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#283658 - 06/24/07 08:39 PM Restoring Shoninger
coldfingers Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
Hi Everyone,
I have just joined after reading and watching for quite some time. This is a terrific site!
I recently bought an old B. Shoninger piano as a 25th anniversary present for my wife ( a few credits earned there! \:\) ) The ser.no. is 6715 c. 1884
It is in very nice shape and had been refinished at one time but unfortunately the refinisher used common fir plywood for the upper panels and they look quite out of place. The body of the piano is African mahogany. Some musical acquaintances have suggested that they were originally either fabric or even metal grilles in the spaces.
I am wondering if anyone out there may have some suggestions or experience with this era of pianos. Any advice would be much appreciated.
I have picture to show but right now am not sure how to include it.

Hailun / Pearl River Pianos

Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#283659 - 06/24/07 10:10 PM Re: Restoring Shoninger
coldfingers Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
OK I'm learning. Here is link to a picture of my Shoninger


#283660 - 06/25/07 04:05 AM Re: Restoring Shoninger
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Its looks kinda weird with those inserts (designer plywood) You could either reveener the panels,replace with stain glass panels, paint them You could also apply application molding to snazz it up then paint it Be creative!
It would look ok if you just strip the panels and toner them closer to the color of the piano Too much contrast with the brown tones. By the way that is not flame African Mahogany its just an ordinary ribbon type mahogany
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#283661 - 06/25/07 07:28 PM Re: Restoring Shoninger
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 1815
Loc: West Coast
Pannels were not likely metal. May have been an open filigre(fretwork) wood pannel backed with typically a dark red cloth.
If you wife is a player, some work on regulation will make it play more uniformly.
Unfortunately this brand was not in the upper levels of quality when new. This piano was engineered to have a useful musical life expectancy of about 40-50 years. This was up in the 1940's at best.
Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

#283662 - 06/26/07 01:21 AM Re: Restoring Shoninger
coldfingers Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
Thanks for the comments. I was actually hoping someone could definitely say what was in the original piano. I have a picture of another make
shown on ebay and advertised as a concert upright from 1887.


Would these grilles be metal and for added sound projection?

As to the quality of the unit I'm not a player but the unit got rave reviews from the evaluator I engaged before buying. He thought it was in terrific shape and tone for this age.

My wife also loves it so I guess that's all that matters! ;\)


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