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#3113226 05/03/21 01:09 PM
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Hello, I am the manager of a charity and a local family donated this to us. As far as I can tell, it is an Estey serial number 19546 from 1889. It is in nice cosmetic condition to my un-trained eye. Is this a fairly valuable piece? I don't play and know virtually nothing about pianos. Not sure how to post pictures, I'll look in the FAQ.

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Hello, and welcome to Piano World!

As a general rule, the really old upright pianos from yesteryear, in original condition, are not of much value, if any. In fact, it could well cost you something to get rid of the piano, if no one wants to buy it. With your organization being a charity, someone may give you all a donation, and let you keep the piano; or, they may want the piano.

The older ones are extremely heavy and bulky. And, I have heard of the Estey brand, but don't think it is a highly sought after brand like a Steinway or Mason & Hamlin, etc...

A pic would be nice, but I would not say the piano is a fairly valuable piece, though it could have some value to the right person.

Good luck!

Rick


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To the right buyer, it might have some nebulous value, but, as Rickster pointed out above, old pianos typically don't have much value. Sad but true.


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It is a small grand piano, not an upright. I collect electric fans, and the older(generally speaking), the more valuable. I would have thought pianos were the same, guess not.

Last edited by Rdaugird; 05/03/21 02:22 PM.
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Originally Posted by Rdaugird
It is a small grand piano, not an upright. I collect electric fans, and the older(generally speaking), the more valuable. I would have thought pianos were the same, guess not.

Sorry, I did not notice in your original post it was not an upright piano. Is it an old "square" grand, or a more traditional shaped grand piano? There may be some collector value for the old square grands, but I'm not familiar with them.

I was once offered an old Steinway square grand for free, that was basically unplayable, but was not in the mood to mess with it at the time, so I passed. It had the huge, claw-foot legs.

Like I said, the pic would be good. If the pic is hosted on a website, just post the URL address of the pic, (starts with http and ends with jpg) and I'll try to help you embed the pic in the a post.

As for pianos being more valuable the older they are, that could be true, but would depend on the piano, I would imagine. As you say with the old fans, when it comes to most antiques, the older the more valuable, as a general rule, but it doesn't usually work that way with pianos.

Good luck!

Rick


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Originally Posted by Rdaugird
Unfortunately the web server the image is on isn’t accessible to public view. The link for posting video and pictures on PW server is a thread that’s still on page 1 of the Piano Forum.


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check this out from Brigham Pianos 2015.

Antiquepianos.com has a description of Etsey grand including old catalogs which probably feature your piano.

Ebay also lists an antique Etsey grand in the 3 k range.

Best wishes.

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Do you mean Antiquepianoshop.com ?
I really enjoy the brand histories and brochure, but one caveat: their prices are not realistic in the Western Hemisphere.


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Sorry this took so long

Here’s the pictures

Pictures

Last edited by j&j; 05/04/21 02:09 PM.

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That might be a 1935 piano. It probably has little to no value.


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Originally Posted by N Artur
check this out from Brigham Pianos 2015.

Antiquepianos.com has a description of Etsey grand including old catalogs which probably feature your piano.

Ebay also lists an antique Etsey grand in the 3 k range.

Best wishes.

After listening to that video, it is abundantly clear why Steinway, Baldwin, Chickering, M&H, and Knabe were and still are considered the pre-eminent piano builders of their day...

Last edited by violarules; 05/04/21 02:43 PM.
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Originally Posted by j&j
Sorry this took so long

Here’s the pictures

Pictures

... and here is the first one;

[Linked Image]


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Definitely not an 1889 instrument. Serial numbers can be misleading. There apparently were some Estey pianos built by N. W. Nelson in the mid 1930s. The serial number is consistent with those.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Definitely not an 1889 instrument. Serial numbers can be misleading. There apparently were some Estey pianos built by N. W. Nelson in the mid 1930s. The serial number is consistent with those.
And as for "value" - I'd guess you'd be looking at $800 to $1,200 depending on condition.

Last edited by Carey; 05/04/21 06:22 PM.

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Rdaugird, with pianos one of the most important things is condition. Old pianos might have many merits, but they are mechanical machines and wear out with time - added to which, wooden parts such as soundboard, bridges, tuning plank may have developed cracks unless care is maintained regarding humidity - which is unlikely over a piano's long life. Restoration is very possible, but very expensive. And therefore, in general (though as with everything there are exceptions) ancient pianos have little value.

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Condition can't really be ascertained from photos, but I'll admit that this one looks better than I expected it to, so perhaps it's been well taken care of, and/or rejuvenated at some point.

In my neck of the woods, no-name grands generally have asking prices between $500 and $1500. Sometimes less. Sometimes more. A real gem might be a little higher. Or a brand that has local cachet. For example, in my area people seem to hold Knabe and Stieff in high esteem, in part I think because the factories were nearby. Asking prices can drift to 2, 3 and 4 thousand.

Of course, asking prices don't necessarily translate into selling prices.

FWIW, Estey made David Burton's Rebuild-worthy Golden Age Pianos List, but he seemed focused on Parlor grands. In that era, a baby grand was often just a cut down larger grand, and that didn't always translate to good tone.

The financial problem is that unless it arrived in great condition, it will always be worth less that what it costs to improve it's condition (accept for a few specific brands and models).

Anyway, you mention it was donated to a charity, and seem interested in value, so I assume you want to sell it to raise funds. If I were in your shoes, I'd aim high and see what happens. Maybe ask $3900, OBO.


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Thanks everyone. I was a bit skeptical when I looked up the serial number and saw 1889. I'm thinking we will just tune it and keep it around here for volunteers to have fun with it. I always wanted to learn to play, no I don't have an excuse not to!

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Originally Posted by Rdaugird
Thanks everyone. I was a bit skeptical when I looked up the serial number and saw 1889. I'm thinking we will just tune it and keep it around here for volunteers to have fun with it. I always wanted to learn to play, no I don't have an excuse not to!

That is the best thing that you can do with it! thumb


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