Steinway & Sons are probably the most illustrious piano manufacturers in the world. Piano players all over the world dream of owning a Steinway one day. One such piano from the annals of the company’s history is up for auction. The piano in question is a Steinway & Sons Louis XV mahogany piano that has been gilded with 24k gold. A golden piano! That seems like something out of a fairytale. This beautiful piano has been owned by several great men like the American poet William Stafford, a New York banker who kept it at his Plaza Hotel residence, Benjamin Sawtelle Hanchett , who owned the piano for almost 65 years. The last owner was Mark Fritz who owned it from 2004 till his death in 2012.
This particular piano was designed as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the company. It is a 1904 Model B piano with a serial number serial number 108815, and was designed by Joseph Burr Tiffany who was the head artist of Steinway’s Art Case Department. He also happened to be related to the founder of Tiffany & Company. It was then carved by Juan Ayuso from solid mahogany and covered with gold. Several other pianos were crafted for this special anniversary collection.
More than 80 years after it was made, Steinway’s Chairman, John H. Steinway had it restored in 1985 by renowned piano conservationist, Lloyd Meyer of Camilleri Pianoworks. The piano was in good hands as Camilleri has restored musical instruments of many artists and that of The Peabody Conservatory and The Juilliard School of Music. This piano will be auctioned off by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers at their Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts auction being held on April 28 and April 29. The pre-auction estimate for this golden Steinway is around $200,000. One will have to wait and see if the auction surpasses this estimate.