I couldn't resist and got another free piano today. A fellow tech baited me saying it was going to the dump if I didn't take it. I took the bait. 😂 It's 1909 Schomacher 6' grand. It was refinished at some point by someone who did an outstanding job. The tech threw in new hammers, shanks and flanges which definitely sweetened the deal. Some interesting features. It has a Steinway action (possibly model A, sostenuto monkey and all) which fits perfectly as far as we could tell. It still has the original "gold strings." Ones thing that particularly surprised me was the silver plate. I initially thought it was repainted, but there is no evidence for this and plenty to the contrary. Notice the silver cast iron beams underneath (I've never seen this before), another indicator this was the original color. I assume it looked pretty neat when new with a silver plate and gold plated strings. But I won't be trying to find gold plated strings when I rebuild. The question I'm tossing around is whether to refinish the plate in gold or silver. Is there a market for silver or is that a rebuilding marketing disaster?
That's what I was thinking, and yes, I know there's not much profit in this. I need the experience, though.
The piano store I work at recently got a sliver-colored plate on a brand new piano. (Sorry I don't remember the brand at the moment.) The salesman told me he was excited about it because every piano they get with a silver-colored plate sells for more. His words, not mine. That it's a rarity probably increases the value, not decreases it. It adds to the story of the piano. If I were in your shoes I would probably leave it silver.
I would tend to agree with Benjamin on this.
Peter Grey Piano Doctor
Also, the gold plating of the bass strings was a key feature of the brand. You can find older magazines with articles about it and the company. The gold most likely did two things 1. protect from rust, 2. The extra weight allows the possibility of a smaller diameter thus a bigger tone theoretically.