Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Sohmer & Co piano

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Question
I have searched endlessly for information on the piano I have. For some reason I have returned little to no result. I was told by the only previous owner that it was a "french provincial", not sure what that means exactly? It's a baby grand "cupid" model with the serial number of 56019. I'm trying to find any records pertaining to this piano and when it was manufactured? Also, I'm sure it would need some restoration (minor) and tuning. I know that restoring a piano can be quite pricey, so I'm wondering if it would even be worth the investment?

Answer
Hi Stephen,

Your Sohmer Cupid grand piano was manufactured in 1923. French Provincial is a style of furniture with curved, sloped legs. You can easily Google the term and see what it looks like and compare to your own piano. I can't attach pictures in this venue.

Sohmer was a family owned piano making business until it was sold in 1982 to Pratt Reade, a piano parts manufacturer. The company changed hands several times and basically went out of business. Today, the Sohmer name is used by Samick, a Korean instrument maker. I doubt that there are records of your particular piano still existing, however, you can try contacting Samick to see if any records were transferred to them when they acquired the name. Their website is at: http://www.smcmusic.com.

As far as restoring your piano, it depends on what it needs. If it needs action rebuilding, that's a few thousand there and could be worth it. If you need a complete rebuilding job (soundboard, pinblock, etc.), you would be in the ten thousand dollar range and up. Refinishing is separate.

Have your piano evaluated by a qualified technician or rebuilding shop. You can get referrals from the Piano Technicians Guild (www.ptg.org). It's very difficult to tell you if the investment is worth it without having seen the instrument. If you are still interested in investing in this instrument, visit the shop of the rebuilder to see the quality of work performed.

I hope this is helpful. Have a Happy New Year!

Sam Noel

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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Samuel Noel

Expertise

I am a contracted piano technician for Steinway and Sons in New York handling warranty issues, prepping pianos for the showroom and delivery; I also serve the City University of NY as a piano technician. I am also self-employed in New York. I apprenticed (Manhattan School of Music)in 1982 and was factory (Steinway) trained in 1983. I have experience tuning, repairing, reconditioning, and appraisals. Please note that appraising an instrument involves a visual inspection and knowledge of the local market area. I am not an expert in player mechanisms, refinishing, electronic keyboards, midi, nor organs. I love the work of making an instrument sound concert quality.

Experience

I successfully apprenticed at the Manhattan School of Music under Alan Buchman and Peter Favant in 1982 (also received B.A. in music from same school) and employed by Steinway and Sons in 1983 as a tuner-technician. I also served as service manager for Steinway. Presently, I service pianos for CUNY and I handle warranty issues and tunings for Steinway.

Organizations
The Piano Technicians Guild, New York Chapter

Education/Credentials
Manhattan School of Music, BA; American Management Association certificate (Steinway and Sons); Queens College, CUNY, MA

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