\"\"
Piano Forum logo

1916 Steinway M (Read 1553 times)

Offline CC

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
1916 Steinway M
« on: April 28, 2016, 02:38:19 PM »
Two questions:
(1) all the parts of this piano are numbered so you know which ones are original.  Are the keys also numbered???

(2) it is in good shape and excellent playing condition, with new Renner action.  What is the going price for such a piano?  Does the fact that it is now 100 years old add value?
C.C.Chang; my home page:

 http://www.pianopractice.org/

Offline briansaddleback

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 706
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 11:40:35 PM »
 What is the going price for such a piano?  Does the fact that it is now 100 years old add value?
No , actually you will need to use this formula to determine the street price of that piano:

[{Retail value} - 10,000]/2.5x  = street price

(where x = age of instrument)
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline iansinclair

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1472
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #2 on: April 29, 2016, 01:04:18 AM »
No , actually you will need to use this formula to determine the street price of that piano:

[{Retail value} - 10,000]/2.5x  = street price

(where x = age of instrument)
Interesting formula!  Where'd that come from?  Or, to put it another way, would you be so kind as to direct me to where I can pick up a 1916 Steinway D for US$400?  I'd love to have one... almost any condition will do, but since you don't qualify, I want it with clean finish, good soundboard, even, medium action weight, and excellent strings and in tune and stays that way...  let me know here or by PM, and I'll arrange to get it.

To the OP: you can get some feel for the value of an older piano by checking eBay.  Age, in general, by itself, will neither particularly increase or decrease the value of a piano of the sort you mention.  Condition, however, will -- sometimes dramatically.  The exception on age is that very rare "art" pianos, or very rare early pianos -- say a playable Broadwood from 1840, or a Cristofori -- could be in the millions.  But that has nothing to do with them as pianos!
Ian

Offline briansaddleback

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 706
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #3 on: April 29, 2016, 02:32:41 AM »
Oh I forgot ,
Divide the whole result by 2.
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline huaidongxi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #4 on: April 29, 2016, 08:39:22 AM »
as Mr.Sinclair noted, condition is a huge differentiating factor.  the maintenance and wear on a piano that old can vary hugely one instrument to another, and that model was one of Steinway's most popular for a long time.  you'll find a number of them on the market (depending where you are of course) of varying ages, and there is no rigid correlation between age and quality with pre-1940 s&s grands.  if you find an instrument similar to that 1916 at a dealer, much less than about 25k. u.s. would be a decent price for a ready to play instrument ; at the same time paying more is no assurance of a superior instrument with all of the variables.  would not be surprised if some had a tag of substantially more, because of their art case or condition, or if a private seller asks for less.

if you are seriously considering a s&s around that size, you should compare M's to the O's and L's, the next size up, which can be some of the nicest instruments under six feet.  all three models were designed by Henry Ziegler (d.1930), with the L replacing the O in the mid-1920s in american models, and an updated version of the O in turn replacing the L in more recent times.  to my eyes, the extra four inches improves the proportions on how the piano looks.  with vintage instruments especially, how they sound and play will largely be determined by the play and care given to them, and the O's/L's will not always surpass the M's, though Ziegler definitely intended that they did.

Offline CC

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #5 on: April 30, 2016, 04:09:52 PM »
THX, folks, interesting comments. I've decided to price it at $22,000 at Pianomart; will let you know what happens; I see comparable Steinway Ms asking way above $30,000, so my price seems reasonable.  If anyone knows other places to market my piano, let me know; I live in Tampa, FL.

I had the old action replaced because the brass (?) bushing pins were mostly corroded (greenish, black, bushings turned mushy); I initially replaced the few really bad ones, but the rest of the action was too sluggish for advanced playing. So I had the action out a long time ago but did not look to see if the keys were numbered (I've been tuning and making minor repairs to my pianos for 50 years). Hate to open the thing up again, so if anyone knows if original Steinway keys were numbered, let me know where to look.  It is hard to believe that the keys are in such good condition after 100 years; for most of its life, it was apparently not played. Don't the keys turn yellow after 100 years?
C.C.Chang; my home page:

 http://www.pianopractice.org/

Offline huaidongxi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #6 on: April 30, 2016, 09:24:57 PM »
yes, have seen vintage M's listed at dealers in the 30-35k. ballpark.  my impression from a sample size of a dozen or more, M's have been made in quite a variety of art cabinetry and lumber, that sellers will try to exploit if the exterior of the instrument has been well maintained and preserved. have also looked at more than a few pianos of comparable age that have very little to no change in colour on the ivory key surfaces, including our 1921 instrument.

Offline CC

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 02:44:48 PM »
Did you mean to imply that 1916 vintage M all had ivory?  I don't think so.  Mine is definitely not ivory, which has visible "growth ring" patterns.

I guess nobody knows if original Steinway keys had some kind of identifying marking on them??  I've gotten no answers to this question.
C.C.Chang; my home page:

 http://www.pianopractice.org/

Offline huaidongxi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #8 on: May 01, 2016, 05:32:36 PM »
very doubtful if any pianos had plastic key surfaces at original manufacture prior to the late 1920s, because of the availability (lack) of plastic as a commonly used material.

Offline huaidongxi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 05:48:28 PM »
to clarify, the earlier form of celluloid used for piano keys was not exactly ideal (scorched or burned very readily ; lots of folks smoked heavily back then), and it was not widely applied in higher grade instruments.  ivory can't be formed as a single piece to cover a key -- there will be a small line showing two pieces were applied, where the key narrows.  bovine leg bones were also used for key surfaces, so it's not a case of either ivory or synthetic.

Offline CC

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #10 on: June 26, 2016, 03:39:45 AM »
THX all!  According to Steinway, the original keys were ivory. But the keys on this piano has no visible "growth striations" generally visible in most ivory keys.  Can anyone tell me if there are ivory keys with no visible striations?

The piano sold for $22,000.  Local newspaper add did the trick; Pianomart had lots of views but no bites.
C.C.Chang; my home page:

 http://www.pianopractice.org/

Offline indianajo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1105
Re: 1916 Steinway M
«Reply #11 on: June 26, 2016, 10:58:23 AM »
Congratulations on the sale. That price is substantial.  Florida is a black hole on electronic organ prices.
My 1941 Steinway console has some sort of non-striated key covering with ugly brown stains in a couple of octaves.  I'm thinking celluloid.  One reason I got it for $1000 instead of 5. 
I'm thinking of peeling them and putting on modern plastic.  They will all have to go, the rest are a very yellowed color.