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#181027 - 03/23/08 07:13 PM Antique Pleyel piano
Malcolm A. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Vicksburg, MS
I have recently come into possession of an old Pleyel upright piano, serial number 21120. The wood veneer is in reasonably good condition, all the keys play (wonderful tone), though the ivory is not the best, and I can't see any problems inside (I'm not very knowledgeable, however). I was wondering if it was worth trying to restore. Please let me have suggestions. Thanks.

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#181028 - 03/23/08 07:33 PM Re: Antique Pleyel piano
Robert 45 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Dear Malcolm A.
Welcome to this fun forum! Pleyel pianos represent the best of French piano manufacturing,and it was the preferred piano of Chopin.
Sadly, about a year ago, Pleyel closed its vertical piano factory in the south of France.
If your Pleyel upright sounds fine then an expensive restoration may not be necessary. Full restoration of vertical pianos is not generally advised as the cost would far exceed the value of the piano.
Check the amount of wear on the hammers and that is clearly visible when you look inside. If the striking point of the hammers is very deeply grooved or flattened then re-shaping the hammers may be required. That would enhance the sound quality immensely.

Your best option is to approach a reputable piano technician and have the piano assessed professionally. You may have a delightful piano that only needs moderate restorative work to get it
in excellent condition.

All the best with your Pleyel!
Kind regards,

#181029 - 03/23/08 07:37 PM Re: Antique Pleyel piano
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23192
Loc: Oakland
You would probably need someone to look at it to tell you whether it is worth anything or not. Getting it tuned is a good way to start. The serial number would date to about 1855, if it is correct. Are the tuning pins square at the top, or oblong? If they are oblong, be sure to tell the tuner beforehand. If they are square, that may be the wrong date.
Semipro Tech

#181030 - 03/31/08 10:53 PM Re: Antique Pleyel piano
Malcolm A. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Vicksburg, MS
Thank you both for your replies. I will check the hammers and tuning pins and post their condition for your further comment. Again, thank you very much!

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#181031 - 04/02/08 09:18 AM Re: Antique Pleyel piano
acortot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 520
Loc: Italy
the stock tuning pins on a Pleyel upright will be square, not oblong..

on grands they used oblong..

I would check out the bass strings..

it was customary in the late 1800's and early 1900's to substitute the bass strings with thicker gauges, which will cause collapse of the piano's structure.

also if the plain strings have been replaced, you will need to check the gauges, and probably re-string with the correct wire type and gauge..

you will have numbers on the wrestplank which will furnish the original gauges both in the bass and plain strings.. but these are of the PLEYEL gauge-system and not to be confused with modern gauges..
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:


Max DiMario


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