Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cool Console #3 - Wurlitzer

This is one of my all-time favorite spinet designs.  The Wurlitzer company, originally based in Cincinnati, Ohio, made a zillion different console models, many of them quite imaginative.  Wurlitzer was one of the handful of companies that immediately embraced the new console design concept when it was introduced in the United States in 1935.  This piano was built in DeKalb, Illinois, in about 1943, just as Wurlitzer stopped production during World War II.

As with the Krakauer spinet I wrote about earlier, this design emphasizes the square grand shape, but in a more stylized way.  The vertical box holding the plate and strings is given some shape rather than being hidden, and the fake lyre is just a decorative gesture.  The fallboard is a Wurlitzer classic - it slides out flat over the keys, with the knobs facing up, and then the hinged front swings down to complete the closure.

The veneer is basic mahogany, and I love that light horizontal band of veneer above the keyboard.  It is also mahogany, the veneer quarter-cut to emphasize the vertical grain, and lightly stained to contrast with the case.  All the furniture details are delightful - the band of beading around the keybed, the filigree on the music desk, and, oh, those legs!

Related website:
A short history of the Wurlitzer Company.


Negi said...

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Piano Movers

Ian said...

I just inherited my great-grandmother's piano, and it is exactly like yours. According to the serial number of mine, it was produced in 1942. Would you mind sharing what the serial number of yours is? I love this piano, and have never seen another like it. To me, the styling is very Art Deco, which made me think it was probably built in the 1930s. I was actually surprised to learn it was from the 40s. Have you learned anything more about this model? I would love to find it in a catalog to see if it had a name, and also to determine the original retail price. I look forward to hearing from you.


Ian Swart
Tulsa, Okla.