Ironically, the name Gehr.Steinberg is owned by Yantai Perzina who were marketed in this country by the aforementioned BPMC. Maybe if they had rationalised their bewildering and complicated model range; dropped the hopelessly outdated Bentley in favour of a rebadged Perzina, and sorted out the build quality of the Welmar and Knight pianos (1970s build quality would have been a vast improvement) they might still exist today.
You certainly give me some more leads...
...I know that the piano ended up in my great aunts house, she was a missionary in India and came back due to WWII, the piano was from my great grandads, ie her father, we have a baby grand that it was always paired with, but that is a different make.
...interesting what you say about the company ownership, me nor my mother realsied that.
..Im going to look inside it tmw, (it's not in my house) and see what i can find in there.
-how can I post a photo?-
a close friend of my grandfather´s worked with the Steinberg company in Berlin and so it happened that in 1935 my grandfather bought a grand piano directly at the factory. The grand had been built in 1935 or 1934 and was on display in the showroom. According to my father the friend indicated that Wilhelm Furtwängler, the famous conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra played this grand when he once visited the factory.
It carries the number 33958. It has a Langer action. Franz Langer was a company specialising in piano actions which existed from 1882 to 1935 when it became insolvent (see Hubert Henke, Encyclopedia of German Suppliers for the Piano Industry, 2002, Bochinsky publishers, pages 141 – 142). The action looks exactly like the one shown on the photographs of Illuiscl. Despite its age our grand was still in good shape and taken from my parent´s home to Stuttgart in 2004 where it was slightly reconditioned by the former piano building factory Mathaes which today only does service work.
As to the story of Wilhelm Furtwängler having played our grand, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra indeed at least possesed one Steinberg grand as reported by Hubert Henkel in his Encyclopedia of German Piano Makers, published 2000 by Bochinsky, page 626 – 627. Henkel gives the most comprehensive history of the Steinberg factory available so it might be interesting enough if give you my translation of his entry on „Steinberg & Co. Piano factory Berlin, 1908 – 1940:
„The limited company is established by company charter of 16th April 1908, the share capital being 20,000 (Gold)Marks, managing director is the technician Ignatz Loewy, the place of business at East Gubener Straße 42c. On 3d Oct. 1908 the trademarks „Steinberg Pianos“ and on 13th December „Berg-Pianos“ are registered. In June 1911 the company and the factory move to Frankfurter Allee 117, having a good reputation as an active member of the trade. De Wit 1912 indicates Georg Schlesinger and Ignatz Loewy as owners of the company. Since 1919 the company is in Frankfurter Allee 12 and Cadiner Straße 20, it participates in the Leipzig spring exhibition, owners still being Georg Schlesinger and Ignatz Loewy, the company builds its own actions. In Nov. 1929 the insolvent company Reinhold Schröther is acquired together with Fritz Kuhla AG. Since spring of 1932 big concert grands are being built, one of them delivered to the Berlin Philharmony. At the end of 1936 Ignatz Loewy and Georg Schlesinger flee from the National Socialists to England, Karl Nickel is granted full power of attorney (Prokura) to continue the operation. On 8th Jan. 1937 there is a conference of creditors, on 12th Febr. 1937 bankruptcy proceedings over the assets of the company are opened. In Oct. 1937 Paul Bogs is announced the new owner, Gertrud Mohlis gets Prokura in Aug. 1938. Since Febr. 1940 Bernhard May is the new owner and he changes the name of the company to his own name, the power of attorney of Gertrud Möhlis is cancelled. Sales Brochures: July 1909, German, English, French, 12 small pianos; Sept. 1913, German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, 2 grands, 17 small pianos; May 1921, 34 pages, 7 languages, like before and also Portugese and Swedish, 2 baby grands 133 and 157, 12 small pianos, 1 reproduction small piano; Sept. 1928, 16 pages, grands and small pianos; Oct. 1935 brochure for small vertical piano „Favorita“.“
Another book, Jens-Uwe Witter, The Encyclopedia of Pianos, 1st ed. 1998, p. 448 also indicates 1908 as the year when „Steinberg & Co.“ was established. He lists three numbers with the respective production dates: 19,104: 1920; 21,933: 1925; 24,055: 20th March 1930. In the 2d ed. 2000, p. 712 he indicates locations at Tottenham, London and Berlin as if the company was founded in England and moved to Germany the same year. Without further explanation he also refers to entries on „Bently, Rogers & Sons“ and Steinberg & Gehr, Rogers & Son, Bentley“. From 1922 – 1923 Berlin, Grimmaische Straße 26 is given as the location and 1923 a subsidiary in Leipzig is mentioned. Hope this was not too much. Bye!
