Custom made for the prominent Markle family of New York, this stunning instrument is an irreplaceable piece of American history!
This stunning instrument is an irreplaceable piece of American history!
This lovely piano was custom-built by Steinway & Sons’ New York factory for J. Hood Wright, a partner in Drexel, Morgan & Company (now J. P. Morgan). Mr. Wright purchased this custom piano as a wedding gift for his beloved step-daughter, Mary Estelle Robinson when she married Mr. John Markle in Manhattan in 1884. Mary Estelle Robinson Markle and her husband John Markle were among New York society’s most powerful and influential socialites with close personal ties to some of the most important American financiers including John D. Rockefeller and Stephen V. Harkness.
John and Mary Markle shared an interest in helping others and making the world a better place. Today, the MARKLE FOUNDATION is still making a difference in the world we live in. Since its inception in 1927 by John and Mary R. Markle, the Markle Foundation has worked “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge among people of the United States, and to promote the general good of mankind.”
The piano was subsequently purchased by the famous American actor Jack Palance for his Pensylvania home. The Palance home was a showcase of rare Hollywood memorabilia and historic American treasures, and this piano was one Mr. Palance’s prized possessions. The piano remained a focal point in the Palance home until his death in 2006. It has remained in private ownership ever since.
This piano is full size Steinway “Model C” grand, the second largest model to Steinway’s full concert grand. This instrument was originally purchased as a standard piano in an ordinary black finish, chosen among all other instruments because of its tone quality. The instrument was then sent to Steinway’s art department where it was custom carved and decorated to suit the original owners taste (once a common practice for wealthy buyers). The piano is done in a deep ivory color and is painted with exquisite colorful murals and painted accents; note the prominent letter “M” painted in vines and pink rosebuds to represent the Markle name. This beautiful artwork will be restored and the original antique patina preserved.
The piano will be restored to perfection, inside and out. Even now, prior to restoration, the sound of the piano is quite impressive, an indication of a superior caliber instrument post restoration. Pianos of this caliber with such important historical provenance are rarely offered in today’s market.