The model on offer at Toovey's is the Z97 424 No. 286593, circa 1936, with an estimate of £10 000-15 000.


Steinway & Sons is associated the world over with the most elegant and precisely crafted pianos. Th company was founded in 1853 by Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg following his move to America in 1850. Steinweg first began crafting pianos in the 1820s in Germany, when he finally made his first piano in his American workshop, he labelled it number 483, following the 482 he had already made in Germany. Number 483 was sold for $500 in New York, where he had set up his office. This very piano is now in Germany on show at the German museum Städtisches Museum Seesen.

The first factory on Walker Street, New York.  Image via The first factory on Walker Street, New York.
Image via

In 1864 the family adapted their name in an act to give the company more of an American identity, to Steinway.

Henry E. Steinway  photographed by Mathew Brady Henry E. Steinway photographed by Mathew Brady

The piano has a rich history with artists, in 1857 the company began to craft cases which were designed by artists. In 1988, as the company made the 500 000th piano, Wendell Castle designed the casing which featured the names of Steinway pianists such as Vladimir Horowitz and Billy Joel, to name a few.

To mark John Lennon's 70th birthday in 2010, a series of 104 special edition pianos were created based on the white Steinway Lennon had, which was featured in a recorded performance of Imagine in his home.  The same piano, which in 2010, Lennon's son Sean posted a photograph of Lady Gaga playing, much to the anger of The Beatles' fans.


Steinway also hold a special place in the White House. In 1903, the 100 000th creation was presented to the White House, then in 1938 it was replaced with the 300 000th version, which is still in residence in the East wing.

In a remarkable story, Steinway produced a special piano during WWII, the Victory Vertical. The piano could easily be carried and was painted in army colours in order to be taken on ships and aeroplanes as a way to bring music to fighting troops.

Toovey's sale will take place 19th - 22nd May. Check out the catalogue here.