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#80230 - 07/19/02 11:43 AM DEXTER & SON GRAND PIANO
Sbcarriere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Baton Rouge, LA
Does anyone know about a company that made grand painos out of NY called Dexter & Son?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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#80231 - 07/21/02 12:04 PM Re: DEXTER & SON GRAND PIANO
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1759
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
The only "Dexter" piano listed in the Pierce Piano Atlas is an Amaso Dexter out of Boston, Mass. With no serial numbers, surely a minor league name. However you may have instead a DECKER & Sons. New York which were a good respectable make of the Golden Age period of American piano making.
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#80232 - 07/21/02 02:12 PM Re: DEXTER & SON GRAND PIANO
Sbcarriere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Baton Rouge, LA
You are correct. The piano is a Decker & Son. I was told that it may have been built about 1908. If I can find the serial number, is there some place to match it to find out the particulars?

#80233 - 07/21/02 03:24 PM Re: DEXTER & SON GRAND PIANO
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/02
Posts: 148
My sugg :Destion is: look at the upper right corner of your screen, there is a blank box follow by the word search, type in the blank box the name of your piano then click on search.

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#80234 - 07/21/02 03:43 PM Re: DEXTER & SON GRAND PIANO
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
If your piano is a Decker Bros, or Decker & Sons, you might have a piano worth restoring. They made some seriously good pianos. Of course, at the age your piano is, that determination can only be made by someone who can inspect it, something we can't do from here. But the piano was an extremely well built one when new.
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

#80235 - 07/21/02 08:05 PM Re: DEXTER & SON GRAND PIANO
Sbcarriere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Baton Rouge, LA
Someone has offered the piano to my daughter for the taking and moving.
We are to see it this coming weekend, but knew little of this brand. It is a seven foot grand. We do not know what kind of shape it is in and have our fingers crossed. Thanks for your reply.

#80236 - 07/21/02 10:24 PM Re: DEXTER & SON GRAND PIANO
Niles Duncan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 513
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Whether or not you should take them up on it depends on the condition of the piano and your wallet. Being in the rebuilding business if someone offered that piano to me for the taking it would probably be in my shop the next day, and that would be OK because I have the experience and the facilities necessary to bring it back to being a piano even if what it is now is firewood with strings. For you it's different. You need to know what it's going to cost you to get this piano into whatever condition it needs to be in to be useable for your purposes.

As a hypothetical situation suppose that you think that all it needs is "a little tuning" so you pay the mover to bring it home. If the tech comes out to tune it and says the pinblock is shot and the only way it's going to hold tune is for him to put in a new pinblock and restring it you've got a $2500 problem. If you don't mind spending that money on it you have a 7' Decker grand freshly restrung with a new pinblock for $2500 which depending on what else is going on with the piano could be $2500 well spent. On the other hand if you don't have or don't want to spend the money on it you have a useless pile of wood cluttering up your living room that may not be all that easy to get rid of.

Best thing is take a piano technician out to see the piano with you and give you an evaluation. Then you will know what you are being offered and how much it's really going to cost you.

Niles Duncan
Piano rebuilder, Pasadena, CA

#80237 - 07/22/02 09:47 AM Re: DEXTER & SON GRAND PIANO
Sbcarriere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Baton Rouge, LA
Mr. Duncan: Thank you very much. We are going to do just what you say.

#80238 - 07/22/02 10:24 AM Re: DEXTER & SON GRAND PIANO
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1759
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
All of what Niles said and one thing more: since a 7' Decker is potentially a very nice piano, were it rebuilt properly with all the trimmings, the first thing I'd have checked is the soundness of the plate. If it's cracked, you have a dead piano that's only fit for the piano boneyard. But if not and you were willing to part with it for a year (to be in Niles' or someone else's shop) and spend maybe $15K-$20K, you'd end up with something comparable to what you'd have to pay at least $30K for brand new. And prices for new quality pianos are going up.
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