Page 1: Museum Highlights
Here are some of the finest, rarest, and most beautiful or unusual pianos in the Miniature Piano Museum. As with all other pages, the pictures may be clicked for a larger image.
Pianos in my collection:
This is a very finely cut brass filigree-style piano with a matching bench. It measures 1 1/2" across by 2" high. The top opens and closes and the piano is gold plated so it will not tarnish. The picture on the left is of mine; the one on the right shows an identical piano with a clearer image.
On the left is a ceramic Josef Originals figurine, marked as such on the bottom, along with a JAPAN sticker and a sticker identifying her as Tammy. The figurine features a girl playing a piano and is 5 1/2" high. It also comes as a musical version; the figurine revolves as the music box plays "Humeresque." On the right is a ceramic trinket box with cats around the piano that measures 2 1/2" across by 3 1/2" high. The sheet music is a separate piece.
This is a brown ceramic upright piano creamer I bought in New Orleans. It measures 6" across by 4 1/2" high and features a cat walking on the piano's keyboard.
The gorgeous trinket box on the left is made primarily of metal, gold plated, with red and white epoxy coloring. It has 158 clear Austrian crystal stones. The top of the piano is removable and you can put small items in it. It has a magnetic closure. It measures 1 3/4" high by 2 1/2" long by 2 1/8" across and is quite heavy for its size. On the right is a musical Victorian miniature pianoforte and bench made in the 1" to 1' scale. It measures 4 3/4" across by 5 1/2" high with the lid open.
This is the Petite Princess plastic dollhouse piano by Ideal. The first picture is not of mine, but you can see the detail. The one I have is in need of cleaning, but is rare in that it still has its tiny metronome (which is easily lost because it's not attached!). The inside of the piano is detailed in relief with painted strings. The keyboard is also in relief. Behind the keyboard is a mirror-like panel. The piano has stickers around it and under the lid that depict old-fashioned pastoral scenes. The bench is covered in soft maroon fabric. This piano is made in Japan. It measures 3 1/4" across by 4" high.
Pianos not in my collection:
This is a hand-painted Russian lacquer box made from papier-mache. It measures 5 1/2" long by 4" across by 3" high. A fragment from the famous "King Lyre" is depicted on the cover of the piano. The smaller details are painted under a magnifying glass with a one-hair brush. Painted in traditional Palekh style, the artist uses thin layers of colors to create an illusion of depth in the velvety soft snow drifts. Even the figures have this same soft appearance that is unique to this artist. Beautiful and precise metallic gold and silver line-work accents and details the scene. Contour lines are used on all the earthly elements: the plants and the clouds. The filigree design that frames the painting is applied in layers of metallic gold paint to give the viewer the impression of depth. It looks like an intricately cut piece of gold jewelry. After the final painting is done, eight or more coats of lacquer are applied, each one having dried and being sanded smooth before the next one is applied.
This excellent old ivory miniature piano is highly detailed and very well made. It measures almost 2" long, 2" high, and 1" across. This piece came from the estate of a wealthy woman who collected thousands of miniatures during the 1940s and 1950s.
This sterling silver mini piano has filigree work all over. The top part opens and closes; it can also stay open with the help of a sterling stick. It measures 2" long and 1 1/2" across.
This is a wonderfully ornate 1950s pink porcelain piano with hand-applied roses. This vintage piece is 5" long, 3 1/2" high, and 3 1/4" across. The top of the piano lifts off to serve as a dresser box.
This unusual vintage charm weighs 25.8 grams and is 14K yellow gold. It measures 11/16" by 13/16" and is set with turquoise and coral beads. The keyboard opens and the piano plays a tune when the handle (missing) is turned.
Here is a very classy porcelain mini piano pill box made by the Limoges company of Paris, France. There is a Limoges stamp on the bottom of the piece and the piano still has its original Limoges label on top as well. It was purchased in 1960. The piano is 2 3/8" long, 1" across, and 1 5/8" high.
