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Topic Options
#1196305 - 05/09/09 05:44 PM Myster "M"
micsan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 12
Hi folks;
Am about to begin a major job on a very old Steinway "M" (including new pins, strings, etc.) but have a concern about authenticity of the piano. No where, other than on the fall board which has the regular appearing Steinway name, can I find evidence that this is a Steinway. No where is is stamped on the plate, no where can I find a serial number. Have pulled the action, checked under the piano, everywhere, and nothing. Have written Steinway, but no reply. Being relatively inexperienced, I wonder if any of you have run into a situation like this. It was purchased "sight unseen" from a mid-western state and shipped to present location in Alabama (because of the "terrific price" according to the present owner ($8,000) plus a considerable shipping charge. Owner was told it was about a 1930 model.
I don't want to start a major job on this thing if by some remote chance, this isn't the real thing. Thank you so much for any advice you can give. Ray Micsan

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#1196309 - 05/09/09 06:05 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: micsan]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22273
Loc: Oakland
All Steinways have the name cast into the plate, as far as I know. All Steinway grands since the 1880s have the characteristic metal action rails.

If you want more information, you should supply a photograph.
Semipro Tech

#1196365 - 05/09/09 08:14 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: BDB]
SuperTuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Manhattan, Montana

My Dad once restored an old player that had no name whatsoever. When he asked the owner what name she wanted on the fallboard she said "whatever - anything will do", so he used a Steinway decal!

It's easy to put any decal on the fallboard, sometimes for unethical purposes.

If you are unable to take a picture for us, compare the appearance of the plate to another M (many pictures on ebay), and see if it looks the same. As BDB said, I've never seen a Steinway without the name cast into the plate.
Elizabeth Heppler, R.P.T.

#1196393 - 05/09/09 09:16 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: SuperTuner]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
We've got a couple of M's in the shop from before that time frame. They all have markings on the plate...also have serial #'s on all parts. You should be able to find a serial # somewhere. I have an A from 1909 that has plate markings that I can post some pics of if you want...
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

#1196437 - 05/09/09 11:10 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: Les Koltvedt]
Thomson Lawrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 283
Loc: Grimsby ON Canada
It's not a Steinway. They should have had it checked out by a technician before it was shipped. Buyer beware times ten when buying over the internet!
Piano Technician
Piano tuners make the world a better place, one string at a time.

#1196448 - 05/09/09 11:38 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: Thomson Lawrie]
N Reyburn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
It's all Steinway style though? Hammers, scallop flanges, scale, rim style...
North Bennet Street School alumni

#1196692 - 05/10/09 12:25 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: N Reyburn]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
It ain't no Steinway...
Does it have a Steinway action...?
If you can't recognize a Steinway action I wonder how on earth you expect to work on it...
Have you done any rebuilding before?

Could be a very expensive lesson...

Please post a pic of the action for us all to look at...we can then offer more help in identifying it.

But, as stated above...the plate is the thing....in a nutshell.
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician

#1198443 - 05/13/09 11:10 AM Re: Myster "M" [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Actually I have heard of counterfeit Steinways in the marketplace.Haven't actually seen any.
If someone's intent was to do this they could actually take an old vintage Kurtzman or ? and COSMETICALLY make it look pretty convincing as for the case and top end with a few alterations. Add duplex bars,miscellaneous plate grinding and casting etc.The giveaway is the action stack. If that fools you, you deserve to be taken.
Actually a similar scenario applies when I converse to persons that later realize that they purchased an explayer Steinway grand at what they thought was a STEAL of a deal. A gutted XR,OR or ?.Should've sprung for that extra $ and hired that tech in hindsight.

As for the no serial # predictament, Steinway is not very helpful as for cross referencing the part # with that nowhere to be found serial #. I've been down this road already with them.
So....a pic is worth a thousand words.


Edited by pianobroker (05/13/09 05:07 PM)
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#1198771 - 05/13/09 09:36 PM Re: Myster "M" [Re: pianobroker]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3940
I saw a fake once. The store took it in on trade. Nobody inspected the piano beforehand. Once we saw it, I had to break the bad news to the store owner.


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