The (Alleged) Hetty Green Duo-Art Mystery
Hi All, I've been helping Michael Herr discover "what's what" with
the pianos he inherited from his brother, Randolph, especially the 9'
Steinway Duo-Art (gutted), and the custom art case Steinway Duo-Art
(gutted), that Randolph believed belonged to Hetty Green, "The Witch
of Wall Street", the worst known miser to have lived. (This according
to "The Guinness Book of World Records".)
Unfortunately, she died in 1916 and the piano is dated at 1917. The
only explanation that comes to mind is that, as a custom art-case (not
a stock "catalogue" art-case) it was shipped to Europe for decoration
and she died before it came back. According to Doug Bullock, such
work sometimes took three or four years to complete, and the serial
numbers weren't assigned until the end: thus creating the right time
frame for such to have transpired.
So I am asking here if anyone knows what firm such pianos were sent
to by Steinway (or Aeolian) for this decoration, as they may still
exist and have records. Also, if anyone knows why Randolph believed
it was Hetty Green's, and would be so kind as to tell us, that would be
of great help!
Finally, if anyone is interested in this piano, or the partially
restored 9' Steinway Duo-Art, please contact me, as I have done
extensive research and can probably provide the most information as
to what has been done, what needs completion, and so on.
[ Michael Herr told me last June three big pianos are available:
[ (1) 9-1/2-foot Steinway "D", player removed, piano partially restored
[ (2) Steinway model "O", player removed, prev. owned by Hetty Green
[ (3) Randolph's "touring piano", player missing
[ More about Randolph Herr and his pianos at
[ -- Robbie