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John, CT ABRSM, Piano Teacher CT ABRSM.
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Satisfied Customers: 1059
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 piano that is an upright, serial number 2834,

Customer Question

Customer: I have a piano that is an upright, serial number 2834, manufactured by F. Muehlfeld & Co - trying to find information about value to determine if worth shipping from canada to my home in NC
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I have a piano that is an upright, serial number 2834, manufactured by F. Muehlfeld & Co - trying to find information about value to determine if worth shipping from canada to my home in NCRead more:
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for asking for me to answer your question. It 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.

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?

If you have some pictures of the outside and particularly the mechanical parts inside the piano that should help me to answer this question. Please attach the pictures on here using the paperclip on the menu bar.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** tried to add a few pictures as requested. These are the only pictures I took when I was up in canada. As far as I know, the piano has been in the family for over 25 years and have never been replaced or restored. The dimensions are approx 55H*66L*29W. My inlaws claim it was sent from san francisco year ago, but not sure that can be validated.Thanks,
Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 1 year ago.

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.

Thank you for using JustAnswer. My aim is to provide you with a great service and receive a 5 star rating, 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' 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.

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 similar sales. Many thanks and if you need any more help please contact me.

Expert:  John, CT ABRSM replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. It seems that you may not have viewed my answer to your question or you have not received the Email to advise you that the appraisal answer is on here waiting for you. 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 complete the question process by clicking on the Star Rating button in the REQUEST DETAILS SECTION at the top of this page. Thank you.

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