Well now, that
was interesting. Just got home from viewing the piano.
Imagine a downtown Reno pawn shop. Yup you got it, only you're not allowed to smoke in stores any more.
Ok. We crawled all over, under, and around the piano and could not find a serial number anywhere. Not on the plate, not by the tuning pins, not on a plate strut, not under the piano, nowhere.
Here's what I saw, perhaps it might give someone who knows about these things an idea of the age:
-It's 5' 7" long.
-Only two pedals (both worked).
-There were no agraffes (maybe that's not important) but the treble strings actually passed through holes in the plate! (That seemed weird.)
-The half-prop stick was brass, full prop was wood.
-It needed tuning desperately, but on playing octaves it was in tune with itself.
-A good number of the tuning pins had been replaced, several strings as well.
-A couple of obvious soundboard cracks; one must have been buzzing as there was a glue/epoxy repair to it on the underside of the board, not visible from the top.
-Keytops were plastic and had a rather sharp front edge to them, I suspect they'd been replaced...I bet the piano's old enough to have originally had ivory.
-The veneer was cracked and lifting in two small places.
-Where the strings leave the tuning pins and travel over the plate, there was a felt strip per normal, but the felt was wrapped around a thin strip of wood. Imagine a felt sandwich under the strings with the raw edges left hanging. Not very well done.
-The action was even but very light; keys were all level.
-The case was a bit on the rough side, although a good rub out would likely improve it considerably.
-The hammers were only slightly grooved and still had a ton of felt on them.
-They have already dropped the price to us to $800, and said they'd entertain any offer we'd care to make.
I came home with my curiosity satisfied and have decided I am VERY pleased with my own little Chickering! I've almost got enough saved for the full regulation and hammer reshaping which, I think, will keep me happy for a long while yet.
This Steingraber is way more of a project than I want or could afford to fix.
Always fun to look, though!