Antique pianos

The “Grand” Period Piano Promotion
four exquisite Grand Pianos from the 19th century.  Imagine a pianos
just like Chopin preferred to performed on –or one like Liszt performed
very many concerts on.

These piano are no longer in our store.  They have been moved to a dealer in San Francisco which is having major problems.  If you deal with the dealer, be very careful to protect yourself financially. Be sure and inspect the piano that you are interested in and have it inspected by an outside technician.  Be very careful not to pay for the piano in any way until you have possession of the piano.  You can arrange for the mover to pick up the piano and pay the dealer at the same time.
Antique pianos need very special inspections.  How they have been modified and rebuilt make tremendous differences in how they sound and play.  Most antique pianos are not rebuilt correctly to sound as wonderful as they did when new.  Few rebuilders seem to know how to do it correctly and how to use the correct materials such as antique type strings.  The use of modern string wire on an antique piano will end up with a piano that does not have the original brilliance and beauty of sound that the piano originally had.

Another issue is that if the piano spent many years in a humid climate and now is moved to a dryer climate, the piano is very likely to crack and become a unplayable wreck.  This seems to be what happened to the Pleyel what we had.  The soundboard was cracking very badly as was the pinblock.  If a new soundboard and pinblock had of been put in when it was rebuilt, this would not have happened.

These European grand pianos were restored about  10 years ago by a
craftsman in Hungary. We are not sure of the history of the rebuild on these pianos.
Recently Encore Pianos had acquired them and  offered them to the

Less than 10 years ago a Texas university paid over $60,000.00 for
each of these instruments. Encore was offering them to you at a
tremendous discount.  Each could have been bought for around $8,000 to $14,000.

Encore Pianos | 469-366-0992 |  Read below for for specific information on each instrument.  Call us
for more pictures or to arrange an audition.  There are the real models
and Brands that were used by the great 19th century pianists.

234cm (7’8″) Model III Grand Piano made around 1867

Was Only $10,000.  Carl Bechstein founded his firm in 1853 in Berlin, Germany. (This was
the same year Steinway and Bluthner were started and all three rose to
the very highest acclaim as piano builders.) Bechstein felt there was a
demand for an instrument to withstand the greater demands of the new
music composed by virtuosi of the time. These instruments needed to be
more robust in construction yet have a more delicate responsive touch.

During the Romantic Period, the size of a symphony orchestra had
grown from 30 players to over 100. Clearly there was a need for a change
to the piano and its design to fill the larger concert venues which
were needed.

Within 5 years, Bechstein was recognized along with Bluthner and
Steinway as the premier piano manufacturers in the world. They were, and
still are, among the premiere piano builders in the world.

This piano is finished in a very light walnut and has many of the
features found in a modern Bechstein which is a testimony to the
company’s innovative designs and the success of their tonal palette.
This piano has been completely rebuilt a few years ago in Europe. It
shows the very modern advancements that the best pianos had in themed
and later 19th century.  It is very playable in in very good playing condition.

262cm (8’6″) Concert Grand Piano made around 1859

Was Only $10,000. This piano is very much like the pianos that Liszt
performed on and had shipped around Europe for his performances during
his concert tour career. Liszt preferred the Erard pianos above all else and Erard was the only company with whom he had a lasting relationship.
When he moved to Paris as a young man he chose the Erard as the best
piano in the world at that time.

This piano is almost exactly like Liszt owned in his Rome apartment and composed so very much of his hundreds of compositions upon.  You can see pictures of Liszt’s piano at the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art here.  

Sebastien Erard was a French piano builder of German birth who built
his first pianoforte in 1777. Erard was equally famous for his harps.
Erard built some of the most elaborate and expensive instruments of his
day. This piano is an excellent example of these pianos.

His grand double escapement action mechanism revolutionized the piano
and is still in use in modern pianos today. This action allows for much
better repetition and control of the keyboard by the performer. It is
fair to say that modern piano music would be impossible without the
double escapement action mechanism. Erard was also the first builder in
France to incorporate the use of pedals as a means of altering a pianos
tone. Erard pianos had under dampers which allows the tone to be dampened
a little less than modern over dampers. With this piano you can see the
real color of music for which Liszt and many others composed music.

Erard also was the pioneer of adding steel bars above the soundboard
to create a stronger piano which could use higher tension and create
greater volume and power. This piano has these improvements.

This concert instrument is encased in a mosaic of rare Brazilian
rosewood. This piano is straight strung and has the tone which made
Erard the piano of choice by the notable composers of the Romantic
Period. Beethoven, Haydn, Verdi, Mendlesohn and Paderewski all selected
the Erard for its rich sound and responsive keyboard. This piano has
been completely rebuild in Europe and is true to its original design.

This piano will need some work on its action to restore it to its original playing condition.   Also one might want to replace the strings as they are not the antique type strings which are required to make the piano sound like it should and how it sounded when  new.  The finish is good but not like new.

208cm (6’10″) Grand Piano made about 1854

Was Only $14,000.This piano is really very much like the pianos that Chopin performed
and composed on. He much preferred Pleyel to any other brand.  Most of
his performances were on pianos by Pleyel of this size and type.

Famed French composer Ignace Pleyel founded the Pleyel et Cie firm in 1807. He was later joined by his son Camille. The firm was very innovative and made many avant garde improvements to traditional piano designs which have become standard to modern instruments including the
first use of a metal framework to support the structure.

By 1835, Pleyel was the largest wholesale and retail manufacturer of
pianos in Europe. Their concert hall, Salle Pleyel, was considered to be
one of the greatest in the world and was the location where Chopin
played his first and last Paris recitals. (Salle Pleyel is still a grand
concert hall and Pleyel pianos are still made in Paris.)

Pleyel instruments were the pianos of choice of such great artists as
Debussey, Saint-Saens, Ravel, Stravinsky and Alfred Cortot.

This instrument is finished in polished black lacquer adorned with an
ornate brass motif and has the elegant sound sought after by the great
Romantic composers. This piano was maybe rebuilt by the famous English firm
Period Piano Company and its owner David Winston.  Plan on spending some to put this piano into excellent playing condition.  This piano will not keep its tune due to the badly damaged soundboard.  It will need a new soundboard, pinblock and  special period strings.  The finish is good but not like new.

234cm (7’8″) Grand Piano made about 1897

Was Only $8,000   Perhaps the oldest pianoforte manufacturer in Europe founded in 1794 by Johannes Adolph Ibach. The Ibach owned family company have made
pianos until the last two or three years. Ibach became one of the
leading piano and organ manufacturers and their instruments were
delivered through out Europe.

Wagner was especially fond of Ibach pianos.

This piano is unusual in that it is veneered in red oak which was
very uncommon. This piano has many of the features of a modern piano.
With its overstrung scaling and heavy cast iron framework this piano has
the power and depth of tone lacking in earlier instruments. This piano
has a wonderful more modern tone, power and response. It would be a
piano which any accomplished pianist would love as well as a very period
decorative case. It was completely rebuilt in Europe a few years ago
and in very good condition.  It plays very well and has a very beautiful tone.  One pianist playing it our store said that she closed her eyes when playing and it had a heavenly and dream like tone.

Jordan Gary
President of International Pianos LLC dba Encore Pianos of Plano Texas

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