Steinway Leg & Case Types

While attempts exist by bloggers and the like, there has been no straightforward guide to the basic variations in case styles, nor does Steinway publish a comprehensive reference. In this guide, you will find an outline of standard and special case designs. Among the special cases, there are regular production special styles, and “sketch designs”. Many of the unique case styles produced are called a “sketch design” or “sketch case”. Some of these unique cases are one or several of a kind, while others may have gone into in to a limited production run for years.

It is of note that the book “The Official Guide to Steinway Pianos” by David R. Kirkland and Roy F. Kehl is a good resource used by pros for identification, stringing scales and general reference. We recommend it: Roy F. Kehl and David R. Kirkland, The Official Guide to Steinway Pianos (Milwaukee: Amadeus Press 2011).

The author also recommends the following for a delve into the art cases, sketch designs, and history of Steinway: Ronald V. Ratcliffe, Steinway (Los Angeles, Chronicle Books LLC, 1989, 2002).

Models & Leg types

  1. Standard types
    • A. Square leg smooth
    • B. Square leg windowpane relief with molding
    • C. Square leg windowpane flat
    • D. Square leg, short, and smooth with oversized casters for Model D, also known as Hamburg Style legs
  2. Flower Pot
    • Flower pot shape; round, tapered, fluted, flared at the top
    • Found on the “New Arm” and “Round Arm” case styles.
  3. Tulip, also known as Tiffany, Sketch 14
    • Tulip legs only came on the “New Arm” style case. It has a scrolled embellishment on the from of the arm with molding. New Arm Steinway pianos also came with Flower Pot legs as an option. 
    • “New Arm” refers to the scrolled carving accent at the front of the arm of the grand piano. New Arm pianos had a music rack with curved sides, a flat top, and matching carved accents and molding to match the case of the piano. 
  4. Ice Cream Cone
    • Round, fluted, ice cream cone shaped legs
    • Found on both round arm and new arm pianos
    • Scalloped rack, no holes 
  5. Fire Plug, known among other brands as Empire
    • Legs are round, straight, columnar, and fluted
  6. Queen Anne 
    • Smooth curved legs that bow out at the top and curve in at the foot
      • Shell carving at top capital of leg
  7. Louis, or Louis the XV style legs, Sketch 1186
    • Smooth curved legs that bow out at the top and curve in at the foot
      • Deep fluting
      • Scrolled feet
  8. Chippendale, 
    • Smooth curved legs that bow out at the top and curve in at the foot
      • Claw foot holding a ball
  9. Teague Sketch 1111, designed by Walter Dorwin Teague
    • Smooth tapered with tall brass ferrule
    • Brass pedal lyre assembly
  10. Colonial Sketch 32
    • Octagonal pear shaped legs
    • Rectangular open music rack
      • Grid of 6 holes on music rack
  11. Victorian and Centennial
    • Heavily carved ornate curved legs that bow to the rear of the piano and curve forward at the foot—the legs appear to be swept back
    • There are various versions of this leg but the overall style is the same.
    • Ornate scroll cut music rack
    • Heavily carved lyre
    • Carved arms and molding