Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#278919 - 10/19/08 04:59 PM Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 496
I was wondering if anyone is familiar with this style of old piano made by Chickering & Sons.

This piano's ebay listing had ended, but there are two other Chickering piano listings that feature similar-looking pianos.

Please take a look:



To me, they are quite "ugly," but very intriguing at the same time. Why would Chickering build such an unconventional instrument?

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

 

#278920 - 10/19/08 05:04 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Yipes, what is that? I've never seen, or heard of, anything like it.

I've never even seen pedals like those before!

Steven

p.s. The bizarre orientation of the third picture reminded me of my grandmother, who grew up in late-Victorian England and was taught to play piano with the bench pulled away at a 45-degree angle. I would be tempted to do that with a piano like this so as to at least remain perpendicular to the tail!
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#278921 - 10/19/08 05:07 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 496
I thought respectable Chickering made beautiful pianos like this one, Liszt's own piano:



(By J.P. Dalbera)

Top
#278922 - 10/19/08 05:11 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453






This gives a whole new meaning to Victor Borge's joke about opera singers:

"Isn't it a shame those big, fat opera singers always have to lean on the pianos and bend them?"
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

Top
#278923 - 10/19/08 05:11 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Terry C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 316
Loc: Melbourne, (Suntree) Florida
Very! Very! interesting,I think
_________________________
Proud owner of a Rebuilt 1912 Feurich concert grand with the new Phoenix system.
5th generation piano makers
Gotta love that German Craftsmanship
http://www.flickr.com/photos/Feurich_Fanatic/

Top
#278924 - 10/19/08 05:13 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Interesting, its also got plain wire bichords.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

Top
#278925 - 10/19/08 05:15 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1743
Ugly? I like the owl lyre!

_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

Top
#278926 - 10/19/08 05:23 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 281
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
That is a very nice example of the famous Cocked Hat model by Chickering. They have a lovely sound. Many Chickerings fall into the strange category.
_________________________
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech
Contributor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos
http://www.pianobuyer.com/articles/ivory.html

Top
#278927 - 10/19/08 05:41 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 496
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
Yipes, what is that? I've never seen, or heard of, anything like it.

I've never even seen pedals like those before!

Steven

p.s. The bizarre orientation of the third picture reminded me of my grandmother, who grew up in late-Victorian England and was taught to play piano with the bench pulled away at a 45-degree angle. I would be tempted to do that with a piano like this so as to at least remain perpendicular to the tail! [/b]
Sotto voce, I was just wondering, do you know a reason behind pulling the piano bench at a 45-degree angle?

Thank you for all your comments. \:\) Maybe I should try (God forbid!) buying one! \:D (Just kidding)

Top
#278928 - 10/19/08 05:46 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Avantgardenabi:
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
p.s. The bizarre orientation of the third picture reminded me of my grandmother, who grew up in late-Victorian England and was taught to play piano with the bench pulled away at a 45-degree angle. I would be tempted to do that with a piano like this so as to at least remain perpendicular to the tail! [/b]
Sotto voce, I was just wondering, do you know a reason behind pulling the piano bench at a 45-degree angle?[/b]
I have no idea! Her only explanation was that that's the way she was taught.

To this day, I don't know if it was a custom of that time and place or simply an idiosyncrasy of her teacher.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#278929 - 10/19/08 05:53 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Erus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Mexico
Reminds me of bentside spinets (harpsichords)... The keys were at an angle (about 30º), to get a more uniform pluck point configuration for the action.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinet

It would be nice to see the action of this Chickering.

Top
#278930 - 10/19/08 06:00 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
 Quote:
Originally posted by doremi:
Ugly? I like the owl lyre!

[/b]
No tipping on that lyre...
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

Top
#278931 - 10/19/08 06:11 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Erus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Mexico
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
p.s. The bizarre orientation of the third picture reminded me of my grandmother, who grew up in late-Victorian England and was taught to play piano with the bench pulled away at a 45-degree angle. I would be tempted to do that with a piano like this so as to at least remain perpendicular to the tail!
I understand harpsichord players used to sit in that position. Couperin suggested that "One should turn very slightly to the right, the knees not pressed together, with the right foot extended. One must have an air of ease at the harpsichord."

