We are so excited to be offering this amazing 7’5″ Steinway Model C that we had to give it more attention than simply the listing in our used inventory. It has a quite the story to tell!
We originally acquired this piano in 1999 and began a restoration project that would go down in the record books. At that time, we had two model C’s in stock — the only time in 50 years that has ever happened. But that’s not all. The two pianos were very close in serial numbers and in condition. We wanted to see what it would be like if we rebuilt one using the original soundboard and one with a brand new Steinway soundboard — keeping everything else the same. Basically, we wanted to see what a new New York Steinway C would sound like vs. an old one, which is a comparison that cannot be made today since Steinway C’s haven’t been made in over 100 years.
In order for this comparison to be authentic, we had some expenses with this piano that we would normally not incur:
1) We wanted to give this piano a new, Hamburg Steinway soundboard (Steinway still makes this model in Hamburg, Germany)
2) For additional authenticity, we chose a unique way to procure the rebuilding and soundboard installation. We shipped the piano to Peter Mohr, a former Steinway employee and his father Franz Mohr, former Chief technician at Steinway and the personal technician to countless piano greats such as Vladimir Horowitz.
With this pedigree, it would be easy to argue that it is at LEAST as good as a new Steinway C — possibly better given the highly skilled attention it received. Both pianos then received new keys and a complete action from Steinway. They were then refinished to perfection and even received new, custom-made benches to match the Victorian legs on the pianos.
To unveil the results, we brought the pianos to our Deerfield store and hosted a Piano Technicians Guild (PTG) meeting for the Chicago chapter. We let the technicians analyze them and share their findings. The results were interesting indeed. Both pianos were deemed beautiful instruments, but in the case of this piano, the consensus was that they felt like they were experiencing what a NEW New York Steinway Model C was like — clear and powerful, but with that vintage Steinway warmth. The other piano was very similar, but without the additional clarity and power that the new soundboard delivered.
One more interesting note — in the summer of 2000, after the restoration, we invited the legendary entertainer Steve Allen to perform a concert at our Deerfield location to celebrate our 50th anniversary. After the concert on this piano, he signed the piano’s iron frame. He died only a few months later.
If you think you might be interested in the most beautiful Victorian Steinway model C available anywhere, please contact http://www.chicagopianos.com at 630.584.5000.