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Saturday, November 15, 2008

There seems to be some confusion. This piano belongs to my son in law and daughter. They are the ones who had it restored and it is sitting in 'their' new house.

My son in law inherited a ranch in Canada of over 100 acres with an old ranch house and several other buildings which had been constructed of logs. The old buildings were wonderful to look at but what was inside them was really fascinating. Many antiques had been stored over the years, and probably even forgotten. There were two rooms inside the house that had been locked up years ago with a multitude of treasures inside. Boxes of old photographs of my son in law's ancestors, old documents and his grandpa and great and great great grandparents treasures were packed and stacked in the rooms leaving only a tight path to walk through. We couldn't find the key to the upstairs room and it took a few trips to to the ranch before it was discovered. When the old, worn, wooden door creaked open on the rusty hinges, pulling cobwebs away from the entrance, eyes at last, darted around the crowded room at a magnificent array of ancient belongings.

This treasure was in the living room of the old ranch house. The finish had turned black with age and the ivory's were worn, broken and some were missing. Some of the keys did not play at all and many of those that did were flat. Some of the pedals were not working and there were a few burns on the keyboard cover. It seemed as if this old piano had seen it's day and should probably be left behind for the new owners of the ranch to dispose of.
Then I was invited to go up to see the ranch and when I saw the old piano I told them they should bring it home and get it restored. First of all I should tell you that I have always had a deep love and great respect for any and every piano I have ever seen, and I couldn't imagine leaving this dear old once loved instrument behind.
The kids fought with the idea for over a year during many trips to the ranch to sort and clean over a hundred years of collection from the property and prepare it to sell.
I believe it was on one of the last trips that they brought home with them the old piano and also an ancient buffet that was in poor repair but held promise of once again becomming a lovely piece of furniture. Both were huge, heavy and hard to load but thank goodness they managed.
The Hutch was sent to be refinished first and came back just gorgeous. I will post a picture of it soon.
Then came the piano.

Here she is!
Solid walnut, made in the late 1800's by the Weser Brother's. She has a new finish and her key's replaced. Notice this piano has five pedals which is rare, one for soft, one sustain, one for honkey-tonk sound and one for harpsicord and I can't remember what the fifth one is for. I'll have to play it more to find out.
It was costly to have it refinished but worth every penny. I can just imagine my son in law's mom, grandma, grandpa, and even great and probably great-great grand parents playing this piano. The old piano stool that goes with it is still being refinished. It is very ornate and they will look perfect together.
Heirloom's are wonderful, not so much for the monetary value but for the connection they give us with those who have gone on before us.
While this one was sitting in the shop where it was refinished, the shop owner had an offer of $18,000 for it.
Of course it is not for sale.



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