There's a painting by Jan Steen showing this ("The Harpsichord Lesson"):

[img]http://tinyurl.com/59fgnh[/img]

Maybe it was more about looks than technical matters. It doesn't make sense to attempt that on the modern piano playing standard repertoire.

Top
#278932 - 10/19/08 06:14 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
Good grief. Even the piano bench is weird.
_________________________
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


Top
#278933 - 10/19/08 06:22 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1243
Loc: London
Coming back to the Chickering, it appears to be straight strung. I suppose that angling all the strings to the side would have the effect of reducing the length of the piano from front to back (i.e. in the direction perpendicular to the keyboard). How's that for a theory? Unorthodox, but possibly a good idea?

Sort of like happens when the bass strings are overstrung, except in this case there is no overstringing.

Top
#278934 - 10/19/08 06:24 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
TestBlow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 15
Loc: New Hampshire
The story I was told about the Chickering cocked hat grand was that it was designed to fit into the bay windows in the old apartments on Beacon Hill, and other places around Boston.
_________________________
Matt Quinlan, RPT
Piano Tuner/Technician

Top
#278935 - 10/19/08 06:31 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9232
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Interestingly, I would not have called this piano a cocked hat grand. The cocked hat grand that I have had the pleasure of being involved in rebuilding had a curved spine.

In other words, the piano was a little more "kidney shaped" with no straight side at all.

Sally, can you comment?
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

Top
#278936 - 10/19/08 06:34 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3914
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Erus, you beat me to it. I think the overall configuration was more for conservation of space (remember that rooms were smaller in earlier times, and economic factors always have some influence in instrument design; consider also the virginal and muselaar instruments as alternatives to the larger "flügel" harpsichords).

Here are two other examples. The first one is available as a kit from Hubbard harpsichords, the second is Dolmetsch "revival" instrument that I have which has a similar geometry.

I will admit, I'd never seen such a structure for a piano, and can't imagine what its advantage is, unless it produces a narrower instrument for some awkward spaces.



_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

Top
#278937 - 10/19/08 06:36 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21531
Loc: Oakland
If the cocked hat grand is cross-strung, then the long sides is shortened, possibly curved, as Rich said. There is one of those in the Smithsonian. They are based on the bent-side spinet configuration.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#278938 - 10/19/08 07:45 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 496
I did some googling, and this piano seems to be in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:



Different legs, but almost identical otherwise.

I like that Harpshicord, Palindrome. \:\)

Top
#278939 - 10/19/08 08:23 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
shoegazer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 20
Loc: Florida
Check out how thick those rims are. I'm surprised how thin the rims are on most newer pianos. No wonder the old ones are still around.

Top
#278940 - 10/19/08 08:34 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
doremi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 1743
 Quote:
...the piano was a little more "kidney shaped" with no straight side at all.

Sally, can you comment? [/b]
I am not Sally, but come to think of it, a kidney grand with an owl lyre could be the distinctive piece of furniture that that hedge fund manager is looking for in a parallel thread.
_________________________
I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked

Top
#278941 - 10/20/08 10:37 AM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Jonnie P. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 216
Loc: Seattle, WA
After the past two weeks that hedge fund manager is most likely living in a van down by the river.
_________________________
Jonnie P.
Seattle, WA

Kawai RX-2 ES

Obsessive behaviour: Jazz and other forms of piano improvisation

Top
#278942 - 10/20/08 12:37 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
Just when I think I have seen it all in my 35 years in the business, this comes along, oh yeh, and likely another Acrosonic cabinet I haven't seen.
_________________________
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

Top
#278943 - 10/20/08 06:02 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 281
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
The one aspect of Chickering's production that most rebuilders can agree on is the complete inconsistency of models. I'm sure there were several variations on the Cocked Hat idea. The ones that I have seen are bichordal and not overstrung with the bass side straight.

