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I believe this piano is from the 1880s. How good would you say it is back in its days? Would it be comparable to a Steinway D?

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Chickering=good. Concert grand=good. In peak condition (or even just good condition), I wouldn’t complain about either. However, there’s also 140 years of potential wear, tear, and sloppy repair of which to beware.

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Originally Posted by tommyhaha
I believe this piano is from the 1880s. How good would you say it is back in its days? Would it be comparable to a Steinway D?
Back in the day, most likely. However, given that the piano is over 130 years old and depending on its current condition it may be comparable to nothing. smile


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Originally Posted by Carey
[quote=tommyhaha]However, given that the piano is over 130 years old and depending on its current condition it may be comparable to nothing. smile

I was in a relationship with a woman who won the Miss Arkansas Beauty Pageant.

Thirty five years before I met her.

She was still drop dead OMG gorgeous (and didn't learn that about her for years, modest woman), but, obviously...

1 in 100 concert grands that old may be an amazing deal and need very little, the other 99 out of 100...

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There are two YouTube videos about rebuilding this model (assuming the 105D is the same). They call it a concert grand.
Two things about old Chickerings. Many of them had the Edwin Brown action. The ordinary "Swiss" action used brass flanges, which all will have cracked by now. Parts are not available as far as I know. But I don't know much.

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Schaff now sells 3D printed copies of the Chickering brass flanges. Actually quite good (and inexpensive).

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wow

i feel old

Originally Posted by P W Grey
Schaff now sells 3D printed copies of the Chickering brass flanges. Actually quite good (and inexpensive).

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I'm interpreting this question as whether Chickering was regarded as a top-tier maker with a top-tier design back in the 1880s, and not whether or not an 1880 Chickering is a good piano in 2021.

Liszt had a Chickering and as far as I know he rather liked it. There were quite a few European concert pianists who preferred to play Chickering when they toured the USA, so I can only presume that means that Chickering was a good instrument.

Would the 1880 design compare to today's pianos? No. Nor would today's pianos compare with the 1880 design, so much has changed.

Would an 1880 Chickering still be a good piano in 2021? With extensive restoration and good upkeep, it could potentially perform as its design intended.


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Originally Posted by An Old Square
I was in a relationship with a woman who won the Miss Arkansas Beauty Pageant.

Thirty five years before I met her.

This is classic. It's a perfect response to maybe 50% of questions posted in this forum.

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Originally Posted by tend to rush
Originally Posted by An Old Square
I was in a relationship with a woman who won the Miss Arkansas Beauty Pageant.

Thirty five years before I met her.

This is classic. It's a perfect response to maybe 50% of questions posted in this forum.

It's not really. An old piano can be made 95% as good as a new piano. Last I looked no one has managed to reverse the ravages of time in humans smile

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Originally Posted by An Old Square
Originally Posted by Carey
[quote=tommyhaha]However, given that the piano is over 130 years old and depending on its current condition it may be comparable to nothing. smile

I was in a relationship with a woman who won the Miss Arkansas Beauty Pageant.

Thirty five years before I met her.

I feel that this post has won not the internet, but PianoWorld Forums themself.

With that in mind, while a beauty pageant winner can have parts replaced such as new hips and knees etc, all the plastic surgery in the world will not make her appear 18 again.

With a piano, it can be rebuilt to be like new again, inside and out, with the exception of some structural parts like the plate and case that can be made to look new and with the case, repaired and reinforced if necessary, and these structural parts are then good for another 100 years or more.

It doesn't mean this approach is right for every old piano, really only a small percentage of them will justify this approach in terms of performance and value. Sentimental attachment at times is also certainly a valid reason for this approach if one can afford it.


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Wonderful video of Stephen Hough playing a 105D. Perfect choice of music as well, Paderewski -- nicely placed in time. -

Last edited by cfhosford; 12/11/21 04:12 PM.

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Wow! An 1890 chickening with original parts. What a beautiful sounding piano🙂


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Originally Posted by Joseph Fleetwood
Would an 1880 Chickering still be a good piano in 2021? With extensive restoration and good upkeep, it could potentially perform as its design intended.


This sleeping beauty emerged from over 100 years in a New England barn to receive its "finish tuning" last year.


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For the record, that piano from the La Grua Center is a Scale 77, which is an earlier design than the 105B and also about 6-8 inches longer. So its current sound might be quite a bit different than the eventual sound of the 105B in question. And that Scale 77 didn't quite emerge from a barn; it came to La Grua from Gene Roe's shop (Piano Artisans), where he had worked on it and where it had been for many years.


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Originally Posted by Greg Bennett
For the record, that piano from the La Grua Center is a Scale 77, which is an earlier design than the 105B and also about 6-8 inches longer. So its current sound might be quite a bit different than the eventual sound of the 105B in question. And that Scale 77 didn't quite emerge from a barn; it came to La Grua from Gene Roe's shop (Piano Artisans), where he had worked on it and where it had been for many years.

The Westerly Sun reported that the Chickering was in an attic until 1997.

Christopher Greenleaf first learned of the piano in 2017, he said, from his friend and colleague Eugene "the Piano Man" Roe, who is well known for his piano restorations. Roe, 84, lives in New Hampshire and works out of a mill building in Fitchburg, Mass. For nearly a half century he has tuned and restored thousands of pianos from across the country.

Roe contacted Greenleaf about the rosewood Chickering, which was owned originally by the First Congregational Church in Hancock, N.H., and had been safely stored and protected in an attic, for 132 years.

"It was a time capsule," said Greenleaf with a laugh. "Filthy, but fully intact."

Roe, who had learned about the existence of the instrument in 1997, told Greenleaf that it was a concert grand, weighing 1,080 pounds and with "an acre and a half of rosewood ... perfectly in tune."

"He squirreled it away," Greenleaf continued, "it was his favorite piano and he would go in dark of night to play."

It was, Greenleaf said, "essentially in factory-original condition" with the same 1880s era strings, dampers, felts and ivories it had when it left the factory more than 100 years ago.


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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by An Old Square
[quote=Carey][quote=tommyhaha]However, given that the piano is over 130 years old and depending on its current condition it may be comparable to nothing. smile

I was in a relationship with a woman who won the Miss Arkansas Beauty Pageant.

Thirty five years before I met her.

I feel that this post has won not the internet, but PianoWorld Forums themself.

With that in mind, while a beauty pageant winner can have parts replaced such as new hips and knees etc, all the plastic surgery in the world will not make her appear 18 again.[quote Keith D Kerman]

Yes (sigh!), I am thankful I can still walk, even run with my dog,
At the moment no hip, replacement needed, I have never felt as though I need a face lift (my husband says I haven't changed.)
I do not need to look at old photos to know that I have though-,but not too bad..? 😉 If I was in my 50's though, I may have been interested to know who that beauty queen's "restorer" was.("or her secrets of maintaince")
When it comes to the Chickering, it is old, it may need more than new kneecaps to run.Still no one here has played it so we cannot know "her condition".

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Those two examples of Chickering are wonderful.Certainly they are high ranking pianos worthy of rebuilds.Both have a great tone.

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Well, I just sold a 105D last week. It won't fit into the concert pianist's apartment. He .loves it so much he's having an outside wall removed to crane it in. Just now, the movers wrapped it up, put it on its side and I'll store it until the wall is open. Took a small video of the movers 1st attempt to get it onto the dolly. I sell Chickerings by the pound. $15-20.00/lb is about right.

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1886 was a good vintage indeed.

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