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John,  CT ABRSM
John, CT ABRSM, Piano Teacher CT ABRSM.
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Satisfied Customers: 1061
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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Upright piano,Brinkerhoff Piano Co. Chicago

Customer Question

I have an upright piano. The sound board is Brinkerhoff Piano Co. Chicago. The exterior is African mahogany. It's refinished and some lower parts have been restored. The interior needs work: all keys need to be resurfaced, one of the hammers is broken and needs tuning. Was originally a player piano but needs restoration as parts are missing. Overall the piano is sturdy and in good + shape. I estimate it is 60 + years old based on the history I was given when I got it in 1987. What is it worth?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 5 years ago.

pianoandmusic :

Hello. To get a more accurate date of the piano can you please tell me the serial number?

This information can be found by opening the top lid, the number is usually located on the right hand side. Or, in some cases you may need to open the bottom door (the panel under the keybed on an upright piano) as the number can be found on the soundboard under the strings or near the frame. Let me know if you need any more guidance to locate this number. However, from the condition you have described, my best estimate, bearing in mind the work that would need to be completed to bring the piano back up to standard including possibly replacing the player piano mechanism, is approximately $500 upwards.

Therefore I suggest that the best course of action is to contact your local piano dealer or a specialist who restores your type of instrument. Please make sure you have available any serial numbers and the manufacturer's name and or provenance relevant to your instrument. If you have receipts showing that the instrument has been restored you will need to show them to the specialist viewing your instrument so that it can be taken into consideration.

I trust that you have found this answer helpful. If so, please click 'ACCEPT', as this is the only way I receive any recompense for assisting you - you may have made a deposit/have a subscription but no payment is released to an Expert until you click on 'ACCEPT'. Also I would be grateful if you could please complete the feedback section. Many thanks and if you need any more help please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you and best regards.

Pianoandmusic. (John)

JACUSTOMER-u35og3ct- :

Not everyone has broadband internet....I live in the boonies so I have dial up. I didn't get your appraisal until 12:30 or 1:00 pm CT. I wanted to reply but you were offline. I don't have any receipts for the refurbishing work that was done because my late husband and I took the piano apart and did all the work ourselves. It was a labor of love as my late husband was very much into woodworking. I did find a serial number: 146855. Please advise further.

pianoandmusic :

Hello. Thanks for your reply. From the serial number you have given the date of your piano is circa 1920. So from your description is seems that you and your husband have restored the casework only. If I am right in thinking that, then because you have indicated that the piano parts need restoring and the player piano mechanism is missing then apart from the potential to be restored the main value at the moment is in the casework. Therefore, particularly with the age of this instrument I still feel the value will be very approximately in the region of $500 but if it is a particularly ornate casework it could be more and be in the region of $1000 to $2000. However, I must stress that without actually seeing it, it is not possible to give you a precise valuation.

I trust that you have found this answer helpful. If so, please click 'ACCEPT', as this is the only way I receive any recompense for assisting you - you may have made a deposit/have a subscription but no payment is released to an Expert until you click on 'ACCEPT'. Also I would be grateful if you could please complete the feedback section. Many thanks and if you need any more help please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you and best regards.

Pianoandmusic. (John)

pianoandmusic :

Hello again. Have I given you enough information. I would be pleased to know. Many thanks and best regards.

Pianoandmusic. (John)

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