Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/signature


QUESTION: I purchased an antique piano.  My husband and I are wanting to restore the piano.  We found a signature (written in pencil),  I am assuming its a name also the date of 1891 (we believe).  What or who is the best resource to find out information regarding the signature?

ANSWER: Hi Heather:

I need some more information:

1. Manufacturer

2. Serial Number

3. Picture of the signature

And whoa on the restoration. In most cases, restoration of these pianos is not cost effective.

Get me the above info and we'll go from there.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank s so much for your reply! This in the information we have found on the piano.  A  number of 1636 (serial number?) located on the top right hand side of the soundboard where the strings attach.  The action is made by J Keller &Co Stuggart Germany.  The keys are ivory. Its 52" tall, metal (unsure, i havent cleaned them)candelabras on each side of the front panel, a handle of the same metal on both sides.  The legs are detailed carvings.  Its beautiful.  Ive been on the internet for days, along with my husband, trying to figure out the manufacture and serial number.  With out research, before we found the autograph we believed it was built anywhere between 1850-1899.  In the phot the numbers appear to me as 1891, unless im looking at it reserved 1681??? We had to use our iphone to get in the space for a picture.   Im confused on its original orientation.   Ill cease the mumbling.  Hopefully i will successfully upload a picture for you!  Thank you again!

OK...nice work.

The signature is more than likely a factory person. They had a history, back then, of signing their work.

1681 may very well be the serial number, however the name of the action manufacturer doesn't help.

J Keller and Co was indeed an action manufacturer in Germany. In many cases, the piano factories subbed out the action work to specialized companies like Keller.

You need to take off the top and bottom boards and look on the steel plate. That is where the name of the manufacturer would be as part of the steel cast.

I looked up all of the Kellers I have and all are from the United Stated so that is not going to help here.

Also, don't be afraid to pull the piano away from the wall and look in the back for some hint to the manufacturer.

Let me know how you do. Without the manufacturer's name we are stuck.

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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Ralph Onesti


I am a Registered/tested member of the Piano Technicians Guild (RPT) with 49 years of experience in all phases and levels of the acoustic piano. I will answer any questions regarding acoustic pianos only. All questions and answers are to remain public. Please to not include sensitive material! If they are marked private, I will change them to public. My answers may be of assistance to others. If privacy is an issue, please contact me through my web site: http://www.onestipiano.com Electronic keyboards, organs, and player/reproducing piano mechanisms are outside of my expertise. Anything to do with: Construction, Service, Tuning, Climate Control Systems, Piano Disc, Purchasing, Selling, Insurance Appraisal, Rebuilding, Repairs, Legal issues, Maintenance, Environmental issues, Finish issues with acoustic pianos. My full resume can be found at: http://onestipiano.com/pages/history.html You can like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/onestipianoservice


In business since 1964, Extensive Rebuilding/Repair/Service facility. A certified, tested, member of the Piano Technicians Guild, Member of the Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. Have performed piano service on Concert Stage, Recording Studios, and in the home. Http://www.onestipiano.com. The shop's work comes from all over the world from private clients or other techncians.

The Piano Technicians Guild, Master Piano Technicians of America, Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. (TASA), IAPBT. The Piano Technicians Guild is the only organization in the US that offers a certification test to become Registered. There are no "factory authorized techncians".

The Piano Technicians Journal

Attented Temple University, Drexel University, Philadelphia Community college all in the areas of engineering and Music. I taught a two semester course in Piano Technology and the related acoustical physics at Temple University. I have taught extensively for the Piano Technicians Guild and the Master Piano Technicians of America.

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Service Award for the Rose Tree Media School District in Pennsylvania. Chapter Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild.

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The list is rather extensive. I would suggest you go http://onestipiano.com/pages/testimonials.html where there is a comprehensive list of clients past and present.

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