sure, but you can also order Henkel´s books directly from the publisher´s online shop and where you can also find the ISBNs: http://www.bochinsky.de/advanced_search ... ords=huber
You might also be interested in the Atlas der Pianonummern (Atlas of piano Numbers) by Jan Großbach with serial numbers from piano makers all over Europe (http://www.bochinsky.de/product_info.ph ... mmern.html).
Of course, you need to be familiar with the German language. I am not aware of any translations of these books into English.
By the way, your forum is excellent, keep up the good work!
Jens-Uwe Witter, Das Klavier-Lexikon: Namen und Fabrikate aus dem Klavier-, Orgel- und Harmoniumbau sowie Handel und Service von 1788 - 2000 / . - 2. Ausg. - Schillingsfürst : Musik-&-Methodik-Verlag Kircheis, 2000. - 967 S. ; 21 cm. - ISBN 3-929501-04-X: DM 148.00
The publisher has no website so you would have to order at your bookshop. I don´t know whether it is still available. Perhaps you might contact the author who seems to have moved to the US: http://www.piano-doctor.com/
it is a miracle that your aunt is still with us and can give us some first hand information about the Steinberg company.
My father told me another story he had heard from my grandfather. After our grand had been taken from Berlin to the city of Essen (Ruhr area) in 1955, the firm Schmitz Piano, which still exists today, did the tuning. The then co-owner Mr. Schmitz was happy to see a Steinberg piano again, because he had been distributor of Steinberg pianos in the 30´s. He had heard that when the owner, Mr. Schmitz seems to have indicated that the name was Mr. Steinberg, left Germany he was allowed to take a grand piano with him. The owner hid some cash money in the piano and tried to ship it to England, probably to start a new business over there. German boarder guards were tipped off by an unknown person and seized the money so the owner had lost everything. I don´t know whether this story really happened but great injustice has been done to your family anyway.
We can also learn something about the rise and fall of the company from the information provided by Henkel and Witter. The time between 1930 and 1935 apparently saw the peak of the company´s success. Almost 5,000 pianos left the factory during that time, compared to only about 3,000 in the 10 years before. In the late 20s and early 30s the company also extended its product range from small upright pianos for home use to grands and instruments for professionals which also reflects a higher standard in quality. But in 1936 the creditors almost seem to have waited for your grandfather and his partner to leave Germany to transfer the business to some German owner via bankruptcy proceedings. The introduction of the small Favorita piano in 1935 might indicate that the factory already was in trouble by that time. It is easy to explain why. Businesses with Jewish owners were heavily discriminated against since the Nazis had taken power in 1933 and especially public institutions with a need for professional pianos were not buying from “Jews” any more. We all know how things ended and your grandfather was at least lucky to have left the country when it was still possible.
It would be interesting what your aunt remembers about that time. Perhaps you could also ask her where the Steinberg name came from as no person of that name is mentioned in any of the sources, except the rather unreliable quote from Mr. Schmitz. Could it be that it was just a clever brand name that should sound a bit like “Steinway”? The company was a GmbH (Ltd.) whose name did not have to reflect the name of a real person. Another fact that might support this theory: as reported by Henkel, there were two trademarks “Steinberg pianos” and “Berg-Pianos”. Perhaps the second trademark was registered just in case the Steinway company enforces its trademark rights against the Steinberg name, what apparently did not happen.
http://aycu01.webshots.com/image/35760/ ... 878_rs.jpg
http://aycu33.webshots.com/image/33752/ ... 061_rs.jpg
http://aycu28.webshots.com/image/34827/ ... 709_rs.jpg
http://aycu08.webshots.com/image/33967/ ... 699_rs.jpg
http://aycu07.webshots.com/image/33246/ ... 423_rs.jpg
http://aycu34.webshots.com/image/33553/ ... 806_rs.jpg
http://aycu29.webshots.com/image/34988/ ... 906_rs.jpg
http://aycu21.webshots.com/image/33860/ ... 372_rs.jpg
Our grand barely survived the war years in Berlin in the home of a drug addicted doctor who was about to give it away in exchange for drugs. My grandfather was able to stop the deal in the very last minute.
