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#1880568 - 04/16/12 02:21 PM Steinert reference suggestion?
EHD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/12
Posts: 4
Hello: I am researching a piano that has been in the family since new and I do not play the piano. So 'get off this forum' many of you must be thinking. I would agree but after reading many posts, I am impressed by the general concern and passion for traditional pianos. I will try to be brief.

I/we have to decide what to do with a non-maintained Steinert SN 11060. Is there a website or other reference tool that would enable me to determine the model, year of manufacture etc etc based on the SN? Thought to be purchased new in 30s or 40s from the Steinert dealer. Still in Massachusetts after all these years.

Thanks in advance!

Here is the description.

oak cased baby grand piano by Steinert, ivories being damaged, length 71", serial #11060, sound board in good condition.

Ivory's, the real thing, are coming unglued, we have saved most of them.


Edited by EHD (04/16/12 03:42 PM)

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#1880632 - 04/16/12 04:10 PM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1277
Loc: Tomball, Texas
According to the Pierce Piano Atlas, their serial #'s start with 12100 in 1916, though they began manufacture in 1903. They ceased production in 1932. Is it possible that that 2nd digit might be something else? Steinerts are great rebuild candidates because they are in many cases a fairly close copy of Steinway.

#1880633 - 04/16/12 04:13 PM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24444
Loc: Oakland
Semipro Tech

#1880655 - 04/16/12 04:43 PM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
EHD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/12
Posts: 4

Thank you for your reply. My grandmother played for the BSO and Pops and family lore has it that she was the first woman who was permitted to play for them way back when. We are just unclear if it was her oboe or piano.

I assumed the piano was new to her. It was listed in my grandfather's "household inventory" way back in the '30s. I will investigate the paper provenance further. I will return to the piano on Wednesday and take a photo of the SN. Are there any other particular areas of the plate, soundboard etc that would be useful to see? I typed the number as on the appraisal done in 1997.

I have an email out to a local RPT I found through PTG website. As of yet it is unclear how that initiative will unfold. Yes, I read with interest the many opinions re RPT et al. I am a non piano person looking to make a decision that two prior generations have put off to the determent of a fine instrument. Perhaps they had good reason. All comments accepted and welcomed.

Thank you!

Ethel Harding Durant, my grandmother who selected this piano many years ago.

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#1882193 - 04/19/12 07:26 AM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
EHD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/12
Posts: 4
Here is a picture of the SN. I guess it is pre 1916. I am unclear what a "C" means in Steinert terminology and if that is equivalent to a "A" in Steinway terminology. On the plate bar it reads from left to right: Continuous Bent Rim - Improved Repetition Action - Capo D'Astro Bar. I gather from the RPT that there is little to no market for non Steinways in need of a significant work in the greater Boston area.

#1882638 - 04/19/12 08:08 PM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
sleepy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 330
If the piano's name is Steinert, I think it had to be built between 1916 and 1932. Here's some history:

"M. Steinert & Sons

M. Steinert & Sons, founded by Morris Steinert in 1869, started as a Steinway piano dealer in New Haven, Connecticut. Throughout the rest of the 1800s, he opened stores in most major New England cities. Steinert Hall was built on December 16, 1896, at 162 Boylston Street in Boston. Steinert Hall became the headquarters for M. Steinert & Sons, and still exists today.

In 1901, Morris Steinert began manufacturing pianos primarily to prove the efficacy of the Steinertone piano, a piano he had designed. In 1903, he purchased two piano factories in Leominster, Massachusetts--the Woodbury Piano Company and the Jewett Piano Factory--and began manufacturing his own line of pianos. Because he was still a Steinway dealer, Steinway forbade him to use his own name on his pianos for fear of branding confusion. Thus the pianos he manaufactured were named A. M. Hume after Archibald Hume, Steinert's general manager. The Jewett and Woodbury names were also used, as well as some others.

After a surprise audit in 1916, it was discovered that Hume was embezzling money from M. Steinert & Sons, and Hume was promptly fired. Not wanting to name his pianos after a thief, Steinert requested and was granted permission from Steinway to use the Steinert name on his pianos. Pianos with the Steinert name were manufactured in Leominster from 1916 until 1932, when the factories were closed for financial reasons."

Also, I don't know what RPT you talked to, but you may want to get a second opinion. Steinerts are as well thought-of as Steinways, especially in the greater Boston area.

Good luck,

#1882664 - 04/19/12 09:08 PM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2455
Loc: Lowell MA
A Steinert can be a very satisfying piano to own and play.