This ornate Bespaq walnut baby grand dollhouse piano has an opening and closing lid and music desk, detailed pedals and strings, gold-trimmed carved legs, and a stool. It is 3 1/2" high and across by 5 1/4" long. This miniature retails at $150.00.
This is a gorgeous antique Limoges casket or table box. There was one like it on the Antiques Roadshow that appraised for $2,000. This one was at one time a music box, but the box has been removed as it does not work. This piano has lots of details, including Greek key trim and hand scrolling inside. The lid and keyboard cover open to reveal more scrollwork. There is hand-painted porcelain on the top and over the piano keys. This heavy box measures about 6 1/2" long by 4 1/4" across by 3 1/2" high.
On the left is a Capodimonte piece that features a grand piano with its top opened and filled with beautiful greens and flowers. On the right is a rare, valuable antique musical decanter that plays "Tea for Two."
On the left is a Swarovski crystal grand piano with stool. It is 2 3/4" high. On the right is a French enamel piano music box. The shaped and hinged lid depicts three seated putti, opening to a velvet-lined tier, together with a matching piano bench with similar decoration. This piano is 5" long and is appraised at around $600.
Here is a pair of Limoges piano trinket boxes in mint condition and with the standard Limoges Fragonard love scene. One is light blue and the other is dark blue. Both are matching in every other way. Each measures 3" by 2" by 1 1/2."
This is a wonderful grand piano metal powder compact that is now becoming scare and hard to find. The legs of the piano fold down and the compact slides into a little black satin piano-shaped bag for protection. The compact measures 2 3/4" long and stands 1 1/2" high. Inside the lid is a mirror and engraved on the powder guard is Pygmalion. Made In England.
This wonderful vintage princess-style phone in the shape of a piano has a ceramic body. It is burgundy in color with gold decorations and brass details and measures 9 1/2" long by 9" high.
This amazing and unique piano-shaped desk is a late Victorian piece dating to the early 1900s. It is solid mahogany with hand carving. The auction listing said it was made from the body of a baby grand piano, converted into a desk by a master craftsman in the 1910s or 1920s. However, the desk measures 42" deep, 40" high, and 32 1/2" across, so its origin as a real piano is questionable.
This is a truly unique vintage all-mirrored baby grand coffee or cocktail table. Bought from an exclusive million-dollar estate in Irvington, NY, it was from a piano player's home. The estate would not mention the name. The entire piano is extremely heavy and is all wood under the mirror. The top is one solid piece and even the legs are mirrored.
This is a new Schoenhut concert grand toy piano. Schoenhut toy pianos are authentic musical instruments. Small hammers strike metal rods, producing lovely chime-like tones. The keys are correctly spaced, corresponding to those on a big piano, enabling a child to learn proper "finger stretch" required for playing. This model of piano costs in the $350.00 range.
Here is an early Schoenhut toy piano with wonderful decoration. The colorful and vibrant transfer decal depicts a cherub with flutes on either end and a group of dancing Grecian women in a circle. The gold in the decal is embossed. There is a patent number on the decal, "September 18, 1900." The frame is constructed of cherry stained wood. This piano measures 11 1/4" high by 17" across by 8" deep.
This is a super-rare 5 1/2" high cast iron piano still bank that plays music. Only a few are known to exist.
This piano player, called "Le Pianiste," is made by the famous toy company Fernand Martin of Paris in France. The antique toy is made of tin and cloth and was produced in 1901. The windup clockwork mechanical function is in working order: the hands will move along the keyboard producing the piano music, which sounds like a primitive music box. Martin toys are highly collectible and rare (and very expensive). The toy measures 6 1/4" long by 5 1/4" high. The pianist plays the keyboard to the air "J'ai du bon tabac" for the French market or "God Save the King" for the English or American market. It exists with or without hair.
This ceramic piece is a cracker tray featuring a cat playing the piano and a lady singer or admirer. It is stamped on the back "Cardinal Ind. 1993." The piece measures 10" long and 2 1/2" high.
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