Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that a beautiful old piano had been left out by the garbage bins at one of the thrift stores I visit from time to time. I guess they must have assumed that it would be a tough sell and considering how many pianos show up on freecycle, maybe they were right. I went back today with my camera for a few pictures and found all ivory keys completely gone. Old pianos are one of the few relatively abundant sources of legal - and often free - antique ivory. Obviously someone had seen the opportunity here and taken what they could.
The inside of the piano had gorgeous lettering and graphics from the company. B. Shoninger was apparently one of the first major piano manufacturers, opening in 1850. This piano had the serial number 5356, making it a very early model. According to this website, the company had made over 25000 pianos by the 1950's.
It's sad to see a wonderful, antique instrument left forsaken in a grungy parking lot. Honestly if I had a bigger house, I would have at least a piano or two. We had one growing up and I learned all about music from plunking away at those old keys and deciphering my grandmother's ancient sheet music. Ah well, everything must come and go, I suppose. Maybe I'll have to get a storage unit and start a piano rescue. Imagine that!