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rs74
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« on: March 24, 2010, 08:59:24 PM »

Hello everyone,  I have a Tonk piano stool that I am trying to find information on.  Does any one have any idea where I can look for information or even pictures of this stool. It has an iron center with three twisted wrought iron legs.  It has the screw in post to adjust your height with a wood top. I can get a picture of the stool if need be it would probably be a good idea anyway.  Other than sitting in the shed collecting dust, where the top screws on to the stool the iron base is broke.  You can still see where it says Tonk, Chicago, New York. Is there any reproduction pieces made for this stool so I can repair it.  One guy told me to take it to the welding shop and have them weld on a piece.  I do not like this idea as it will distort the work Tonk on the base as thats where it is broke. Also what is the value of this stool. Any help would be appreciated. Roy
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luxetveritas
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 09:00:30 PM »

You can try www.liveauctioneers .com I use it on occasion to research pieces.
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sapphire
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 09:18:48 PM »

Welcome rs74! and yes, pictures would be great......makes identification easier when searching. Are the legs on your stool all metal or part metal part wood? There are some Tonk stools out there for sale, but the styles differ from your description.  Likely some are advertised without the name included, so being able to see yours would help.

Here is a bit of info on the company itself.


http://antiqueshoppefl.com/archives/May05/cs110.htm

"Max Tonk, born in Berlin in 1851, went with his family to Chicago in 1857. He learned to carve and worked in his uncle's piano and organ factory carving embellishments of the instruments. In 1873 he opened his own carving shop supplying the Chicago cabinet industry with fancy ornaments for cabinets and caskets. In the 1880s Tonk Manufacturing began to make swivel seat piano stools for the growing musical industry. Tonk became the largest maker of piano stools in the country, making the majority of swivel seat stools on the market, including the ubiquitous round oak stool with claw feet. Tonk Manufacturing was eventually headed by three generations of Tonks."

Here is a wood/bronze/glass stool currently up for auction. It appears to be in very good condition.

http://www.seeauctions.com/show_item/155813/

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rs74
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 09:38:19 PM »

Here are a few pics of the stool. I hope this helps
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sapphire
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 09:55:08 PM »

 Wink

http://www.bargainjohn.com/f402cPianoStool.htm


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ironlord1963
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 09:59:48 PM »

Another Thumbs up Sapphire  Wink  Wink
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rs74
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 10:03:42 PM »

Oh wow!  I was on that site earlier but did not see that.  Thanks.  How would I go about restoring this piece.  I think someone has just painted this black some years ago. It also looks as if it may have sat outside the legs are a little rough.  I was thinking of having it soda blasted but did not not know what the proper way was to finish it. I like the one in the picture, it has a bit of copper color to it.  Is there a special way to finish these.  Also what about the broken piece on mine. What do I do? I dont want to ger rid of it as it came from my parents.  
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wendy177
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 10:04:01 PM »

NICE Sapphire!!!!!
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sapphire
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 10:11:48 PM »

Haha, finishing is not my forte.........love the search but will leave the restoration advice to others  Wink
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talesofthesevenseas
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 10:17:20 PM »

It looks like you are missing a large piece of metal that would hold the seat on. It would be necessary to have a welder fabricate a fix for you. Unfortunately a break will affect the value, but at least this fix would be hidden up under the seat. If it were mine, I would just clean the iron and oil it to prevent rust, if it needs it at all. The iron looks pretty darn good except for the break under the seat. I'm guessing that the wooden seat may need restoration if it is really bad, but I'm for leaving us much of a piece's history as possible. It is hard to tell from the photo, but unless it is really wasted, I'd leave the wooden seat be too, and just get a repair done so that it is functional.  
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KC
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 10:25:18 PM »

Williams Tonk & Bros manufactured grand upright pianos starting 1881 to very early 1900's - these Tonk Pianos were produced in New York and Chicago.  You guessed it...these pianos became very popular and were abundant in honky tonks!!!!!!! (Honky Tonks were bars with musical entertainment in the South.)

"Max Tonk, born in Berlin in 1851, went with his family to Chicago in 1857. He learned to carve and worked in his uncle's piano and organ factory carving embellishments of the instruments. In 1873 he opened his own carving shop supplying the Chicago cabinet industry with fancy ornaments for cabinets and caskets. In the 1880s Tonk Manufacturing began to make swivel seat piano stools for the growing musical industry. Tonk became the largest maker of piano stools in the country, making the majority of swivel seat stools on the market, including the ubiquitous round oak stool with claw feet. Tonk Manufacturing was eventually headed by three generations of Tonks."
Copied from http://antiqueshoppefl.com/archives/May05/cs110.htm

Some of the nicer stools with glass ball claw feet sell in the $250 - $300 range.  This one should sell in the $175 - $200 range if in excellent shape and $50 tops if repairs aren't made.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 10:27:22 PM by KC » Logged

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rs74
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2010, 10:28:21 PM »

Thanks Sapphire,  You helped me out a bunch.  I am really glad you found a picture of another stool.  Anybody else have a touch for refinishing?  The seat is in really good condition. In my opinion it just needs to be refinished on the top side.  It doesnt really need it, the finish is dull and I like them to have a little shine to them.  The piece that is broke- there is only one good screw hole left.  The holes on each side of the good one is broke right in the middle of the holes.  If I have to have this welded on than I will.  But would like to find an alternative.  To bad I cant find someone to make me mold and then make me a new piece.  I would like to keep the broken piece like it is if I can fix it another way.
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sapphire
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2010, 10:35:28 PM »

rs, I know I ran across another Tonk I think on ebay. It was an all wood one, but possibly it would have the same mechanism/plate underneath.  I think it was going around the $10 mark, if I remember correctly.  Will go back and see if I can find it.  It would sure be well worth the money if it would work as a replacement.
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sapphire
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2010, 10:39:51 PM »

http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Tonk-Glass-claw-foot-piano-stool_W0QQitemZ160416017663QQcmdZViewItemQQptZAntiques_Furniture?hash=item25598a2cff#ht_500wt_1182
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waywardangler
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2010, 10:41:11 PM »

I am guessing the broken metal flange piece screws onto the center base post.  At least it looks that way to me.  I would use some liquid wrench on those (rusted) threads and then unscrew the broken flange.  This may take some muscle as I am sure it has been on there for years.  I would turn the center post up, use 2 pieces of wood (to not mar the center threaded post) on each side of the post, clamp the wood in pipe clamps, brace the long arms of the pipe clamps against a garage/basement wall, and then try to turn the broken flange wearing some heavy leather gloves.  If you can take the center post out and clamp it in a large bench vise padded with wood, so much the better.  After the broken flange is off, I would see if a stock pipe flange will fit the existing threads.  That would be an easy fix.  If not, I am sure someone local can make a replacement steel flange for you to fit this post.  I would save the broken one.
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