1950s Danish Modern piano owned by Eichler architect Frederick Emmons

mid century zwicki pianette
Here is an amazing, mid century wonder: A Danish Modern piano, originally owned by one of the architects who design Eichler houses. This piano is actually for sale — its owners Tina and David subscribe to my weekly newsletter and send me the for-sale link the other day. They say that, “A limited number of these pianos were made in the 1950s by Louis Zwicki in Denmark.” A Danish Modern piano — who would have thunk it? Gorgeous….

If you are interested in buying this antique Zwicik piano [link now gone]. May I also keep your listing info and photos for posterity, Tina and David? Good luck!

PRICE JUST REDUCED. Whether you’re a pianist, a collector of mid-century furnishings, or both, this Minor Model pianette is a rare find. Beautiful mid-century design features a teak case with wicker grille on the back, plus matching wicker top bench.

danish modern piano

It has been wrapped and stored since we purchased it from Modern i in San Anselmo 8 to 9 years ago. It probably needs a tuning, but otherwise is in perfect, ready-to-play condition (there is the most minor scuffing on the front left corner below the keys, barely noticeable). A limited number of these pianos were made in the 1950s by Louis Zwicki in Denmark.

mid century modern piano

It’s original owner was a well-known, Bay Area architect, Frederick E. Emmons of the architectural firm Jones + Emmons, who designed homes for Joseph Eichler.

It was sold to him by the Penny Owsley Music store in LA (her name is also on the piano), one of a handful of detailers in So. CA with exclusive rights to sell Zwicki pianos.

Comes with matching single seat bench (not pictured).

Tina also provided this link to a vintage piano site in Denmark: which features even more Danish Modern pianos. : )

Gorgeous! And I think — the first piano I have ever featured on the blog. Readers, do you have pianos in your homes?  

  1. Aris Iannios says:

    I too own a Zwicki Pianette, but what is more amazing is at a wedding tonight I learned a friend’s (bride) maiden name was Zwicki. Yep…I asked the obvious and sure enough she’s the daughter of Louis himself..She absolutely could not believe I had a Zwicki, and I couldn’t believe I had known his daughter Nina for over two years..

  2. Matykol says:

    I also aman owner of one ot these Louis Zwicki piano’s. Learned to play on it as a child. It still bears the small nick where one brother threw his bongo drum at another brother who ducked. The piano took the hit and my mother was sick over it for a long time afterwards. Beautiful piano.

  3. Propinquity 123 says:

    I have a Zwicki model like this! Walnut. My parents in suburbs of Minneapolis bought one in the 1960’s and so did one of their friends. Otherwise, over the years I’ve never seen another one. I’ve been searching for info on them forever — In fact, I was just Googling Zwicki piano and found this listing for the first time.

    Today my Zwicki sits in my apartment in New York City. The problem with this model (aside from the fact that you do miss having 88 keys), is the action is very stiff. It’s not easy or graceful to play. (but you do develop strong finger muscles.) Piano turners hate them because the pins and strings are vertical, rather than horizontal and they have trouble getting at them to tune.

    Nevertheless, I love my Zwicki and wonder why more were not made…

  4. Linda Sobottka says:

    I have this piano and did not know until today when I wanted to give it away. It needs some work on the wood and I’m sure it needs tuning. I’m trying to find out if it is worth anything. Do you know who I can contact to find out

  5. Orley says:

    Spinet pianos are absolutely worthless. I don’t care how much pedigree one may have, spinets overwhelmingly have little to no value. I’ve seen Steinway consoles in pristine condition not able to be sold, even the Baldwin Acrosonic (which is supposedly the king of spinets) not being able to be sold. Supply and demand are always the case. Old uprights, spinets and consoles in perfect working order have absolutely no demand. Even older grands have little demand nowadays. ’50s era spinets are well known to be next to impossible to maintain. Their drop action is a tuner/repairman’s nightmare. The plastics used in the piano actions of that era degrade over 30+ years making for big $$$ in repairs. The best thing you can do with a spinet is to just use it as a piece of furniture if the cabinet style is to your liking. Why do you think people can’t even give away old pianos even in working order with decent cases? ~BUYER BEWARE!~

  6. amy says:

    I am looking to buy a baldwin danish style acrasonic teak piano. If you have one to sell please email me. Thanks

  7. Paul Chopin says:

    Hi, Is this beautiful Zwicki still available? If yes, please contact me. I am a teacher in San Diego and would lover to buy this piano please. Thank you, Paul Chopin

  8. pam kueber says:

    Hi Paul — I clicked the link in the story, and the piano appears to be sold. The story was very old — originally published in 2011. Good luck in your hunt!

  9. Carmen Clavijo López says:

    I have just the same piano and I would like to sell it, but I don’t know what price can be sold. Could you help me? Is anyone interested in it?

  10. pam kueber says:

    Hi Carmen, we do not do valuations. Also, no buying/selling here on the blog or it would become chaos. If you believe this is truly valuable you should consult with a professional appraiser…

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