SOLD:   Piano: 1885 Chickering Grand (6'6) - 1st-Class - Beautiful
$3000 or best offer - 214.453.0094 -

(Click photos to enlarge.)

I've owned this beautiful antique instrument for over 30 years now, and I've really loved playing it. It has a wonderful action and a rich sound that makes my amateur style sound like a concert professional. ("So why do you want to sell it?" and other FAQs)

It's a parlor grand (6'6, between 'baby' and 'concert' size), and was made by Chickering & Sons in about 1885, during

the last great decade of the company, while the last two surviving sons of "Chickering & Sons" were still carrying the torch passed to them by their father.

It is acoustically excellent, overstrung on a modern cast iron frame, much superior to older designs such as square pianos, but it is unmistakably antique with its 85 keys (88 was not standard in 1885) and its jointed cabinet, unlike the modern continuous-bowed style. By the way, the fine print on the frame refers to "PATENTS MARCH 28, 1876 AND NOV 20, 1877, AND OCT 4 1881." (
see closeup & patents)

Chickering was established in Boston in 1823 by Jonas Chickering. It was the first American piano company, the dominant force in American piano production for the next several decades, and the first to market quality grand pianos on a continuing basis. Some of the greatest pianists and composers of all time, including Franz Liszt, Edvard Grieg, and Louis Moreau Gottschalk, preferred Chickering grands to every other piano they tested.

When Jonas Chickering died in 1853, C Frank, the middle son became head of the company, his older brother Thomas E. handled the business end, and George H., the youngest, worked various positions in the factory.

In 1867 the Chickering pianos were awarded a Gold Medal at the International Exhibition in Paris, and the Emperor Napoleon III bestowed upon C. Frank the Imperial Cross of the Legion of Honour for his "distinguished service to the art of music." C. Frank Chickering presented a Chickering to Franz Liszt (1811-1886) in Rome who pronounced it "imperial" and said, "I never thought a piano could possess such qualities." The Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), recalled playing for Liszt on "the glorious Chickering."

In 1871 Thomas E. Chickering , the eldest son, died. In 1891 C. Frank Chickering, the second son, died. Then in 1896 the last of Jonas Chickering's sons, George H. died.(top)

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