Hello all -- my first posting, still new to the hobby! I am looking
for info and a matching bench for my partially restored 1918 Ampico
Chickering 5' 8" baby grand, serial no. 128795, plain case in original
dark ribbon mahogany alligatored finish. Would really appreciate if
someone has an extra bench they'd part with.
I researched extensively, especially MMD, in a five-year quest for
reproducing players. Now I proudly own an unrestored 1919 Duo-Art
Weber upright (on eBay 11/1/06 from David Smith, Outback Mechanical
of New York) and the Chickering (on Craig's List 5/8/09).
Unfortunately, the Chickering's seller was secretive and shared no
history. I'm wondering if someone recognizes the serial number. It
looks like two restorers, about 10 to 15 years ago. I've been told
it is a Stoddard Ampico; it has partial repeat slots in right side
of drawer. Since I live in Lebanon, Ohio, and the Chickering was
in Orient, 72 miles north, I totally agree with Bob Billings as to
"Play it yourself" and "Same climate" rules.
I also tried to arrange for a tech inspection but was unable due to
owner's schedule, house for sale and the owner was no longer living
there. When I called a third time to ask for a visit, the piano was
sold with the house and I was to be hostage for 45 days until closing,
but that deal fell through a week later. It took two months just to
see it! Meanwhile, three other pianos I had considered sold. Several
friends say I should write a book on "The Elusive Chickering".
So, after advice pro and con from MMDers David Smith, L.N. (had to
include you), John Tuttle, Paul Manganaro and Cameron Dean, I bought
it. (Tim Trager, Robin Pratt and Herb Lindahl, contributed a lot
also, not on this one.) It has been second most wonderful purchase
of my life, the Duo-Art being first, and I will never regret either.
I couldn't believe I found much needed 1916 Ampico Knabe drawer and
parts from Dean Howe of Missouri. A wonderful day was spent 10/3/09
at Kap's Pianos in Cleveland with Bill, Mike, Lou, Don and Francis --
50 years of museum-plus quality pianos and music boxes are a must-see!
Several of the above, mainly Dean Howe and John Tuttle, have been
indispensable in helping me to restore the Chickering. Later we'll
conquer the Duo-Art. (For fourteen years I have custom-built 1-inch
scale electrified dollhouses.) All have become close, long-time
The moral is get to know experts in the field and thank them repeatedly!
There still are _nice_ people out there and this site definitely is
proof. Many hugs and thanks again ever so much to all of you!
Linda L. Howson - Molehill Miniatures
email@example.com [delete ".geentroep" to reply]