Saturday, 29 November 2014

Bechstein Pianos - Pictures

Bechstein is among the very best-known names of piano-makers. Every piano in their range has its own characteristics but, the qualities of good design and solid construction are clearly seen in these pictures of the various models. Only extreme age or excessive wear will defeat these wonderful pianos!

Model V
(older, straight-strung piano)
The Bechstein Model 7
The Bechstein model 8
The Bechstein Model 9
Bechstein Model A
Model S

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Kawai

Kawai
The Japanese culture greatly values respect and honour. Kiochi Kawai established the Kawai musical Instrument Research Laboratory in 1927 but for him, manufacturing pianos is not just about business, it is more the pursuit of dreams and destiny. 

By 1935, production reached 85 pianos per month. Due to the War production was suspended from 1937 - 1948. Within ten years of production resuming, Shigeru Kawai, having taken over the business from his father, set about to 
to be among the first to embrace modern scientific aids and technology to transform the piano making process.

The traditions of philosophy and the joining of mind and spirit, all throw their weight behind the push towards perfection. Kawai pianos have developed their own actions using ABS carbon for some of the action parts. Their painstaking research has been rewarded with a unique result which stands up well to the stiff scrutiny of purists who prefer the more standard and accepted traditionally-made actions.

In 1999, the elite range of Shigeru Kawai Pianos was launched. These extraordinary pianos are built by the best of Master Piano Artisans. These technicians seek to elevate their work - making it more of a mystical quest. The role of Master Piano Artisan is to present the artist with an instrument of inspirational and limitless possibilities.

Having had the privilege of tuning one of these very special pianos, I can only praise the workmanship and acknowledge the pursuit of excellence in piano manufacture. I look forward to tuning many more of them!

Good to know that even the standard range of Kawai Pianos is impressive. They are always well put together and convey the essence of the Kawai philosophy.

Kimball Piano Serial Nos.

Year
Serial No.
Year
Serial No.
1902
89000
1942
444000
1904
129000
1946
480000
1906
158200
1948
500000
1908
183000
1950
517000
1910
211000
1952
537020
1912
244200
1954
553000
1914
267800
1956
571300
1916
288000
1958
586500
1918
307000
1960
604000
1920
322000
1962
617900
1922
336000
1964
646800
1924
352000
1966
678500
1926
364000
1968
717900
1928
372100
1970
764200
1930
383000
1971
771000
1932
389000
1972
817000
1934
399000
1973
820000
1936
414000
1974
901000
1938
426000
1975
951000
1940
438000
1976
1000100

These serial numbers can be used only as a reference point.
An Exact date does not make a material difference to an assessment of a piano - a year or so out 120 years ago really is neither here more there.

The idea that 100% accuracy for all piano makers over a century ago is an interesting thought - but considering that all record keeping would be hand-written and kept in large ledger books, inaccuracies are likely. These records will be as reliable as the clerks whose job it was to keep them. The digital age of barcodes and scanned labels was still in the realm of science fiction. So we have to be content with our best guess numbers.

Back to the Piano Atlas

Jewett Piano Serial Nos.

Year
Serial No.
Year
Serial No.
1890
10000
1911
36000
1891
12000
1913
38000
1892
13000
1916
40000
1893
14000
1919
42000
1894
15000
1920
43000
1896
16000
1921
44000
1900
17000
1923
46000
1902
18000
1925
46250
1903
20000
1926
46600
1904
22000
1928
47100
1905
24000
1929
47500
1906
26000
1928
47100
1907
28000
1929
47500
1909
30000
1930
48000
1910
34000
1931
48826

These serial numbers can be used only as a reference point
An Exact date does not make a material difference to an assessment of a piano - a year or so out 120 years ago really is neither here more there.

The idea that 100% accuracy for all piano makers over a century ago is an interesting thought - but considering that all record keeping would be hand-written and kept in large ledger books, inaccuracies are likely. These records will be as reliable as the clerks whose job it was to keep them. The digital age of barcodes and scanned labels was still in the realm of science fiction. So we have to be content with our best guess numbers.

Back to the Piano Atlas