Here’s a few we’ve received with responses you may find useful!
- I have a beautiful walnut Mickleburgh Upright piano which I have owned for 21 years. My piano tuner was extremely surprised to discover it has a wood frame inside in lovely condition and is the only one he had ever come across. I wonder if you may be able to shed any light on its age or indeed value. I love it but it would be nice to know its origin.
Thanks in anticipation.
We stopped selling secondhand wooden frame pianos 30-40 years ago, and as far as I know there were none being manufactured by the start of the 20th century. Although some manufacturers such as Broadwoods were producing pianos with iron bentsides (½ wood, ½ iron) and some with ¾ iron frames after 1900.
The most likely story behind your piano is that it came to us secondhand, was reconditioned and then resold. On repolishing the piano, the transfer name – which may have only been anotherr retailer’s name – will have come off, so we would have replaced it with the “Mickleburgh” name. Unfortunately, we were bombed in the blitz of 1942 and lost all our earlier records, but since rebuilding and reopening in 1957 all pianos we sold were given a number, and if I have that number I may be able to look it up – assuming the piano passed through our hands after 1957. We also have all the numbers on computer since 1988, so if it passed through our hands after that date it will be even easier to find!
You should find a 5 digit number in one of 3 places:-
1. On the wrest plank (tuning or pin block) above or around the tuning pins at the bass end.
2. In the top left hand corner as you look at the piano from behind (i.e. behind the treble end of the piano)
3. On the top of the inside of the bass end of the piano.
Even if you find the number, there is no guarantee that it is ours as most major retailers of pianos (new and secondhand) did the same thing and put their own number on – in addition to the manufacturer who normally numbered the frame and all the case parts, usually with different numbers, as well. Hence a Victorian piano passing through several shops over a hundred years or so could end up with loads of numbers in lots of different places!!
Happy to supply more information if I can and I could probably tell more from a picture. The best photos are of the complete piano from the front, and then – if you can – take out the top and bottom doors and photograph the insides and the keys. The original manufacturer’s name or emblem may still be inside the piano.