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The records for Muehfield are very incomplete and there are no serial number listings so I cannot accurately date this piano. Could you please give me the full height measured from the floor to the top of the closed top lid.
Has the piano been regularly tuned and maintained. Do you know if any of the internal mechanics have been replaced or restored over the years or is it all still as originally built please?
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Thank you for the information and pictures.
Unfortunately there are not any serial number records for the piano builder F. Muehlfeld & Co., New York, so it is not possible to accurately date your piano. However, from that which I can see in the pictures, I estimate the year of build to be between 1890 and the 1920s, so it is around 100 or so years old. The height will mean that it has a good strong sound.
The casework is in a very good condition and has some quite intricate details and incised work. I think that the casework has been restored perhaps in the last 30 years – perhaps just prior to coming into your family’s possession. Whilst I cannot be sure about the internal mechanics the condition of the tuning pins leads me to think that this piano is still as originally built internally.
Generally pianos have a limited life span of 60 to 70 years, mainly due to the wear during use and particularly due to the natural deterioration of the major mechanical parts such as the action, the strings, the soundboard, the tuning pins and the pin block over time. This can be extended by careful regular maintenance/tuning/repairs and restoration or a full rebuild. Thus one of the overriding factors in any appraisal valuation on a piano is the age and condition of the internal mechanics.
Apart from a very few unique and rare instruments, pianos are not usually bought as antiques in the furniture sense of the word because they are normally purchased as a musical instrument to be played.
Therefore based on the information I have, and assuming that the internal mechanics have not been restored in the last 40 or so years and are probably as originally built, I believe your piano has a value for a private sale in the $500 to $800 range and if you decide to transport it, it should be insured for about $1,000. There are still a good many pianos of this size and type around and often for sale.
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