This old Geo. Russell of London is a standard, free off Gumtree (Scottish Craigslist) 100-year-old cottage upright, another perfectly preserved example of early 20th century European piano making. The miserable Scottish dank mist keeps old pianos alive forever.
It’s straight strung, losing out on the extra bass tone gained by proper American-style cross-stringing, and with overdampers – a horrible invention popular in Europe through the 1920s even though the Americans had nailed proper underdampers 60 years prior. Overdampers don’t really work, and create an unnecessary tangle of “birdcage” wires making the strings and hammers unaccessible to the tuner. But I don’t complain any more. Although you can’t see anything under the birdcage wires, with my Papps mute – designed for blind tuners – I can tune almost as quick. If it weren’t for chatty, tea-providing customers, I’d be out of the house in an hour or so. This one was only half a tone low.