Thread Number: 72484  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Ivers & Pond Piano for the music fans up here!
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Post# 957803   9/16/2017 at 19:14 by funktionalart (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Thought I'd share something I have here at home because I know there are a few of us up here who are big fans of old pianos and music in general.

This is 1897 Ivers & Pond parlor upright -- one of those brilliant old over-built top quality instruments which will never be seen built again in our lifetimes! Interesting story on this one--I picked it up here in Phoenix about 12 years ago. At a St. Vincent de Paul, where I'd gone to donate some things. Saw it sitting behind a refrigerator in the back of the shop and just about dropped in my tracks. There was NO way I could let anyone else grab this. Normally, when you find one this old, it is packed with a century of dirt/dust/mess and a major project to put right. Almost never do you see one this pristine...especially at a thrift shop!

Though my pictures aren't the greatest (one day I'll photograph it properly), you can clearly see what the appeal was to me. This thing is like a time capsule. Fully original and unrestored--you could tell it had been cherished from day one. Drop dead gorgeous in and out. Zero sun-fade, perfect ivories...even the felts and hammers inside are quite like new. I've still yet to have it tuned. Pretty much in need of nothing (what a $$ saver).

Now, for the best bit--The original owners names are factory stamped inside. When I saw the name "Sawyer"...something sounded familiar about that. I just couldn't quite piece it together the day I bought it. Being a bit of a genealogist, I decided to research it last year--I had a memory of there being Sawyers in my family way, way back. As it turns out, my great-great grandmother was a Sawyer, and this particular piano was built for her Uncle Alvin and his wife--who owned a music store in Boulder back in the 1880s-about 1910. I've since located the original building where this piano was delivered (The Sawyers were also Ivers & Pond resellers/reps) and alot of information on their old business. Even some documentation. What a really one-off situation where an instrument like this comes full circle after 120 years and winds up still with a family member. Would love to know where it had been for a century before I finally got it!

I'm really low tech, and haven't got a way to make a video of this piano at work. But I left a youtube link for a track by my lifelong favourite singer (Dusty Springfield) with the opening piano track which sounds EXACTLY like my own Ivers & Pond. For almost 50 years, this has been my personal benchmark for what the ideal piano sound is...and the biggest reason I even bought the thing in the first place.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO funktionalart's LINK

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Post# 957829 , Reply# 1   9/16/2017 at 22:03 by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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It's a real beauty. Quite an amazing coincidence about it being owned by relatives, too! What are the odds...

Post# 957836 , Reply# 2   9/16/2017 at 23:49 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Great piano, great story!  Interesting how things work out sometimes.


Clicked on the link to hear the piano intro you mentioned, and got sucked into YouTube music again..  A little down the list was MacArthur Park -- I could not resist  Went through 3 versions  the original, the 18 minute Donna Summer version and finished up with Jimmy Webb doing it with Brian Wilson.  All unique.


Back to your regularly scheduled thread...

Post# 957843 , Reply# 3   9/17/2017 at 08:18 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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An absolute treasure! Finding an unrestored 19th century relic like this in pristine condition is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They certainly don't make them like that, anymore. A museum-quality piece. Thanks for sharing the photos and historical info.

Aside: I see you're working on Beethoven's 8th Sonata in C minor, the 'Pathetique'. Played it in college as the centerpiece for my junior year recital. Nearly 40 years later, I still break out in a cold sweat over the technical difficulties of the first and third movements. Sheepishly admit I had to take them under the commonly accepted tempos to maintain sanity/accuracy, LOL. The opening of the second movement (Adagio) is the bit most will recognize.

Post# 957853 , Reply# 4   9/17/2017 at 09:39 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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What a beautiful piano.  Thank god you got it before it was destroyed in the thrift store by people and kids hammering on it. 


The last store selling real pianos and organs in our town closed a year or two ago and  as I was driving into London Ont. on the back roads yesterday I noticed what was probably one of their last piano stores was vacant now as well. 

Post# 957857 , Reply# 5   9/17/2017 at 10:22 by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

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That's a beautiful piano! And for it being as old as it is you can tell that was definitely pampered and taken care of with love. You would never know just by looking at it that it was so old.

Great story as well.

Post# 957875 , Reply# 6   9/17/2017 at 14:02 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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I couldn't agree more with the other comments, that is one very beautiful piano. Do you play? (the piano I mean) I have always wished I could play the piano. I think anyone who can master anything more than "chopsticks" is gifted. Alas I am way too old to learn and worse, being left-handed, I have little coordination in my right hand although it has no problems opening the refrigerator while I grab with the left. I think that a piano makes a statement in your home just sitting there like a stately floor clock. I have a nice piano that fortunately does a wonderful job of playing itself with these nifty Pianomation CD's. Congrats on that very nice instrument!

Post# 958038 , Reply# 7   9/18/2017 at 17:32 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

The piano is beautiful, and certainly an interesting story surrounding it!

Post# 959353 , Reply# 8   9/26/2017 at 23:39 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

Allen, I love, love, love Iver and Pond pianos! I have played a couple of their grand pianos and an upright and they were right up there. It looks wonderful and has a rich bass to I am sure, good for you. Gary

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