering was known for building some of the finest pianos in the world.
The following information was provided by the piano’s family:
Family. Home. Heritage. These pianos are more than a piece of Art. Yes, there is no doubt they’re beautifully made pianos. When built, they were one of the most well regarded pianos available. However, now, in addition to their quality, beauty and sweet sound, these pianos have their own individual histories. This piano, built before the Civil War in 1854, has been in the same family for six generations. The piano arrived for restoration with all of its original pieces—even genuine ivory for the repair of the keys. This piano is an especially light color of Brazilian Rosewood and is of the Empire Revival style. It is slightly smaller than the typical square grand, giving it more flexibility as far as where it can be used. You will note this piano looks as though it has already had some restoration. However, these pictures were taken the way the piano arrived for restoration. It has been a cherished and well taken care of piece. These early pianos have an extremely sweet and delicate tonal quality, making them ideal for playing period music such as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc. Although this piano is an earlier model, it does have a full working damper pedal and soft pedals. This is a rare piece of American musical history and is being restored to like-new condition, inside and out. The lucky purchaser of this piano will receive a genealogy of the piano’s history, when each family member obtained the piano and where they lived as this piano moved through six generations.
History of Chickering Boston Piano
Manufactured in 1854
This Chickering piano was purchased originally by Barney Simonson and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Passmore), of Richmond, New York.
In the late 1850s Barney and Elizabeth moved to Hamilton, Ohio. Their son, Aaron Simonson, inherited the piano upon his parent’s death but, since he also lived in Hamilton, Ohio, the piano didn’t go far.
The eldest son of Aaron, and his wife Anna (nee Wait), was Albert R. Simonson (1873-1912). Unfortunately, Albert passed four years before his father so, rather than the piano going to his wife, Clara (neeWamsley), the piano stayed with Anna until her death in 1929.
Because of Albert’s early demise, the piano went directly to his and Clara’s eldest son, Charles R. Simonson, and his wife, Harriet “Hattie” (nee Miller), who lived in Yorktown, Indiana. The piano arrived safely after being transported down the Ohio River by barge to it’s new home. One of the children of Charles and Hattie, wrote the following on the underside of the piano in chalk: Martha A. Simonson November 15, 1932 Aaron Albert age 5. Martha would have just turned 14 when this was written.
The piano remained there until Hattie’s died in 1974. At that point, Charles sold the Yorktown property, deciding to divide his time between their lake home in North Webster, Indiana and their home in Florida. He shipped the piano to their son, Aaron Albert Simonson, in Sarasota, Florida.
Aaron died in 1980, but the piano remained with his second wife, Mary, until 1995. At that time, Aaron’s eldest son, Terry A. Simonson (born of first wife, Shirley nee Kepler) took possession of the piano.
The piano was shipped to his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma where it remained in the care of Terry and his wife, Karen (nee Adams) until it was shipped to the Antique Piano Shop for restoration.