Would you believe an old piano could be so beautiful?

This is a 1943, high quality Baldwin, Acrosonic Console piano in one of their more unusual French Provincial styles. The lovely burled Walnut wood and hand carved music desk sets this instrument apart from many other console pianos produced during the World War Two era. This piano was left unused in a work environment for many years before its owner decided to rescue it. It was fully rebuilt by us, and refinished in Antique Oil. Restored value is about $8,500.00.

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All about Player Pianos

PIANOS AND THEIR VALUE

There is no true Blue Book for antique pianos, and the value of any older instrument can vary widely, depending on the make of the piano and whether or not it can be restored. A piano that one might take for junk can attain considerable value if it is professionally refinished and rebuilt to good playing condition. There are a number of resources that claim to be an authority on piano value, but these listings must be taken with more than a 'grain of salt.' Pianos are not like many other antiques. Except for a few early instruments made before 1800, an old piano must be refinished to restore its market value. Your old grand or upright can be in mint working condition, but if the cabinet looks terrible its value may only be a few hundred dollars at best. Professionally refinished, however, that figure can jump well into the thousands of dollars.

For example... A Steinway or Baldwin grand piano will only loose a small percentage of its original value over fifty years time. In some cases, when well cared for, the instrument's valuation may actually be more (in dollars) than the original cost. The same piano, however, after spending half a century in a school or other institution, where it may have been subject to continuous use and possibly harsh treatment, might now only be appraised at a fraction of the cost of a new piano. While these differences in numbers are real, and can be arbitrarily set by any merchant, appraiser or seller, they have a completely different meaning in the mind of a prospective buyer, who is the only one to really set the final value.

A person who has been looking for a piano from a top maker, finds that 'school' piano, loves the style of the cabinet and is willing to make the investment to restore it, may feel it has the same value as another piano, which had a life of loving care. Why? Simply because that old school piano meets the criteria the purchaser began with. In many cases an old piano will look quite sad to the eye, the interior may have been attacked my mice and the strings can be rusted heavily. But the soundboard might be solid and producing the most beautiful, vibrant and perfectly resonant music one ever listened to. In addition, the cabinet may be top quality Mahogany, Rosewood, Victorian or perhaps one of a kind, which can't be reproduced today by modern methods. Anyone keen to these attributes will have a completely different assessment of such a piano. To assign a true worth, primarily based on age, maker or general appearance, is simply not possible. Check retail prices at music stores in your area. Check classified listings in local papers or shopper's guides. Last, but most importantly, have the piano you are interested in checked out by a professional piano restoration expert.

As we move ahead in the new century there is one thing of which you can be sure. Old upright, grand and player pianos will steadily increase in value. The only reason there are still some around, which can be had for a small sum, is because they are so big and heavy. But old pianos and pump organs are some of the last collectable things in our culture and in the not too distant future they will all be priceless.

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