1898 Beckwith Upright Piano


Decades of abuse and neglect have left this lovely old piano looking sad and dilapidated. The old deteriorated finish has turned very dark over the years, covering the beautiful golden tiger-oak wood underneath.


It’s hard to believe this stunning golden tiger-oak wood was hidden under the old deteriorated finish. Professional restoration has given this beautiful piano a new life!


Scroll down to see the piano restoration process!

ABOUT THIS PIANO:  This beautiful Beckwith upright was built by Sears, Roebuck & Company.  Since Sears sold their pianos through their famous mail order catalogs, their pianos were sent to some of the most rural parts of the country, usually by wagon and train. These pianos were built to endure extremes in hot and cold climates, dry and moist climates, and the manufacturer had to guarantee them to hold up.  Sears guaranteed their pianos for 25 years so they had to be extremely well made and durable! Many people think since a piano was made and sold by Sears that it must be an average quality piano. These pianos were, in fact, exceedingly well made with substantial tone quality and excellent workmanship.


This piano is native to a rural community near Nashville, Tennessee where it was likely delivered new by train and covered wagon.  It is made of beautiful quarter sawn oak (more commonly known as “tiger oak” because of the tiger-like stripe in the wood grain) and is of the carved Victorian style.  This is a large, full-size upright grand piano and its handsome oak cabinet makes it ideal for a country home or farmhouse.


Years of neglect had left this piano dirty, worn and virtually unplayable when we received it.  Although it was cosmetically in poor condition, the internal mechanism had been remarkably well preserved!  Our crew of dedicated craftspeople have lovingly restored the piano back to like-new condition, inside and out, giving it a chance to live on for another century.

Scroll down to see the piano restoration process!

Piano Restoration Process:

Assessment & Disassembly

Years of neglect and abuse left this piano dirty, deteriorated and virtually unusable.  Evidence of rodent infestation will require much of the interior mechanism to be replaced while the overall frame and integral structure appear quite restorable.  The instrument is carefully disassembled and every piece labeled and recorded for reassembly after restoration.

Piano Restoration Process:

Cabinet Repair & Refinishing

Like most pianos, the old original finish has chemically broken down and turned very dark over the years.  Decades of moisture and extreme climate conditions have taken their toll on the beautiful case, causing much of it to come unglued to the point it was virtually falling apart.  The old finish is carefully removed and the cabinet is painstakingly glued back together.  All missing parts are hand-made for the case, and a natural lacquer finish is applied to the beautiful quarter sawn oak wood.

Piano Restoration Process:

Soundboard Repair & Re-Stringing

The old rusty piano strings are removed from the instrument, allowing the harp and be removed from the case.  The original soundboard has multiple cracking and splitting, but is restored rather than replaced so that the old-growth wood will have a voice for another century!  With the soundboard and pin block both restored, the harp is cleaned and re-sprayed with a lacquer finish and install back in the piano.  With new strings installed against the old-growth wood soundboard, the tone quality of this piano is deep and powerful, much like a full-size baby grand!

Piano Restoration Process:

Action & Keyboard Restoration

Years of rodent infestation is evident by the damage to the original felt and leather in the piano action.  Years of abuse have destroyed the original ivory keyboard, so new faux-ivory keys are installed.  New hammers, felts and leathers are installed in the action so that the piano plays and sounds like it did when it was first built.  Sorting through hundreds of individual parts of the piano action is like working with a huge jigsaw puzzle; imagine the time and patience involved in a proper restoration!



It is rare to find a carved quarter-sawn oak upright piano as lovely as this one.  It's hard to believe that this is the same sad and neglected piano that came into our shop falling apart and unplayable.  Note the name label says "BECKWITH CONCERT GRAND, CHICAGO" because the strings and soundboard are the same size of a full grand piano.  Just listen to the beautiful sound quality in the video below!


Learn more about restoring your heirloom instrument!

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    Friendsville, TN 37737

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