Piano Services: Restoration

In the early part of the 20th century piano making was in its heyday. The piano was the entertainment center of the home and everyone wanted one. Hundreds of different companies in America were competing to meet the increasing demand. A handful of these companies produced the finest pianos ever made – Steinway, Baldwin, Mason & Hamlin, Weber, Sohmer, Chickering, Knabe, Vose, A.B. Chase, Stieff, Henry F. Miller, Behning – just to name a few. The materials they used, and the quality of the craftsmanship – much of it provided by immigrants from Europe – was of the highest order. These pianos were built to endure and they did. With major structural components designed to last 70 years or more, many of them were still producing beautiful music into the 21st century.

That old world craftsmanship and quality is still available today. Piano re-builders refinish and restore all the lasting, irreplaceable elements of a piano – the hardwood case and exotic veneers, the cast iron plate, the action frame and keys. And, what cannot be restored – the strings, the felts, the
hammers – we replace with the finest replacement parts available. A debate throughout the industry concerns whether or not restored pianos are better than the finest new pianos. However no one argues that the quality and affordability of materials that were available a hundred years ago cannot be had today. Those materials are either not available or not affordable to new piano builders.

At Thomson Piano Works we are committed to restoring the beauty, quality and tone of fine vintage instruments using the highest quality parts and materials available. Maybe you have a family heirloom you want to restore to its original condition. Perhaps you’re looking at an older instrument for sale and not sure how to proceed. Or you might be considering whether to buy a new or restored instrument.  Whatever you’re rebuilding needs, we have the flexibility to meet them with excellent craftsmanship, integrity, and personal attention.

1_100_1439

This beautifully carved 1903 mahogany Chickering Quartergrand piano
is ready to be restored.

2_100_1437

The original finish is showing its age.

3_100_1438

The ivory keys are chipped and splitting.

4_100_1440

Long cracks are separating the soundboard.

5_100_1441

Age and pressure have split the treble bridge.

6_100_1447

But this hundred-year-old finish will be transformed into …

7_100_1456

... THIS.

8_100_1452

And this beautiful example of a turn-of-the-century art case piano …

9_100_1455

... becomes a fully restored work of art.

100_1457-1

chickering-quartergrand1

chickering-fallboard1