YOU PAID WHAT?
Founded by Italian Paolo Fazioli (b. 1944) in the late 1970’s as the Fazioli Piano Factory. Fazioli studied mechanical engineering as well as piano, receiving degrees in 1969 and 1971 respectively. For a short time he worked in the family furniture business but ventured off on his own to follow his dream of designing his own distinctive pianos.
He spent some time researching and studying piano construction, combining both traditional and modern techniques. By 1981, after completing several prototypes, he incorporated his company while adhering to the philosophy of producing "grand and concert grand pianos exclusively aiming for the highest quality with no concern for large production."
It was not his aim:
to imitate any other existing pianos, but rather to create an original sound; to individually handcraft each piano using time-honored traditional methods combined with the latest technological advances; to strive constantly to improve product quality by using cutting-edge technology.from Fazioli's Company History
Fazioli currently produces 120 – 130 pianos a year.
Built c. 1903 under the direction of the French piano company Érard, this majestic carved mahogany grand piano with wood veneer inlays was conceived by the French furniture designer, Louis Majorelle (1859 – 1926), and French painter, sculptor, engraver, pedagogue, Victor Prouvé (1858 – 1943) (both men firmly embedded in the Art Nouveau movement).
Sotheby’s in France auctioned off the grand in 2013 as part of the 130 Art Nouveau pieces from the Louis C. Tiffany Garden Museum in Nagoya, Japan. This collection was originally gathered by Takeo Horiuchi, a real estate mogul with the assistance of Alastair Duncan, an arts specialist for the museum.
After the tsunami in 2011, Horiuchi sold his collection to an American who then contacted Sotheby’s for auction.
The first of two, affectionately known as The 'Tiny Piano,' as it has only 58 keys (a standard piano has 88), the green Casablanca piano was seen in the romantic flashback scene at the Parisian café, La Belle Aurore. It is here in which we see Sam playing the instrument while Rick (Humphrey 'Bogie' Bogart) toasts Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) with a glass of champagne, saying the indelible line, "Here's looking at you kid."
First auctioned by Sotheby's in 1988 for $155,000 to a Japanese buyer, it was auctioned once again in 2012--this time fetching a whopping $602,500 (though Sotheby's had anticipated it going for $1.2 million). Interesting to note that the actor, Dooley Wilson, who played Sam, was a drummer and didn't actually play the piano--he mimed it. The story goes that another piano off-screen was used to accompany his voice, and Dooley would look over at the pianist and mimic his hand movements.
The second prop from the famous film, a rusty-colored piano with a Moroccan pattern, known as The 'As Time Goes By' Piano, is assumed to be manufactured by Kohler & Campbell with a Richardson's of Los Angeles label printed inside.
Like the flashback piano, it too has only 58 keys. First, the piano plays an important role in hiding the 'transit papers' given to Rick from Ugarte, performed by Peter Lorre. Second, it was used in the pivotal scene in which Rick sees Ilsa for the first time since she ran out on him years earlier; and in which Ilsa requests Sam to not only play some of the old songs, but especially 'As Time Goes By.' Later we see Rick drinking alone and commands Sam to 'Play it!' (two words so many have erroneously remembered as 'Play it again, Sam.') It is at this time he has the Parisian flashback in which we see the aforementioned piano, and Rick states another oft quoted line: 'Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine!'
It was auctioned off in 2014 by Bonham's for 3.4 million, won by an unknown buyer.