EVALUATING YOUR PIANO
We are often asked to put a value on a piano, but this can be more difficult than it might at first seem, particularly over the internet. Two identical models of the same make, and of the same age can have different values depending upon the condition of the instruments, as well as their locations.
We are happy to offer a professional valuation service to all clients, but we will need the answers to various questions, and a few photos of the interior of the instrument. The more information you can give us, the more accurate our valuation will be.
We will endeavor to provide the most accurate figure we can, based on the details you provide. However, we cannot accept any liability for inaccurate valuations due to lack of information or misinformation provided to us. Clients using our valuation service will be deemed to accept these conditions. Our usual practice is to calculate a ballpark range within which a piano's value lies.
First we need to ask several questions about the instrument :
- Make of piano - found on the Fall (keyboard lid); or inside, cast in the iron frame above the strings;
- Height, if upright; Overall length, if Grand ?
- Confirmation of any factors of which you are aware and which are not obvious from the photos. This would include cracks in the frame, splits in the soundboard, repairs undertaken in the past, water damage, etc etc.
- The serial number, if possible. This is usually stamped on the iron frame (If a Grand, slide out the Music stand, and look on the iron frame or soundboard).
- Confirmation of the type of valuation you want - ie. Market value; likely replacement cost for insurance purposes; price at which to attempt a private sale, etc.
In addition to the above, we also need a few pictures of the instrument, particularly the interior, and preferably by Email using a digital camera.
The pictures we need are as follows:
- In an upright, lift up the 'Half-top' lid, then remove the 'Top Door' (above the keyboard), using the two catches just inside at each end at the top. Take photos of the strings and the action.
- In a grand, lift the main lid onto the Prop-stick, and slide out the music stand. If you can lift out the Fall (keyboard lid), an additional picture of the Action horizontally taken, will assist, but it is not essential. Take photos of the case and strings.
- If you would like to request a valuation from us, then please send the information and photos requested below.
If you don't have a digital camera, then ordinary photographs sent by post will be fine. We regret that we cannot offer a valuation without photographs. E-Mail Photos to:
The Bluebook is designed to help you determine where your piano fits into a range. These grades have been developed based on how the piano industry determines trade in values and resale prices for used pianos. The following answers are designed to help you classify your piano for it's condition. You may submit it or simply copy this information for your own use. Print this page and keep it with your piano for future reference.
Quality vintage pianos, in good condition, or in many cases if properly restored, are better instruments then the new pianos of equivalent size and construction. Many of the names of vintage instruments are not immediately recognizable today. There are many superior instruments equal in quality to Steinway, Sohmer, or Mason & Hamlin. In addition, they are only a fraction of the cost, and excellent investment value. Steinway, Sohmer, Baldwin, Mason & Hamlin, others such as; A.B. Chase, Cable, Chickering, Conover, Jacob Doll, Jesse French, Hallet & Davis, Hardman, Hume, Ivers & Pond, Jewett, Kawai, Kimball, Knabe, Kohler & Chase, Marshall & Wendell, Henry F. Miller, George Steck, Charles Frederick Stein, Steinert, Smith and Barnes, Vose and Sons, Weber, and Wing and Sons, to mention just a few. These are some of the names you will find on high quality vintage instruments. When you find one, it will frequently be in need of reconditioning, refinishing or rebuilding, but are well worth the effort and investment.