Ibach (1902/03)


Fully Rebuilt 1902/1903 Ibach 6’9” Semi-Concert Grand Piano

Immaculate and prestigious Rud Ibach Sohn Semi-Concert Grand piano. The piano has a distinctive warm voice and singing line that is more than capable of reaching into the far corners of great concert halls. Combining visual and acoustical perfection, this piano is one of the finest restored Ibachs in existence today. The sense of history, methodical craftsmanship and aesthetic beauty is simply unmatched.

The high sheen rosewood casing is like a mirror, French polished by hand, followed by antique waxing giving a stunning finish by the highly regarded Robert Morely in Lewisham, UK in 1992.

The rebuild includes: New strings, pins, custom fitted pinblock, refinished bridge caps, damper felts, key bushings, hammer heads, fully shimmed and varnished soundboard, restored original ivory key tops, refinished brass throughout, concert regulated action, veneer repair and refinish, and guilded cast iron frame.

The tone is full, rounded, even and pure, with a clear and potent bass register and sparkling mid/high end. The keys are perfectly weighted and has a light to medium responsive touch, a real pleasure to play.  When playing, you don’t have to hold back and can expend as little or as much energy as required. Although built in 1902, this Ibach looks, feels, and plays like a new grand piano.

Special Features: Ornate turned legs and column style pedal section, solid brass refinished castor wheels, original shimmed soundboard with Ibach stamp and serial number, guilded cast iron frame as new, original ivory keys – indicative of being kept in a caring climate, glassy high sheen finish.

History: The owners, Ron and Joan Hicks were both self-taught pianists. Ron learned piano whilst stationed with the Royal Artillery in Egypt immediately after World War 2. Both were confined to a camp because of the troubles and Ron was encouraged by the Education officer to take up the piano to pass the time.

They purchased the Ibach from Kennards in Croydon in the late 1950’s. Kennard’s were running a promotion subsidized by the government to encourage the purchase of musical instruments. Ron and Joan fell in love with the Ibach and received it on a hire purchase agreement. It was delivered to Thornton Heath, Beverstone Road.

In 1969 they moved the piano to Addington and in 1992 asked Robert Morley to rebuild the instrument back to its original former glory. When Morley stripped the piano he found a small quantity of broken window glass inside the action which led to the theory that the piano had been in bomb damaged surroundings during World War 2. This tied in with some veneer damage on the lid which had to be very skillfully repaired during restoration. The rebuild cost over 12,000 sterling in 1992, the equivalent of 24,000 sterling today.

Here is part of an email sent to us from Ron and Joan’s son:

“Neither of my parents were in the least bit materialistic and the piano was the only ‘thing’ in my mother’s life for which she truly cared. It is with the deepest sadness that we have to part company with it after nearly 60 years and I truly hope that it’s next owners derive as much pleasure from its ownership as did my mother and father.”