The antique Chickering piano is not just a piano... it's a work of art.
Glenn Gould-style Chickering Square Grand Piano
The superior quality of its tone is paralleled by the intricate cabinetry of each instrument. Piano by Chikering is not just a piece of art but a masterpiece of fine craftsmanship and workmanship.
Rightly so for the revered piano company received more than 200 awards among them the prestigious Imperial Cross of the Legion of Honor conferred by Emperor Napoleon III for the company's great service to music.
Perhaps the greatest endorser of the Chickering instruments is the player Franz Liszt. The great Romantic pianist and composer preferred Chickering grand piano that he owned, one of which is on display at the Liszt Museum in Budapest.
Jonas Chickering founded the piano company in 1823 in Boston, Massachusetts. He first apprenticed under John Osborne in 1818 to learn the rudiments of piano-making. Osborne was himself an apprentice of the great American piano-maker of that time, Benjamin Crehore who was the driving force behind the Boston School of piano makers.
Chickering square pianos were very popular prior to the 1870s. Jonas Chickering patented the iron frame for the square piano which he later adapted to a Checkering grand piano. His innovation paid off for his piano received the top award at the 1851 International Exposition in London.
The legacy of old Chickering pianos lived on through Jonas's three sons: Frank; Thomas and George. The company was owned and managed by the three brothers until Frank's demise in 1896. In 1908 the American Piano Company bought Chickering & Sons and continued to produce pianos under the label until 1983. Today, the label has been absorbed by Baldwin.
The use of full iron plate for Chickering grands allowed the use of heavier strings and hammer. The switch produced fuller and louder tones and also improved the tuning stability since the iron plate did not shrink and expand with changes in humidity.
The iron plate also did not bend under tension. It could be said that Jonas Chickering paved the way for this major change, for years later all great piano-makers in America followed his lead.
It has been said that Chickering grand pianos that were built up to the 1940s are considered as the best and that antique Chickering pianos from the 1880s until the 1925s have rich and powerful sound, rounded and well-toned. Each piano bearing the label had a clear and bright treble sound and a rich, deep bass. The sound produced was unique that many musicians, composers and pianists preferred the Chickering label.
There is no one source that gives a detailed list of all the pianos made under the brand Chickering. The oldest American piano manufacturer has a list though of serial numbers corresponding to the date of manufacture of its product. The year model 1823 serial number starts at 100 and ends in 1982 with the serial number 248500.
Here is a list of horizontal and vertical vintage Chickering studio piano for sale today:
The company pride itself with the new repeating action that gives a performer a quick and responsive touch, powerful and precise with a tone that is sonorous, pure and clear. The year was 1889 and by then Chickering have produced more than 77,500 pianos.
Today, you can easily find vintage Chickering piano for sale online with great discount and free shipping. You just have to know where to look and have the tenacity to do repairs and restoration.
Return from Chickering Grand Piano to Pianos Review Homepage