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MMD > Archives > May 1999 > 1999.05.23 > 14Prev  Next

Seeburg and Wurlitzer Original Finish Colors
By Art Reblitz

"Silver Fox," found on Wurlitzer (and rarely Mills) instruments,
is a nearly opaque black finish on quartered oak, with white lead
rubbed into the pores.  Note that this is entirely different from
"Silver Gray," described below.

"Driftwood," also found on Wurlitzer (and rarely late Mills)
instruments, is a nearly opaque brown finish on quartered oak,
with white lead rubbed into the pores.

"Silver Gray," found on 1920s Seeburg Style C, K, KT, and KT Special
keyboardless pianos, is a very thin finish incorporating gray dye, with
white lead rubbed into the pores.  Certain trim on these cabinets was
usually painted with a dull gold paint.  Few Seeburgs still bear their
original silver gray finish, and refinishing attempts frequently result
in a blue or green cast rather than the gray of the original cabinet.

"Mission" finish, used by Seeburg on many quartered oak pianos
before 1920, was a very dark brown conventional translucent finish
with black filler in the pores.  In one music trade magazine, Seeburg
advertised that their dark mission finish was a dull finish, while
their golden oak finish was a built-up rubbed finish.  Many dull
mission oak Seeburgs have had a coat of gloss varnish added over the
original finish, making it hard to see exactly what they looked like
when new.

Many collectors have refinished their Seeburg pianos in golden oak or
medium brown, resulting in a steadily diminishing number of Seeburgs
with their original colors.

Art Reblitz

(Message sent Sun 23 May 1999, 16:54:47 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Colors, Finish, Original, Seeburg, Wurlitzer

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