We decided to have our piano restored after trying, and failing, to give it away. It had really gotten to the point of un-playability with 100-year-old strings and action parts, and chipped or missing ivories. So it was either restoration or the dump. After looking at the Antique Piano Shop website and doing some confirmatory research we decided to go ahead with restoration. We could have (and actually did) buy a good digital piano for less money; but how often do you get a chance to preserve a fine old musical instrument, and a part of American musical history?
The website does not exaggerate about that. At the time we were deciding about the piano’s future, one of our daughters was finishing her music education major. She had learned in her American music history class about the golden age of piano building and about the era of parlor music, which our piano would certainly have been part of. She agreed to take responsibility for the piano down the road, when we downsize and don’t have room for it anymore. She will be able to play it herself and use it for teaching lessons. We threw Mr. Stinnett into a mild panic with her request that the F above middle C be tinted a light blue, as the ivory discolorations were her landmarks when learning to play. Imagine our disillusionment when we learned that those colors resulted from someone gluing an ivory back onto a dirty key. Imagine his relief when we assured him that she was joking.
Visiting the shop was a highlight of the whole process. We spent about an hour looking at the many old pianos and hearing their stories. It’s a fascinating place populated by wonderful musical instruments and interesting, very skilled people. We left with a great sense of comfort about how our piano was being cared for.
The piano is home now and looks and sounds like new. Here are the before and after photos.
Kim, it looks great, doesn’t it?