I admit it. I get excited about being able to touch, look at, and explore any type of piano. Spinet to Grand, my fingers begin to itch when I see a piano.
Recently I was presented with the opportunity to touch, look at, explore, and tune a piano that I have wanted to get close to for many years. That piano is the Knobe 7’ Grand located in Centre Hill Mansion in Petersburg, VA. While not original to Centre Hill Mansion, it is a beautiful piano which fits into the era of Centre Hill Mansion (1700-1900’s.) It is a piano that has seen many years and yet has been maintained well.
Centre Hill Mansion was built in the 1700’s and has seen much history, from British soldiers residing in the house during the Revolutionary War to Union soldiers using the house during the Civil War to President Theodore Roosevelt visiting the mansion in the early 1900’s. It is a beautiful house of history. The Knobe piano adds to that history.
An interesting bit of trivia about his piano is that it was used in the filming of the PBS series “Mercy Street”. Centre Hill Mansion was being used in filming as one of the main houses in the series. The production company had the piano tuned so that it could be used in a scene where two of the characters played a duet on the piano. My question is: was the piano playing dubbed in and all that was filmed were the two characters “playing” the piano, or was this piano actually “heard” in the show? This is information I plan to research.
My excitement level for this piano will always remain high. As you can see in the pictures, this piano combines the craftsmanship of piano building with artwork common to high end pianos of the 18th and 19th centuries. I am honored to have tuned this piano.