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#12812 - 07/28/07 01:43 PM Vose & Sons piano- trying to date
vegasidol Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Kansas City
My family has come across an older upright piano that we are trying to date. It needs some repair and we are wondering if it's worth the effort.

I can not find a serial number (5 or 6 digits) at all. But these are the markings inside.

VOSE & SONS ESTAB 1851 BOSTON

J. W. JENKINS SONS MUSIC CO KANSAS CITY, MO.

WORLDS COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION IN COMMEMORATION OF THE FOUR HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LANDING OF COLUMBUS MDCCCXCII MDCCXCIII TO VOSE & SONS. Another mark inside written under. CHRISTOPHER COLVMBVS OCT XII CCCCXCII.

I understand that these markings were put on pianos as late as 1914. I can try to post a photo of the piano if that would help narrow things down.

Thanks. \:\)

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#12813 - 07/28/07 02:16 PM Re: Vose & Sons piano- trying to date
Mr. Kia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/06
Posts: 179
Loc: Northeast, USA
The serial number might be stamped into the wood on the back of the piano at the top.
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#12814 - 07/28/07 02:30 PM Re: Vose & Sons piano- trying to date
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22358
Loc: Oakland
If it is a big old upright, it most probably will cost more to restore than it will ever be worth, due to the influx of inexpensive new pianos. Whether the piano can be repaired enough to be suitable for your purposes at a reasonable cost will depend on the condition of the piano. You need a knowledgeable person to look at it to know for certain. But bad signs are missing keytops, hammers missing, strings broken, insect damage, things like that. Just the fact that you know it needs repair is a bad sign.
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#12815 - 07/28/07 06:56 PM Re: Vose & Sons piano- trying to date
vegasidol Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Kansas City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Kia:
The serial number might be stamped into the wood on the back of the piano at the top. [/b]
It's helpful when you know what you are looking for! :p

64690

The repairs I mentioned are about 4-5 broken hammers, the middle peddle is loose (although it works pressed from the inside) and a caster broke. The finish is chipped in several places but still looks good overall. I took photos but don't have my cable with me, I'll post them later.

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#12816 - 07/29/07 12:49 PM Re: Vose & Sons piano- trying to date
vegasidol Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Kansas City
Pics (sorry they're a bit blurry)





The broken hammers...

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#12817 - 07/29/07 01:27 PM Re: Vose & Sons piano- trying to date
w_scott_iv@yahoo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 1120
Loc: West Virginia
What a beautiful piano. 'The Piano Book' lists Vose as pianos that were very highly thought of in their time and worthy of consideration as a used piano. I'd say your piano has already had some work done to it. The bridle straps look new and there are several hammer shanks that are a different color from the originals. Also, not all of the catchers match. I live in a rural area where piano repairs are less expensive than in other areas. Around here pianos like yours are repaired all of the time and prized not only as musical instruments but as antiques as well. Most of the costs of repairs on an old piano are related to labor, so the availability of a tech who might cut you some slack (perhaps someone just starting out or someone retired) might make the difference between an expense that is practical and one that is not. If you look online, you'll see all kinds of shops that rebuild uprights and resell them for many thousands of dollars, but there are also many people who have an old upright in disrepair that they'd like to give away! You may also want to consider doing the work yourself. There are several books and online sites that will walk you through most of the work. As I said, it's mostly labor, so you could end up w/a fairly economical piano if you could manage the work yourself. By all means, before you undertake anything, have a tech check out the piano to make sure that there are no fatal flaws. Good luck!

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#12818 - 07/29/07 02:02 PM Re: Vose & Sons piano- trying to date
VGrantano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 771
Loc: New Jersey
Made the last half of 1908. Made in Boston,became part of American Piano (Aeolian) Was well thought of.

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