1879 Steinway & Sons Upright Piano


This piano came to us in a severely altered state. During a previous amatuer attempt at restoration, the original rosewood veneer that covered the case of the piano had been covered with house paint.


After painstakingly removing the layers of paint and restoring the wooden case, we attended to the interior; repairing the soundboard action and harp in order to restore the voice of the piano.

Scroll down to see the piano restoration process!

About this piano:

This unique Steinway upright piano was manufactured only 26 years after the birth of the Steinway & Sons firm. At the time of this piano’s creation, Steinway and Sons was more heavily focused on producing the now less prevalent square grand style piano. Steinway manufactured only a small number of upright pianos compared to square and grand style pianos.


As seen from the before photo above, this piano had been drastically modified, both internally and externally, since it was built in 1879. The piano’s action had also been rendered unplayable from previous attempts at restoration.

Scroll down to see the piano restoration process!

Piano Restoration Process:

Assessment & Disassembly

The first step of the antique piano restoration process is a careful assessment of the unique features of the instrument. The process for restoring them is nearly impossible to standardized, because no two antique pianos are exactly the same.

Piano Restoration Process:

Cabinet Repair & Refinishing

The thick layers of paint were carefully removed, revealing the piano's beautiful rosewood veneer. After the cabinet has been fully repaired the cabinet is professionally refinished.

Piano Restoration Process:

Soundboard Repair & Re-Stringing

The interior portion of the piano (also called the “belly”) required much attention. Loose soundboard supports known as ribs needed to be carefully reattached to allow for the rich, “buzz free” voice of the piano to be restored.

The unique pattern of the piano strings was carefully measured during disassembly, allowing for our skilled technicians to accurately re-string the instrument.

Piano Restoration Process:

Action & Keyboard Restoration

This particular restoration job proved to be challenging due to the exceedingly uncommon, Steinway specific, style of the piano’s action mechanism.

This rare Steinway upright piano is an excellent example of an atypical restoration, in that the action of the piano was comprised mostly of parts that are unavailable from manufacturers today. Parts that are available for Steinway upright pianos today are primarily for 20th century models, not late victorian era pianos like this one.

A great amount of time was spent studying the original design of the instrument’s mechanical parts in order to make the piano sound and feel correct.



After complete professional restoration, this piano looks and feels as it did when it first came out of the factory. Watch the video below to experience it first being played for the first time after being restored.


Learn more about restoring your heirloom instrument!

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