Another amazing new find for the Roseboro! A neighbor across the street from me had an estate sale this past week. I saw that they had a beautiful square grand piano for sale. I told them about the Roseboro Project and how I thought that piano would look great in the lobby. Last night, the lady came knocking at my door. She said the piano did not sell and if I was willing to move it out of the house, they thought the Roseboro would be the perfect new home for it. An enormous THANK YOU to the Ross family! This will be a stunning focal point in the Roseboro Lobby!
Upon further research, I found that this exceptional piano was built by the Ihlseng, Narvesen, & Lindstad Piano Company in New York City nearly 130 years ago. It is extremely rare in that the keyboard is made entirely of Mother of Pearl rather than ivory, and it has beautiful Mother of Pearl inlay across the front panel as well. Its heavily carved rosewood case features elegant cabriole legs and an ornate pedal lyre, as well as a beautifully grilled music rack. The inside of the piano features brilliantly colored hand-painted flowers, which contrast nicely with the dark greens and gold of the harp. This piano is completely original and the Mother of Pearl is in exceptional condition. Completely restored, it is valued at over $30,000!
A bit of history on the piano makers: Conrad Narvesen emigrated from Norway as a young man, and started working in New York City’s piano industry in about 1845. In 1861, he became a partner in the Brooklyn based firm of Ihlseng, Narvesen & Linstedt. In 1863, Linstedt withdrew from the firm and it was reorganized as Ihlseng & Narvesen at 156 East 21st Street. The partnership of Ihlseng & Narvesen was dissolved in 1864, and Conrad Narvesen continued building pianos under his own name. In1869, Conrad’s son Nicholas joined the firm, and the name of the firm was changed to Narvesen & Son. In 1880, two other Scandinavian piano makers named John Bergman and August Haugaard joined the firm, and the firm was reorganized as Narvesen, Bergman & Haugaard. In about 1885, Narvesen’s interest in the firm was bought out by Richard Walters, and the name of the firm was again changed to Narvesen Piano Company. The Narvesen Piano Company continued to build pianos up until the turn-of-the-century.