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#2085702 - 05/20/13 11:27 AM Older Steinway piano dating
StephaneCollin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1
Hello Pianoworld.

I am new here.
May I ask advice about dating an older Steinway grand piano ?
The instrument is 200 cm long, cross strung, 3/4 plate (stopping in front of the pinblock, which is apparent and oblique), "Steinway & Sons New York" casted in the plate at the treble side, soundboard grain perpendicular to the large side, sort of English action (!) with multi layer underfelt small hammers, turned legs, burled walnut veneer, beautiful long and warm sound, and the only number I can see is on every case part (cheeks, partition holder, keyboard lid, etc.)
My problem is : this number is 411. If this were the serial number, it would contradict the fact that the first New-York Steinway was number 483 (which you often read). If it is not, does anyone know the relation between this case number and the serial number ? The thing looks like in original condition and having been very scarcely played.

Thanks for any information

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#2085809 - 05/20/13 02:51 PM Re: Older Steinway piano dating [Re: StephaneCollin]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9886
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Hello Stephane,

The one thing that is certain - is that nothing is absolutely certain.

Heinrich Steinweg arrived in New York in the summer of 1850 and for a few years worked with Leuchte building soundboards.

One possible solution is that you are reading a "cabinet number" and not a serial number. This is likely because as far as I am aware Steinway built their first piano in that range in 1859, although it was 7'2". The first piano built that is exactly 200 cm. size was built in the 1860's, well beyond the three digit serial numbers.

Another possible solution is that one digit of the serial number is obscured and the piano is actually newer than you think by a few years.

My two cents,
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834

#2085991 - 05/20/13 08:54 PM Re: Older Steinway piano dating [Re: StephaneCollin]
Dave B Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 2347
Loc: Philadelphia area
I only date younger Steinways. They're much more fun(it's the leggs, sorry), and usually on weekends when their not too busy.

Edited by Dave B (05/20/13 08:56 PM)
"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams

#2086077 - 05/21/13 01:32 AM Re: Older Steinway piano dating [Re: StephaneCollin]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3212
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
If you could post a picture looking as straight down over the soundboard that would help. Also a side view of the action out of the case.

If it has the "Patent Action" there are not many of those remaining.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

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