P.A. Starck Piano #74943

Founded in 1891 by Philip A. Starck, this venerable maker was located on South Ashland Avenue in Chicago until the mid-1960s. Currently for sale company's piano number 74943, a five-foot grand manufactured in 1930. 

 

Status: This piano has been sold and delivered to its new home in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Commentary: This is a beautiful, Chicago-built piano from the heyday of the American piano industry. The finish is in a stunning zebra mahogany. Original soundboard and pinblock were in perfect shape and were retained. The instrument has been restrung, revitalized, and fully regulated. The original action was retained, but will only last a few more years under moderate to heavy use. Likewise, the hammers are likely only good for ten to fifteen more years. This work can be completed now or scheduled for a later year, depending upon the buyer's budget.

PA Starck #74943
PA Starck #74943
PA Starck #74943
PA Starck #74943
Before work began
Before work began

The piano as it looked immediately upon delivery from the seller. It had been in a climate-controlled storage unit for several years, on its side, with lid, legs, fallboard, and trapwork removed. (Inspector visible in this photo is my 4-year-old.)

Before work began
Before work began

Bass side of case. Note the several chips in the veneer along the top rim.

Before work began
Before work began

Overall a very solid instrument, but in much need to some TLC!

Before work began
Before work began

The piano as it looked immediately upon delivery from the seller. It had been in a climate-controlled storage unit for several years, on its side, with lid, legs, fallboard, and trapwork removed. (Inspector visible in this photo is my 4-year-old.)

Plate and soundboard refinishing
Plate and soundboard refinishing

Because the soundboard required no repairs, the plate stayed in the piano for its refinishing. This required use of nearly an entire Sunday Tribune to protect the soundboard and case from the spray.

Plate and soundboard refinishing
Plate and soundboard refinishing

Before refinishing the plate, the tuning pin bushings - the wooden inserts visible in each hole - had to be removed. This is a simple task when the plate has been removed, but a tedious one of grinding and prying in this case.

Plate and soundboard refinishing
Plate and soundboard refinishing

The soundboard, refinished with shellac -- most likely the finish used originally. Note the uncleaned portion around the perimeter of this decal: a necessary measure to avoid its destruction.

Plate and soundboard refinishing
Plate and soundboard refinishing

Because the soundboard required no repairs, the plate stayed in the piano for its refinishing. This required use of nearly an entire Sunday Tribune to protect the soundboard and case from the spray.

Restringing
Restringing

Stringing is underway with the first two unisons complete.

Restringing
Restringing

Stringing is underway with the first two unisons complete.

Restringing
Restringing

New tuning pins and stringing felt to compliment the shiny new strings

Restringing
Restringing

Stringing is underway with the first two unisons complete.

Case refinishing
Case refinishing

Case refinishing
Case refinishing

Case refinishing
Case refinishing

Case refinishing
Case refinishing

Repairs to the rim veneer
Repairs to the rim veneer

Repairs to the rim veneer
Repairs to the rim veneer

Repairs to the rim veneer
Repairs to the rim veneer

Repairs to the rim veneer
Repairs to the rim veneer

Rebuilt pedal assembly
Rebuilt pedal assembly

Replacement of the pedals was necessary, as one pedal was missing and the other two severely tarnished. Because the original pedals were of an unusual size, new holes had be be drilled inside the box in order to accommodate the new ones.

Rebuilt pedal assembly
Rebuilt pedal assembly

Rebuilt pedal assembly
Rebuilt pedal assembly

Rebuilt pedal assembly
Rebuilt pedal assembly

Replacement of the pedals was necessary, as one pedal was missing and the other two severely tarnished. Because the original pedals were of an unusual size, new holes had be be drilled inside the box in order to accommodate the new ones.

Damper assembly
Damper assembly

Damper assembly
Damper assembly

Damper assembly
Damper assembly

Damper assembly
Damper assembly

Keys and Action
Keys and Action

Keys and Action
Keys and Action

Keys and Action
Keys and Action

Action has been thoroughly inspected and repinned. Several hammer shanks were replaced in the process. The hammers themselves, however, were in good enough shape to retain.

Keys and Action
Keys and Action