1883 Chickering Upright Piano


Having been stored away and forgotten for decades, this Chickering upright piano came to us in dirty and unusable condition. Careless past handling has broken both front legs into splinters, requiring new front legs to be hand-made for the instrument.


Professional restoration truly showcases the beautiful Mahogany wood once hidden underneath the old deteriorated finish. With the interior restored and new legs made for the instrument, the piano again looks and plays like it did when it was built over 100 years ago!

Scroll down to see the piano restoration process!

About this piano: Chickering was the first piano manufacturer in America, established in Boston in 1823.  Built in 1883, this Chickering upright model is one of the most well-made pianos ever built in The United States.

Chickering pianos are known to be of superior quality.  This reputation was earned by Chickering's constant drive to improve and perfect the design of the instrument.  During the 19th Century, Chickering went through constant evolution and change so many of their older instruments are of obscure design.  Parts for these older obscure models are not readily available from common piano suppliers, so less experienced piano tuners may discourage their restoration and preservation.  Luckily, our shop is set up to manufacture these obscure parts for restoration and we now specialize in restoring these obscure pianos!

A vintage Chickering that has been professionally restored with historically accurate parts and materials can be one of the finest instruments available.  Although restoration of an older Chickering may be more expensive than more conventional brands, the end result is well worth the investment.  Antique Chickering pianos are well restoration and preservation and they hold their value quite well.

Scroll down to see the piano restoration process!

Piano Restoration Process:

Assessment & Disassembly

Years of neglect and poor handling have left this Chickering piano in deplorable condition.  The exterior cabinet is bruised and battered, including both front legs which have been completely destroyed.  The old deteriorated finish hides the beautiful imported Honduran Mahogany wood underneath and the old ivory keys are cracked and yellow with age.

The instrument is carefully disassembled with every piece carefully labeled and recorded.  The faded elaborate "CHICKERING & SONS" name label is carefully recorded and measured so an exact duplicate can be reapplied after the cabinet is refinished.

Piano Restoration Process:

Cabinet Repair & Refinishing

The old deteriorated finish has chemically broken down and turned almost black over the years, hiding the beautiful imported Honduran Mahogany wood underneath.  The old finish is carefully removed from the case while various broken pieces are carefully repaired and restored.  The front legs were completely destroyed which required our team to hand-make a new set of historically accurate legs.

Once the repairs are done and the missing parts are made, multiple coats of mahogany stain, sealers and lacquers are applied.  The rich, deep mahogany wood begins to shine again like it did over a century ago!

Piano Restoration Process:

Soundboard Repair & Re-Stringing

The old brittle strings were covered with rust and no longer able to be tuned.  The strings were removed and the old-growth wood soundboard was restored.  The original bridges were badly damaged so new bridge caps were hand-made for the piano to ensure the finest tone quality.   New strings are then installed on the restored soundboard and bridges.

Piano Restoration Process:

Action & Keyboard Restoration

The old felts and leathers in the piano action are rotted and moth-eaten, so the piano gets new hammers, shanks and flanges.  Because the design of this piano is slightly different than most other brands, parts for this piano were not readily available from common suppliers.  We specialize in making these obscure parts in our shop so that these wonderful pianos can be restored!

Much of the old original ivory is missing and poor attempts at repairing the ivory has done more harm than good.  The keyboard is restored with new faux-ivory keys, giving the look of real ivory and the durability of modern key-top material.  The piano is regulated and tuned several times and is finally ready to be delivered back to it's owner!



The restored piano looks, plays and sounds like it did when it was built over 130 years ago!  Note the beautifully carved font legs which were missing have been beautifully recreated with historical accuracy.  The lovely new finish brings out the delicate detail of the etched front panels and the beautiful grain of the mahogany wood!


Learn more about restoring your heirloom instrument!

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    Antique Piano Shop, Inc.,
    1158 Lane Drive,
    Friendsville, TN 37737

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