Crass Commercialism Rears it's Ugly Head;

Les Smith
Mon, 03 Jun 1996 16:22:49 -0400 (EDT)

Hi, Jeff. I do a great deal of player and reproducer  restoration work and
while I don't currently have a buyer for your instrument, I haver fowarded
your post to a special-interest group which includes collectors and tech-
nicians interested in pianos such as the one you have. There are no guaran-
tees, of course, but at least it's in front of the right people. Your target
market for that instrument probably DOESN'T include serious pianists. The
drawer under the keybed that houses the spoolbox and controls interfers with
the use of the pedals by pianists much over five feet tall or so. Ideally
you're looking for a wealthy individual who collects antiques and will be
intersted in the rarity of what you have to offer. If you have difficulty
in reaching you target market, you might want to check out a magazine called
"Piano and Keyboard Magazine", which has a classified section that frequently
contains collector-quality instruments. I have seen rare reproducing grands
offered there. Also, if this instrument is in really outstanding condition,
you might also want to consider an ad and photographs in "The Robb Report".
THAT will certainly reach you target market! However, in either case, make
sure that you have an independent appraisal as to the quality, rarity and
value of the instrument, roll cabinet and rolls. Good luck!

Les Smith

On Mon, 3 Jun 1996 wrote:

> Dear Folks,
>     After seeing the interesting offerings presented on the List...I'm going
> to heave one in here, too. The following was prepared as a Net-message...
> Subj:	Quest for a home....
> From:	TunerJeff
> To:	Folks looking for an unusual piano.
> Dear Folks,
>      Got the most amazing phone call from a customer recently. Now have a
> most unusual set looking for a home. A reproducing grand with matching roll
> cabinet and 600+  Ampico PlayerRolls in excellent condition.(Owner is an
> interesting type, too. He and three buddies developed a machine for copying
> player rolls for the Shakey's Pizza franchise in California...back when every
> pizza parlor they opened came equipped with a player piano for atmosphere.
> Small world.)
> Here's what the guy has to offer (...I think it's extremely interesting!);
> <<The "legend" behind the piano is that it was commisioned (or simply
> purchased??)
> as a set by the Dunlop Family in the early '20s. (Yup...the tire
> magnate...)>>
> Knabe Reproducing Grand #95041 (Ampico-A  Player Mechanism) 5'6'' length
> Art Case Walnut (very clean) in Louis XIV style. (Rare to be Walnut, more so
> in Art Case) Included are the matching bench and Ampico Roll-Cabinet, same
> finish & style mind-you! ...and more than 600 Ampico player-rolls in superb
> condition.(Including quite a few of those huge long-play monsters).
> The Ampico Roll-Cabinet (decal on inside of door) stands over 4-foot tall,
> 15-inches deep, 27-inches wide and stands on matching legs to bench & piano
> ..and same finish, WOW!
> This has been a set since it's purchase, and dude wants it to stay that way.
> The player mechanism was re-built in the near past...all hoses and tubes
> appear fresh and supple...and it plays beautifully.
> The Knabe nameplate on the keycover is...a gold plaque! Not a decal or inlay.
> Owner's research came up with the idea that only 12 to 14 of these were
> built.
> Overall it's in outstanding condition. (<Hammers & re-stringing would be
> nice>)
> Who would be interested in such a creature?
> Who would purchase such a creature?...not always the same thing, is it?    ;)
> I've been a tuner/technician for 16+ years in various areas and never seen
> such an interesting combination
>      We're currently living at the Edge-of-the-Known-World here, on the
> Oregon Coast I don't think I can find a buyer willing to spend more
> than, oh say....about 50 bucks for it. It's value is more in the 20 to 40K
> range. Suggestions and input would be welcome. I'm just seeking a
> decent home for an unusual set; An Art-Case Reproducing Knabe,
>  Ampico Roll-Cabinet, and 600 player-rolls.
>                                   Thanks for the help,
>                                    Jeffrey T. Hickey
>                          RPT Member; Piano Technicians Guild
>                                    TunerJeff @
>                                       (541) 756-7701

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