I would also like to address kingbee again. Would you mind sharing with us some photos of your grandfather, his partner, the Steinberg factory and its people, if there are any? I have the idea that this forum could serve as some kind of small virtual "Steinberg Berlin Museum" to commemorate this great company and its people.
Finally, I would like to add the name of my grandfather´s friend at the factory: he was Alfred Grunow. I do not know exactly what he did there but I obviously hope he is not the foreman your family suspects as being the Nazi informer.
Looks like I'm a year or two late on this thread, but if anyone is still around: I've got a beautiful Steinberg baby grand piano, serial number 38115. It has an engraving on the inside which reads "London formerly Berlin" so obviously I assume that it was manafactured in London, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me around when this piano was made? Thanks!
your grand was made in London. The grand parents of kingbee reached London in late 1937 or early 1938. My grand No. 33958 was built 1935 or 1934. So I guess serial number 38115 must have been built in the late thirties or early forties.
Do you have information about a Steinberg Piano brought back from Germany by my family in the early 1950's? It is a beautiful, two-pedal baby grand, with a stamped serial number #37292. It has a logo that looks like a treble clef note with 'st.' inscribed at either end of the word 'Steinberg' centered above the keyboard. At the right end of the keyboard are the words 'Pianohaus Hirsch Munchen' in gold letters on the black keyboard cover.
This has been in our family - with little knowledge about the maker or history. Now that my grandmother is gone, we're trying to learn more about this treasured family heirloom. Can you help?
Thank You for any knowledge.
Thank You. Yes, I have read the previous posts and am grateful to have some history of the brand and family. Thank you for clarifying the logo - I was not aware the logo indicated the piano was built in Berlin. Was this the main location of the Steinberg factory? Is there a listing of the serial numbers of pianos made - that still exists - and would identify the timing of the serial number of my grand piano?Rolf Diekmann wrote:A lot has been written in this forum about the history of the Steinberg brand. The logo indicates that your grand was built in Berlin before the family and the company had to move to London. In London they changed the logo. Your grand must have been one of the last made in Germany, probably in 1936 or 1937.
Also, I am interested in trying to locate someone in the US that could have knowledge and ability to properly examine, potentially provide an appraisal or valuation, and do any needed restoration work on this wonderful instrument.
thank you for your information and enlightenment!
I have found a number on the top wooden frame 9047 it also has the encryption "especially made for hot climates", the internal frame is metal and it has the candelabras the back of the piano in covered in metal mesh
can you give me any clues to its date
- steinberg_logo.jpg (5.56 KiB) Viewed 46392 times
We have bought a small Steinberg Favorita # 36290 a few years ago. Since nobody is finding the time to play it we would like to possibly sell it since it is just standing here doing nothing...
Could anybody give me an estimation of what we would have to ask for it? It is in quite good condition, the interior has been cleaned not long ago the outside layer has been a bit sun damaged.
thanks in advance
" I have a baby Seinberg too with Langer 522260 in the same place you said. I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This piano is within my family since 1940 and my father bought it from a british family who was moving back to England by that timenix.17 wrote:I have a serial number for the piano and a name inside,
'Langer' on a wooden bar going across the the piano by the hammers
the serial number is '30919'
Any knowledge and advice?
- Colin Nicholson
- Executive Poster
- Posts: 1839
- Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
- Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
This is an old subject that you have added on to by clicking on post reply. It would be much easier to click on 'New Topic' and start a fresh enquiry (so save sifting through over 5 years' of enquiries to reach yours) - your enquiry may then be dealt with much more quickly.
You have also quoted a subject from another Steinberg piano - but I think this is an upright piano. Langer are just the mechanism makers, and the numbers you give dont tell us anything. Also - have you spelt 'Steinberg' incorrectly? - there are quite a few variations on piano names, so its important names are spelt correctly
Are you making an enquiry about the age of your piano, or just telling us some information for everyone to read? In most cases, photos will be needed of your piano downloaded here as serial/action/cabinet numbers are not always reliable.
Hope that helps....