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Glenda B.
Glenda B., Antique Musical Instrument Appraiser
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Satisfied Customers: 384
Experience:  30+ years of experience as an antique musical instrument appraiser. Member of Association of Online Appraisers.
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I have a chickering baby grand piano. It has a plate that

Customer Question

I have a chickering baby grand piano. It has a plate that says Boston Napoleon Emperior with the number 145. It is in excellent condition. I am interested in its age and value.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for your question. My name is***** will be a pleasure to help you. I will ask you to complete the star rating and payment process after I have completed the question for you.

You have detailed the plate with the number 145, is there any other number which could be the full serial number on the iron frame near the tuning pins or on the soundboard? When was your piano last tuned and maintained? Have any of the internal mechanics been replaced or restored over the years or is it all still as originally built? Also if you have any pictures, particularly of the internal mechanics which you could attach on here using the paperclip or the +Add button on the menu bar in the reply section, that would be very helpful.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The Piano was has a date of December, 20, 1921. The piano was originally owned by my wife's grandmother and was passed on to her aunt. The piano was originally a player piano having a number of scrolls with it. The aunt had the mechanism removed.
The piano was passed on to my wife in 1987. It has been moved several times. Each time it was moved a tuner was called in to be retuned but it was never found to be out of tune. There is no wear and tear on the instrument as it was not played much. I am a layman as far as a piano goes but it appears new to me both inside and out.
Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your reply and the information Robert.

Because the mechanical parts of a piano are one of the most important parts of the appraisal assessment of valuation and even if not played much, these parts do deteriorate with age. Added to this, often pianos which are rarely if ever played can deteriorate in terms of the internal mechanics more quickly.

Pianos have a life of 60 to 70 years before some replacement/restoration work is necessary, on the date you have given, your piano is some 95 years old. Therefore if possible could I ask you if you have any pictures, particularly of the internal mechanics which you could attach on here using the paperclip or the +Add button on the menu bar in the reply section. Also to find the serial number please have a look at this website which should help:- www.pianoatlas.com/serial.html

Piano manufacturers place serial numbers in a variety of places. Pianos often have numbers other than serial numbers, such as case, part numbers and Patent numbers and limited edition numbers, but this does not give the detailed information needed for individual pianos. Try this site and it should open showing you the places to find the full Serial number.

That would be very helpful.

John

Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 10 months ago.

Hello again Robert. Do you need any further help on this question please? If you would like me to complete the work I have started for you and continue with the appraisal to give you a valuation please let me know. Thank you. John.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The information you ask for is available but it will take mean out a week to get it.
Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 10 months ago.

That is absolutely fine Robert. Just come back to me on here with the information when you can. The question may say that it is 'timed out' by then but you can just re-open it by putting the information on at no extra cost.

Best regards.

John

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The serial # ***** ***** I have some pics if you would like to see them. But need to know how to send them.
Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 10 months ago.

Hello again Robert.

Thanks for coming back to me with the information and thank you for your patience.

Looking at the maker's serial number records I am a little perplexed about the serial number as the last piano made before the East Rochester plant closed in 1982 had the number 251154. It had just 6 digits not 8. If the last 2 digits are left off so that the number is ***** that would give the original build year of 1926 which is 5 years out on the date you gave in your original question. Is the December, 20, 1921 date on the piano? Where and how is this date positioned. However, it is not that significant in terms of value but it means that I cannot fully date your piano which was part of your question.

Yes, I would like to see the pictures you have and particularly any showing the internal mechanics.

To attach pictures, do you have a paperclip symbol in the menu just above the reply section where you type your messages on this website or a +Add sign showing somewhere on the webpage you are seeing? Please click on that and it allows you to select and attach any pictures you have, one after another, of your piano, from your computer's files and then send them to me on here.

That will be very helpful.

John

Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 10 months ago.

Hello again. I am contacting you again because we have been having some technical issues with the website notifications, so as I have not heard from you, I am just checking back with you again should you need any further help with this question. I would be grateful if you could please let me know. Many thanks. John.

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