Steinway and Mason and Hamlin piano models are designated by letters. Here is a lesson in the nomenclature of Steinway and Mason Pianos.
Steinway A 1:
This model Steinway was made in the late 1800’s to very early 1900’s. The length of this model is 6ft. 2 in. They are termed hook bridge A’s because the 3 rd bridge in the tenor section of the piano is shaped like a hook. These pianos were Victorian in style. That is to say that they all had round arms in front of the piano and a double bead to go around the case. The legs were of a Victorian Style as well. The simplest of the legs were called Tiffany and were characterized by a window pane design. The more complicated legs looked like ice cream cones, fire hydrants, umbrella stands, and flower pots.
Steinway A 2:
Made in the very late 1800’s to the teens this model A is 6 ft. 1 in. is also a Victorian style piano with the round arms and double bead around the case. The same leg styles were used in this model piano with the addition of the delicate octagonal Tulip Legs. This piano was made without the hook bridge. This was considered a step in the evolution of the Model A Steinway.
Steinway A 3:
Made from 1913 this 6 ft. 4 in. piano was a further step in the evolution of the Steinway A. For some reason all the A’s were discontinued by Steinway only to be revived in the 2000’s.
Craftsman Piano Company has four vintage Steinway A’s in inventory.
Mason and Hamlin A:
Wonderful sounding pianos. 5 ft.7 in length. These pianos are very rewarding to restore and play. They have a different feel from Steinway pianos. Many musicians prefer the Masons.
This model piano measures 6 ft. 11 in. Pre 1911 is the Victorian era for pianos. Stylistically this means that the pianos have round arms, with a double bead running around the case. The standard legs that come with a Victorian B are the tiffany, ice cream cone, tulip, Louis XV,and umbrella stand. However, we once restored a Louis XVI B with marketry and an elaborate gold leaf design.
This piano is a favorite of musicians because it combines the wonderful sound of a large piano with some economy of space.
Mason and Hamlin BB: Also 6 ft.11 in. Piano aficionados always debate the relative merits of the Steinway B vs. the Mason BB. Suffice it to say both piano models are fabulous, and there are proponents for both sides.
Craftsman Piano Company has two BB’s in stock. Both are satin ebony.
7 ft. 5 in: This model piano bridges the gap between parlor pianos and concert pianos. They are incredibly rewarding to restore. We have restored at least six Victorian C’s over the past few years. All have been artistic triumphs.
Craftsman Piano has only one Steinway being restored right now. The key frame and keys will be replaced. The sound board will be Alaskan Spruce. The parts will be Hamburg Steinway. I am hoping that this piano will be on our showroom floor by December.
I hope this has been instructive.
Please check out our website to see our complete inventory.
Craftsman Piano in cooperation with Crestwood Music Education Center will be having several Saturday evening Soirees this fall and winter. The schedule will be posted on our web site.