Picture Album VI

Piano Tuning Phoenix by Wes Flinn RPT

Mythological Greek Phoenix

Picture Gallery VI

— by Wes Flinn RPT

Piano Tuning Phoenix Picture Gallery VI –

This Album features a 1892 J&C Fischer Upright 57″ Cabinet Grand Custom Refurbishing Project

This Album features a 1892 J&C Fischer Upright 57″ Cabinet Grand
Custom Refurbishing Project
$27,000 — Sold
Story of this piano.

This piano refurbishing project was one of the most interesting experiences I can remember. The owner called me out to look at the piano, and my first view of it was as stands here to the
right. It was a beautiful example of the “real thing”, a true 57″ tall “Cabinet Grand” upright piano. This is quite significant when we understand even a little of the times in which this piano was built. There was no general electricity system available, no developed transportation system outside the big cities, no radios, no stereos, no PA systems, only primitive victrola phonographs, and the telephone and light bulb had barely arrived. All this scenario explains WHY these HUGE 800-pound monsters were in such demand in those days — the piano-makers could not produce enough of them. These are the music making machines that got into the schools, the public auditoriums, the saloons, the churches, and pulled the world together with music! These goliaths turned the primitive world of those days into centers of music, people, fun, parties, dancing, and social happiness.

1892 J&C Fischer Upright 57" Cabinet Grand Piano
The sounds they produced were awesome. The backs were usually covered and decorated with a porous screen, and the front panels top and bottom were removable so that they could be rolled to the center of a room or stage and thus be heard in the farthest corner of a building or auditorium. The fact they could be placed in areas where the larger grand pianos could not go made them even more popular with the public. People were no different then than now, they wanted to HEAR the music, and these machines knew how to make that possible. Piano-makers sprang up all over the country until by 1920 there were hundreds of makers and large manufacturers, all of which combined were not able to make as many pianos as the public would buy. The cabinets were usually expertly crafted, and beautifully designed. There were styles fit for kings and queens or the beer parlors — everyone loved them with as much passion in those days as the folks of today go for the big stereo systems or theater surround sounds. And the mind-set of those times was that everyone walking wanted to play the piano or own a piano or go where there was a piano — the mood was something similar to the appetite of people today for cell phones and iPads. Our piano here actually had the finish “restored”, so the picture to the right is the actual look of the piano as it would have appeared when it was purchased new by the present owner’s family in 1892.
1892 J&C Fischer Upright 57" Cabinet Grand Piano
After inspecting the piano thoroughly, and calculating the cost to bring it up to owner’s expectations, I was shocked when he explained that he had already researched the costs for such a project, and had a good idea to begin with the it would exceed $10,000. He had already developed the goal for the piano to keep it in his family, and to restore its playing ability like it was originally. His only question was when can we begin the work! Well, of course, parts had to be ordered and time made in the schedule for the work, but in about 4 months we were able to finish the project. Many of the action parts needed replacement, but the inside of the piano looked as nice as the outside when we finished. Click the Photo Gallery feature to the right which shows some of the project details, and also some period pictures to give the flavor of how life was in 1892 when this beauty made her debut!

1892 J&C Fischer
57″ Upright
Cabinet Grand Piano

See Photo Gallery

Review of this piano.A review by the owner of this 1892 J&C Fischer Cabinet Grand was put up on Google around the year 2012, but was deleted by Google in a Google system upgrade to correct errors on this website. The published text had been archived and saved, however, and it is reprinted here:

“I have a very old J & C Fischer Cabinet Grand Piano, which came from my wife’s family. It was neglected for many, many years. It traveled many miles across the United States and even was used for piano lessons for a time. It needed a lot of work. Not being a piano enthusiast I wasn’t sure how much work it would need. I found Wes Flinn’s web site and gave him a call. I had him repair and tune my other piano in which he did a great job. We then discussed what my Fischer piano would need. He gave me many options to choose from. I decided to have him refurbish my piano. Yes it would be expensive but it would last for another 100 years or so because of it (with normal service). He took it to his shop for a few months to perform his miracle work, which included having the finish touched up as well (using a specialist in the furniture field). He provided regular updates, which included photos of the piano in the repair process. He even located the manufacture date (1892), which was hand written on the inside by one of it’s craftsman.
The finished result was magnificent. It looks and sounds great. I couldn’t ask for anything more. He even made several return trips to check up on the piano to make sure that it was still holding up, as it should. Thanks Wes.”

Frank Padgett, Mesa AZ

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