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August 25, 2013 , The Antiques and Fine Art of Philanthropist Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans
Fine Inlaid Steinway Grand Piano
American, 1915, serial no. B168269, mahogany case, extensive inlay of rosette and bell flowers, 38 x 57-1/2 x 80 in.
Re; Steinway Model; B, serial; 168269
Location; 1050 W. Forest Hills Blvd.
After examining the above described piano, I offer these findings. This piano is a #216 sketch “Colonial” piano, in a mahogany finish. This is a very unique Steinway, built in 1914 and sold to Mr. B. A. Duke on March 18th 1915. It was delivered to his residence in Manhattan. The piano was sent back to Steinway for work in 1940. I believe the soundboard was replaced with the more sensitive “Diaphragmatic” soundboard, and a new pinblock installed. The soundboard has several cracks, but still retains its crown, and can easily be repaired to “like-new” condition. The case and foundation of the piano is solid. The cast iron plate is in excellent condition. The pinblock is in good condition, and appears to be holding the tuning pins at proper pitch. The hammers and whippens have been replaced with non-Steinway parts, I suggest the action rebuilt with all Steinway parts. The keys are ivory and in excellent condition. The keyframe, end felt, bushings, and keypins are in good condition. The dampers are in good working order. The pedals and trapwork are in good condition. The cabinet appears to be the original custom finish.
I have spoken to Mr. Michael Megaloudis, the master restorer at Steinway. I agree with his estimate of $30,000.00 as it sits. However, if the piano is sent back to Steinway and rebuilt, and the cabinet refinished, I agree with Michael that the value would be $150,000.00 plus. The work to restore this piano should only be accomplished at the Steinway factory in New York. This piano has some additional significance, and value because of its history.
Hopper Piano Company, Steinway representatives
1800-a Tillery Place, Raleigh, NC 27604
Purchased by Mr. B.N. Duke, completed March 13, 1915; 1009 5th Ave; Pinecrest
Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000