old upright piano in Victorian-era room

Our temporary home, in an 1870’s Victorian in Owego, NY, features an old upright piano that seems to come to life in the warm glow of late afternoon sun diffusing through the curtains.

It’s a Francis Bacon upright piano, probably made in the early- to mid-1920’s as near as I can tell based on the serial number.  It’s showing its age with the darkened craquelure finish, numerous scratches, stains, and dings.  It’s endured hard use and some disrespect.

One’s ear strains to hear reverberations from past playing; the mind wanders to Fats Waller, Thelonius Monk, or Scott Joplin.  Evidence from the contents of the piano bench indicates more prosaic use–mounds of old yellowing sheet music, much of it from the 1930’s and 1940’s, provided training for aspiring pianists.

The Francis Bacon pianos were recognized for their sturdy construction and modest price. This one, sadly, is probably beyond repair; the piano’s value would not warrant the cost required to bring it back to life.