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John, CT ABRSM, Piano Teacher CT ABRSM.
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Satisfied Customers: 1044
Experience:  Certificate of Music Teaching. Musical Instrument Appraiser. Qualified Technician. Qualified Piano Tuner. Experienced in Buying, Selling, Restoring and Valuing Pianos for more than 20 years.
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I have a Knabe & Co. upright piano that has been in my

Customer Question

I have a William Knabe & Co. upright piano that has been in my family for many years (I think since the late 1940's or early 1950's). Serial # 140306 or 140206 or the ending 6 may be a 5. It is in beautiful condition; I think it is mahogany (dark, slight reddish). It is an upright and hasn't had much use in all that time. Can you tell me what it might be worth and how best to sell it? Thank you, ***** (*****@******.***)
JA: I love the notion of my brother's old guitar having a history and belonging to someone famous. Maybe you have something valuable or historical. Let's find out. Is there anything else important you think the Musical Instrument Appraiser should know?
Customer: Additionally, the piano tuner says it is in great shape musically and plays beautifully. We have had it tuned regularly, but he doesn't do much because he says it is high quality and well-preserved
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 4 months ago.

Thanks for your question Susan. Welcome to JustAnswer, it will be my pleasure to help you. My name is***** am working on this for you now.

Have any of the internal mechanics been replaced or restored over the years or is it all still as originally built?

What is the full height of your piano measured from the floor to the top of the closed top lid please.

Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 4 months ago.

Hello again. It looks like you have not viewed my information request - it could be that you did not receive the Email to advise you that the information request is on here waiting for you. So I am following up to see if 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.

Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 4 months ago.

I have received the information you have given me on the duplicate question you have opened which was as follows:-

"I don't know about mechanics (I don't think so, as I think I said it had hardly been played by my family). The height from the floor to the top of the closed top lid is about 39 inches (3ft. 3 in)If you have e-mail, I can send pictures. Thanks"

I will complete the appraisal for you here on this question and come back to you within about 30 minutes.

Many thanks.


Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your patience.

From this maker’s records the serial number you have given shows that your piano was built in 1948, so it is in the region of 68 years old. Knabe is one of the old long established American Companies and has a good reputation for making quality pianos.

Generally Pianos have a limited life span of around 60 years mainly due to the wear during use and natural deterioration of the mechanical parts over time, such as the action, the strings, the soundboard, the tuning pins, the pin block, etc. The life of these instruments can often be extended by careful regular, usually at least annually, maintenance/tuning/repairs and some restoration over the years or a total re-build/restoration of the major mechanical components. Added to this is the consideration of the type of environment in which they are kept and the amount and type of usage. Thus one of the overriding factors in any appraisal valuation is the age and condition of the internal mechanics. I will base this appraisal on the fact that, save for regular tunings and any maintenance associated with tunings, the internal mechanics are essentially as originally built.

At 39 inches high it is classed as a Spinet piano. It is quite a compact size and thus has a small soundboard which can restrict the volume and quality of sound produced. This size of piano is generally no longer made as it has been superseded by larger better sound producing uprights.

Therefore based on the information I have and that which you have provided I believe this Knabe Spinet Piano now has a value in the $500 to $700 range for a private sale. I am sorry that it is not better news. Unfortunately there are now a good many of these smaller uprights for sale and thus the prices can be depressed. As far as selling it is concerned I suggest that you try advertising in your local newspapers or similar journals initially – they often have free advertising spaces – and if that does not bring any interest try which is also free.

Thank you for using JustAnswer. My aim is to provide you with a great service and receive a 5 star rating but at least 3 is preferable; therefore I trust that you have found this answer helpful. If so, please accept the answer and click the ‘STAR RATING’ or the 'RATE TO FINISH’ or ‘SUBMIT’ button in the REQUEST DETAILS SECTION at the top, as this is the only way as an Independent Expert I receive any recompense for the research I do to assist you There is no additional cost to you as my percentage of the payment for this question is taken from the amount you have agreed for this question only. Also by completing the rating star system it will stop the continual rating reminder emails you would receive from this site.

If you are disappointed in the value given ‘please do not shoot the messenger’, I can only give you a value based on the current markets and a reflection of the same or very similar sales. Owners of musical instruments often have a very sincerely ***** ***** that their ‘pride and joy’ is particularly valuable and sometimes it is, but musical instruments unfortunately generally depreciate with age and/or changes in technology. Many thanks and if you need any more help or explanations on the value I have given please contact me before you complete the rating.


Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 4 months ago.

Hello again Susan. I see that you have viewed my answer to your question but not yet completed the question process. So may I ask if you need any further help? If you do not have any further points that need to be answered on this question, I would be very grateful if you could please click on the Star Rating button in the REQUEST DETAILS SECTION at the top of this page. Thank you. John.

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