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#2160378 - 10/01/13 08:59 AM Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date
jtravisp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 4
My school just acquired a Chickering 9 foot grand piano. It's a beautiful instrument, but we don't know a lot about it. It's hard to determine the serial number. I'm hoping someone here can help.

The number 96-96 is handwritten numerous times. The number 1038 is also stamped into the wood at various places. When we removed the keyboard, what looked like "Serial #15127" was underneath. I read on another post that Chickering would sometimes remove the leading 1 from the serial. If this is #115127, that puts it around 1910, which seems reasonable. Our piano is almost identical to this instrument, dated 1907- http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/product/173/chickering-ebony-parlor-grand-piano/

Here's a gallery of pics I took of our instrument: http://imgur.com/a/WkrO2

I can take more pics if it would be helpful.

Does anyone have any insight into what we have?


Thanks!
Travis

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#2160425 - 10/01/13 11:02 AM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: jtravisp]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24464
Loc: Oakland
Often 9' grands were numbered in a different series from other pianos by the same maker. Your piano was probably worked on. The original serial number may have been obscured.

The serial number means less than the condition of the piano now. The date from the serial number is only approximate, and depends on when the number is assigned to the piano. If you want a date, there may be one under the hammer rail, which is something that it usually takes a tech to find at more cost than it is worth.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2160502 - 10/01/13 02:09 PM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: jtravisp]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2556
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
From the Pierce Piano Atlas:

"The 9' Concert Grand Pianos had their own serial numbers, piano #15327 was built about 1925."

So, BDB is right.

From your photos, it looks like the action stack has had new parts installed. I would really be interested in seeing more photos of the piano.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2160684 - 10/02/13 12:47 AM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: jtravisp]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1645
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: jtravisp

I can take more pics if it would be helpful.

Does anyone have any insight into what we have

Hi Travis, welcome to the forum!

A Chickering concert grand. Excellent! Condition is everything on an older piano of course. But realise that the potential of the instrument is second to nothing.

Do you happen to know how your school acquired the instrument?

Yes, we'd like to see more pictures.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2160763 - 10/02/13 08:24 AM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: musicpassion]
jtravisp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 4
We acquired the instrument from a professional pianist from Houston (it was the 3rd grand in his house). He'll be playing a concert at my school (I'm the band director) in December.

From the moving stickers that are still on the instrument, it spent the 90's in Los Angeles.

I'll take some more pics and post soon.

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#2160766 - 10/02/13 08:40 AM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: jtravisp]
jtravisp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 4
Another gallery of pictures of the piano: http://imgur.com/a/Xgp30

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#2160788 - 10/02/13 10:01 AM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: jtravisp]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2556
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
From the case style and the serial number, I'd put it at around 1925.

It's a beaut.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2160826 - 10/02/13 11:45 AM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: jtravisp]
R Hufford, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
You have a Chickering 131 which is the third iteration of the scale 131, there being one subsequent. Morphological characteristics of the plate, the legs, the lyre, along with the serial number, if 15127 is correct, indicate the piano was built about 1914. These are great pianos, certainly among the best sounding, if not the best, which they may be, ever built. However they can suffer from various aspects of time and play related deterioration which can be substantial and which then greatly displays the return bridge related transition problems. Still, overall, a wonderful piano. Regards, Robin Hufford, RPT

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#2160828 - 10/02/13 11:59 AM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: R Hufford, RPT]
jtravisp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 4
Good eye, R Hufford. Upon closer inspection of the soundboard, there is in fact a "131" that I missed before. Thanks for the info!

Originally Posted By: R Hufford, RPT
You have a Chickering 131 which is the third iteration of the scale 131, there being one subsequent. Morphological characteristics of the plate, the legs, the lyre, along with the serial number, if 15127 is correct, indicate the piano was built about 1914. These are great pianos, certainly among the best sounding, if not the best, which they may be, ever built. However they can suffer from various aspects of time and play related deterioration which can be substantial and which then greatly displays the return bridge related transition problems. Still, overall, a wonderful piano. Regards, Robin Hufford, RPT

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#2160875 - 10/02/13 02:31 PM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: jtravisp]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1645
Loc: California, USA
Thanks for the pics. It looks great, and it looks like it has been well cared for.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2161110 - 10/03/13 08:57 AM Re: Chickering 9'- Help me find the serial/date [Re: jtravisp]
Steve in Cincy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/11
Posts: 88
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks for posting the pictures. I really like that emblem on the plate--that's beautiful.
If you ever pull the action, I hope you might be able to post some additional pictures of that, please.
What a beautiful piano!
_________________________
Regards,
Steve Schutte
Cincinnati
1979 6'7 Kimball Grand
1902 6' Hazelton Bros. Grand (project piano)

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