Schindler Yacht Piano 1950
Ever since I had a fake wooden piano case built for my electronic keyboard, I’ve been fascinated by smaller sized pianos. Since we used parts from a real piano to make it, I feel like I’m playing a miniature upright.
Once, after using it on-stage for a theatre performance, a professional piano mover asked me if it was a ‘yacht piano’. Of course, I was delighted he’d been fooled, but I was more intrigued by his question since I’d never heard of these before.
A ‘yacht piano’, or more commonly a ‘ship’s piano’, is a stripped down version of an upright, with a short, folding keyboard, and often without any pedals.
Here’s an unusual ship’s piano made by Schindler’s of Paris in around 1950, and a knee-lever damper arm instead of a pedal.
A common feature of these instruments is that they tend to look like some type of furniture when closed up, and this one’s disguise is better than most.