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#255189 - 08/10/08 06:02 PM james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
rmccabe34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/08
Posts: 6
Loc: St. Louis
I inherited this paino and it is so heavy! it has been rebuilt on the inside , but needs cosmetic work. Is it worth refinishing the exterior? I have been looking on the web, but have not been able to find out alot about this piano except that they were a reputable piano maker. I would have to hire people to move it and fix it. I think it is pretty, but do not want to invest alot of time and money into it, if it is not worth much. Any suggestions?
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rmccabe34

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#255190 - 08/10/08 06:04 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
rmccabe34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/08
Posts: 6
Loc: St. Louis
and it was made in 1886
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rmccabe34

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#255191 - 08/10/08 07:17 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21522
Loc: Oakland
Did you mean transposing?
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#255192 - 08/10/08 08:03 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
rmccabe34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/08
Posts: 6
Loc: St. Louis
Yes! Do you know anything about this piano or manufacture?
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rmccabe34

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#255193 - 08/10/08 09:30 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
VGrantano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 771
Loc: New Jersey
Post the serial number.

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#255194 - 08/11/08 08:38 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
rmccabe34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/08
Posts: 6
Loc: St. Louis
Thanks for you help! I will post the serial number tommorow. I have to get the number off of the piano, and it is being stored.
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rmccabe34

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#255195 - 08/11/08 08:59 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
rmccabe34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/08
Posts: 6
Loc: St. Louis
I can tell you that the plaque on the inside of the piano reads "JAMES AND HOLMSTROM transposing keyboard -new york- first premium new orleans exposition march 1886"
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rmccabe34

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#255196 - 08/21/08 07:38 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
rmccabe34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/08
Posts: 6
Loc: St. Louis
I finally got the serial number it is 16350

Jmaes and Holstom transposing piano 1886
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rmccabe34

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#255197 - 08/21/08 08:32 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1225
Loc: Orange County, CA
Wait, I liked the idea of a transponding piano. Sounds interesting! And from 1886, too!

These transposing pianos are not super common, but they can be found from time to time. Some people might be interested in the novelty of the shifting action design, but as a musical instrument it still will be frowned upon as a very old upright piano.

If one were a collector, a careful conservation and adjustment of the piano would be a good idea. If you want to use it as an everyday piano, it would probably require extensive restoration - and this is not usually worthwhile. In addition, from a collector's point of view, rebuilding the piano detracts from it's value.

Sorry, I am not familiar with the company itself. It is listed in the "Pierce Piano Atlas," so you might want to buy one of those (or check for it in a library) to read the short entry listed there.
_________________________
Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America

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#255198 - 08/21/08 08:41 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
According to Wikipedia, a transposing piano is one that has a special mechanism, activated by a pedal or levers, that is activated by the player to transpose the music being played into another key. Apparently Irving Berlin had one or more of these. I've never heard of this before and I've certainly never seen one. Ironically, this capability is commonplace in today's digital pianos but it's hard to imagine how this was implemented with a mechanical action in 1886. Is this a grand piano or upright? If this is what your piano is, it is certainly interesting but I can't venture a guess as to it's value or whether it would be worth restoring, assuming it even could be.
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Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#255199 - 08/21/08 10:37 PM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
VGrantano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 771
Loc: New Jersey
132nd St NYC also made Marshall piano,Controlled by Jacob Bros. 16350 was made late 1910. And it was a transposing piano, not transponding.

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#255200 - 08/22/08 08:29 AM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9223
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
I'd like to transpond in reference to a transposer. (I was dying to say that \:\) )

S.O. is correct that Irving Berlin owned more than one of these beasts. As I recall they were built for him by Sohmer, as he was no pianist and needed that feature.

Incidentally, he would also give Sohmer pianos away to friends as gifts. Nice guy.
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Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#255201 - 08/22/08 09:02 AM Re: james and holstrom 1886 transponding piano
VGrantano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 771
Loc: New Jersey
Lots of old player piano's transposed,both grand and upright.Sounded really funny to put a music roll on and have it set at the wrong key.
Just thought of something, wonder how many people reading this are thinking "what the heck is a music roll?"
Cunningham Piano in Philly use to be famous for rebuilding old upright players. Right Rich?

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