[ Ref. 170106 MMDigest ]
I have learned that the piano to be shipped from Paris is a 5' 8" Knabe
which has been in the owner's family since purchased new in Kansas
City, Missouri (see attached photos). So far, the owner has been
unable to find the serial number, but from descriptions, it is probably
a mid-1920s "A" model.
In speaking with the owner, an additional topic of concern has come up,
that of the ivory covered keys. Someone locally (in Paris) has said
that "they" will "chop the keys off" before it can be shipped which,
while it sounds grotesque, cannot be discounted. What options or
procedures exist for this issue?
The owner would be able to have the keys removed from the action before
the piano is crated, but can they be shipped separately? Hand-carried?
If the owner has "connections", would the American Embassy likely be
amenable to transferring them to Washington in a diplomatic pouch?
If it makes any difference, the instrument has been in the same
family since purchased, is to be delivered to a family member (after
restoration), and will not be sold. Does going back to the original
country of manufacture make any difference?
I believe the current "regulations" make an exception for domestic
transfers if the ivory "content" is below some threshold weight, which
will typically apply to a single keyboard's worth of ivory, but does
international shipment complicate this? All advice welcomed.
[ Plate casting detail.
[ Original installation.