The value of the instrument ultimately lays in a combination of it's present condition, a potential owners expectations and the budget for the total.

Keep an open mind as to the nature of the potential repairs in that, there may be several options. All with very different budgets.

This helps define the value of the piano you have.
"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688

#1882853 - 04/20/12 07:45 AM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1778
Loc: Massachusetts
If the piano has a rounded tail, it's probably a copy of a Steinway O. A piano teacher of mine has one, and it's a very nice piano.

#1882912 - 04/20/12 10:03 AM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 421
Loc: Rockville, MD
EHD - I own a Steinert myself, and love it. If you're interested you can read about the piano and others comments here: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1810648

Some would disagree, others, including some very good rebuilders who post here regularly, would agree with me that the Steinert grand is a very close copy of a New York Steinway grand of similar vintage with the "build" quality being equal or better.

Of course, if you're interested in having work done on the piano, you need to get some estimates from qualified rebuilders. My bet, from the description you gave, is that you have a "rebuildable core", i.e., a piano that would need a (nearly complete) rebuilding, not to mention refinishing, to be restored to its former glory. There are lots of variables and dependencies, e.g., my piano has the original sound board (sound wonderful) and pin block (.030 pins, nice and tight, holds tuning very well) - but there are some who would argue for replacing the board and block no matter what. Again, it all depends on your budget and the tech(s) you get to give you estimates. There is no truly "correct" answer, though there are some that are less correct than others.

There is another consideration - the "value" of the piano. Whatever you have done to it will cost about the same as if you had a Steinway, but when you are done, you will have a Steinert, and to the best of my knowledge and experience, the Steinert does not command the price of a Steinway (which is why I, as a working musician with Steinway taste on a Steinert budget), own a Steinert : )

Good luck with your piano. Let us know what you decide to do.
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

#1883604 - 04/21/12 11:28 AM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
Dale Erwin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 43
Loc: Modesto, Ca
I am a rebuilder and I am very intrigued by these pianos. In Calif we see precious few as we are far from origin of manufacture. Aaand, they didn't make that many. The company partnership had problems and then Steinway jumped in I believe and objected legally to the similarities in design.
Never the less, it is a well built, with a maple case and a nice sand cast plate. Hey whats not to like.
Most have never been rebuilt or serviced. I know of a couple of really tired ones here and the clients won't repair them. I do work on a 7 ft which is a B copy.
In our shop I admit Steinway restorations pay the bills but I wish the world would recognize how many truly fantastic American pianos are out there needing rebuilding that would be just as satisfying to play and hear as the coveted Steinway.
You can get these old diamonds in the rough for nothing and do a complete rebuild and finish for 30 K and have a world class sounding and playing piano.
I personally purchased a 6 ft 2 Wissner, which has the same case shape as a Steinway A-2. The plan is to rebuild it and show as an example of what can be accomplished with custom protocols, superior materials and attention to details.
The Steinert is probably worth 1 to 2 K depending on board condition, keys etc.
Is it for sale?
Dale Erwin RPT
Piano Restorations
http://WWW.Erwinspiano.com ....Erwinspiano@aol.com
4721 Parker rd. Modesto Ca 95357
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#1883609 - 04/21/12 11:37 AM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24444
Loc: Oakland
I went to a show last night that used one of those Wissners. I have tuned it in the past, but I did not tune it for last night. It could stand some work, but it is a decent piano.
Semipro Tech

#1883628 - 04/21/12 12:15 PM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
tone_depth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 30
Loc: Az, USA
Jude Reveley, RPT of Absolute Piano Restorations LLC located in Lowell, MA did a fabulous job of restoring my 1899 Steinway A, which has been in the family since being purchased new. He is another resource with experience also in restoring Steinert pianos.

#1883704 - 04/21/12 02:11 PM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2455
Loc: Lowell MA
There is a 7 foot Steinert from "the day" that will be available the beginning of July when the Clients Steinway B is delivered to them.

You are welcome to that Dale ..
"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688

#1972687 - 10/13/12 09:21 AM Re: Steinert reference suggestion? [Re: EHD]
EHD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/12
Posts: 4
Sadly I have not been able to generate any interest in this wonderful piece of family history. We found my grandmother's "clippings" and piano school certificates. She studied under some master at the time c. 1910 in Boston and at each level a signed page was added carefully to a book. She also had clipping about the master teacher but the box went into storage and my mind simply cannot recall it.

FYI. Steinert 11060


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