I would love to see pics of Rich's piano that he rebuilt. I do believe that the OP's piano does fall into the Cocked Hat category.
_________________________
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech
Contributor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos
http://www.pianobuyer.com/articles/ivory.html

Top
#278944 - 10/20/08 06:44 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
This is more of what is considered a cocked hat:



This is a Mathushek,another fine nineteenth century make.

the idea was to try to make a grand piano more space efficient. The much-derided square grand was the other, more popular attempt:



Aldo called "parlor" grands, as they were often situated in the parlor.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

Top
#278945 - 10/20/08 07:33 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 281
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
http://www.davidrumsey.com/Amico/amico235112-13793.html

opera tenor,

As I said previously, the MFA in Boston considers theirs a Cocked Hat Chickering. They are identical except for the legs. Other manufacturers may have another take on it but the Chickering company made enough of these in this shape to refer to it as such in their catalog. I will look this up in some material that I have at home when I get back.
_________________________
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech
Contributor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos
http://www.pianobuyer.com/articles/ivory.html

Top
#278946 - 10/20/08 07:50 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 496

Here are some pictures of the action. smile

I asked one of the sellers in ebay to send me some pictures, of course.

I don't know anything about seeing piano's action, but I think hammers are angled and little strange.


Edited by Piano World (12/22/10 03:41 PM)
Edit Reason: Sorry, pictures removed at request of the piano owner. He stated nobody had permission to use his pictures.

Top
#278947 - 10/20/08 07:54 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons.
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Interesting action...not the most even hammer line I've ever seen. \:D :
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

Top
#1542740 - 10/24/10 11:26 PM Re: Very strange piano made by Chickering & Sons. [Re: Horowitzian]
R Hufford, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/09
Posts: 27
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
This piano is, in fact, correctly called a cocked hat grand. The radical angle of the case relative to the keyboard being the characteristic feature of this class of piano. These were made in several sizes by Chickering - beginning, I believe, in the 1850s.
Other companies made this style of piano as well, including the Mathusek shown. They called their pianos cocked hat grands. Actually, later, Chickering made a modernized Cocked Hat - that is one using overstrunging as well as triple strung unisons. This one, judging from its case and legs was, apparently, made as late as the 1880's.
With due respect to the opinions of others I would have to disagree as to a general inconsistency of the models of Chickering's production, at least with regard to those being built since the 1850's, although this is a very commonly held opinion. What is, in fact, a bewildering variety of design features may sometimes seem to be an inconsistency of models, but this is misleading. Without doubt their pianos exhibit the implementation of the greatest variety of design features of any company since the advent of the cast iron frame.
One, I think should be cautious in extending this claim to the 130 year production period, mostly in Europe, before the development of the iron frame as all a company had to do to produce another product was to change the woodworking, a relatively easy task. Once piano companies routinely employed the iron frame then a substantial expense and complexity had to be overcome to introduce new designs. Nevertheless, by just observing the numerous Chickering designs that are out their by the thousands I think it is safe to make this claim - at least since they introduced the use of the cast-iron plate.
Regards, Robin Hufford, RPT

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
I can only Trill well on good grand pianos....
by Paul678
Yesterday at 11:48 PM
Is Bondfix just as good as Hotstuff CA glue?
by Paul678
Yesterday at 10:42 PM
What's up with Paulello?
by jim ialeggio
Yesterday at 10:13 PM
Kawai RX-2 and RX-2 BLAK
by myip
Yesterday at 08:15 PM
UVi Grand Piano, cant get the MIDI Files help?
by JungleJim
Yesterday at 06:23 PM
Who's Online
86 registered (Adypiano, AEMontoya, Baroque Style, 25 invisible), 993 Guests and 16 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76290 Members
42 Forums
157700 Topics
2316395 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission