- Matching Bench
- 5 Year Limited Warranty
- Free Delivery to any ground floor location within 450 miles of Weston,
- Free in-home tuning upon delivery
- Wm Knabe & Co. builds this piano.
- The Statue Of Liberty is presented to the Unites States by the people of France (it would be erected 2 years later).
- Mark Twain publishes “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” for the first time.
- Baseball rules change, allowing pitchers to pitch overhand. Previous pitchers were forced to underhand pitch.
- Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady) is born in October.
- Ringling Brothers present their first circus show.
- Grover Cleveland wins his first term as President (he would be the only U.S. President to serve two nonconsecutive terms - 1884 and 1892).
- Dentists begin using drugs to prevent pain.
- The General Postal Union is established to promote mail deliver between countries.
- The prime meridian is designated to the meridian passing over Greenwich in the U.K. (0 degrees, i.e. Greenwich meridian).
Wilhelm Knabe originally planned to become an apothecary as his father was, but due to Napoleon’s campaigns in Germany in 1813, he apprenticed with a cabinet maker. He spent two more years as a journeyman cabinet maker, then three years working for a piano maker, and finally working as a journeyman piano maker in various German cities.
Knabe emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1831, took the name William and settled in Baltimore Maryland with his wife. By 1839 Knabe had formed a partnership and began making pianos, but in 1855 he acquired the entire business and began selling pianos as Wm. Knabe & Co.. The business expanded rapidly, winning many awards for their pianos.
In 1864 the business was passed to his two sons, William and Ernest, and a son-in-law Charles. The business continued to grow and produce high quality instruments. By 1866 Wm. Knabe & Co. was employing about 230 workers, producing about one thousand pianos a year.
By 1869 Knabe piano sales were ranked third in the United States, being only behind Steinway & Sons and Chickering & Sons. By 1871 Knabe pianos had won 65 Gold Medals at various competitions, and in 1879 the Government of Japan, wishing to furnish their country’s classrooms with instruments, chose Knabe uprights.
Knabe’s practice, like other quality builders, included open weather seasoning of their wood for many years, followed by indoor drying at a constant temperature. This produced long lasting stable wood that would resist cracking and warping (cheaper makers often forgo this process to speed production). When Peter Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer, toured their factories (the third largest in the world by 1891) he wrote, “The sight of so many workers with serious, intelligent faces, so clean and carefully dressed despite manual labor, leaves a fine impression”.
A more complete history of Wm. Knabe & Co. can be found on our blog at Piano Makers > Wm. Knabe & Co.
This particular piano (#25228) was made at just about the same time that Wm. Knabe & Co. were reaching their greatest heights. William Knabe’s sons were still in direct control of the business.
Knabe pianos were built for quality and tone to compete with their biggest rivals - Steinway and Chickering. The French composer Saint-Saens played Knabe pianos. Louis Gottschalk (a famous American piano virtuoso) wrote, “The Knabe pianos, on which I have played, are exceedingly remarkable for their qualities of tone. The bass is powerful, without harshness, and the upper notes sweet, clear and harmoniously mellow”.
It is not too little to say that the cabinet of this piano is truly elegant, without becoming gaudy. The rounded corners, trim, and light carvings of simple geometric shapes along with leaves and vines provide just the right amount of enrichment to make the piano stand out as truly artistic. Back in the day the New York Daily Tribune described Knabe pianos as having “a pure, full and equal tone, in quality melodious, rich and sonorous, housed in cases rich and elegant in design.”
As can be seen in the photos burl and oak are used throughout the instrument.
Parks & Sons Piano Service is very happy to be able to provide such an instrument for sale. In fact we had been servicing this piano for some time before acquiring it. It was previously owned by a church, for which we had reconditioned the piano in 2013. Eventually the church was dissolved, at which time we acquired the instrument.Work Schedule: The following is a basic list of the work to be completed.
- Bridges recapped,
- New flanges throughout
- New nickle tuning pins
- New Mapes music wire (this is wire made in America and used by Steinway & Sons and other quality makers)
- New custom-made duplicated bass strings using solid copper windings
- New custom-made duplicated hammers from Germany
- New dampers, also important from Germany
- All action and back action felts, springs, leathers, etc. replaced with new
- All keybed felts, papers, pins, etc. replaced with new
- All key bushings replaced with new
- New casters
- Complete regulation
- Multiple in-shop tunings to increase initial stability
- Full cabinet and veneer repairs
- Full refinishing
Ivory keys are in excellent shape. Depending on buyer location the ivories may need to be replaced with faux ivory or bone. Open carvings on either side of the butterfly burl center panel are backed with burgundy cloth. As would be expected in a fine piano, the proportions are exceptionally eye pleasing. The claw feet are well done, not made to appear heavy. The hanging bauble is simple but brings the legs to a fine ending point. Note that we do have the missing veneer on the toe of the piano and so will provide a perfect repair. The lower panel is composed of a larger butterfly matched burl panel that is bookend by two smaller burl panels. Notice the side view of the claw foot. A view along an upper side. The side of the keybed has a fine carving of ivy. A photo showing a pillar corner's base. A view showing a leg's side. Note how the claw foot is merged into the leg. (The tube seen at the far end is a part of the piano's climate control system.) A closeup view of the pillar corner, leg, and keybed side - note the ivy carving. The action and pinblock. The action appears in such good shape because we reconditioned the piano back in 2013. The pinblock decal with serial number. The pinblock is faced in bird's-eye maple.
Unless stated otherwise, free delivery of piano is to first floor locations within 120 miles of Weston, ME. A location with a total of 3 steps or less, from gound level to location the piano will be placed, is considered "first floor". Locations that do not conform to this guideline may require an additional charge. Parks & Sons Piano Service, at their own discretion, may wave such extra fees.
Warranties vary depending upon work completed for each instrument. If interested, please request a sample warranty.
** Payment Plans
Parks & Sons Piano Service reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to offer or withdraw any offer(s) of a payment plan at any time and for any reason.
To request a sample of a Payment Plan Agreement please contact us through the Contact Us page.
The figures provided in the above Suggested Payment Plans do not constitute, under any circumstance, a binding Payment Plan Offer. A Payment Plan will only become binding once the requirements of the specific plan have been met (please contact us for a sample plan).
All information is believed to be correct. Parks & Sons Piano Service is not responsible for mistakes in information, descriptions, pricing, and offers.