HISTORY, NOT VALUATION

Ask questions on piano history and the age of your piano.

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Bill Kibby
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HISTORY, NOT VALUATION

Post by Bill Kibby » 30 Sep 2004, 11:09

This particular forum is about piano HISTORY, not valuation, and we cannot accept liability for values expressed by people here. We are not licensed valuers, and here in Britain, as in America, it is illegal for us to give written (or typed) valuations. Licensed valuers tend to be auctioneers, but many do not feel able to assess pianos because NOBODY ANYWHERE CAN GUESS THE VALUE OR CONDITION OF A PIANO WITHOUT INSPECTING IT ON THE SPOT AND TUNING IT. If your local tuner cannot help, the only other option I know of is to google Piano Auctions Ltd.

People are entitled to come onto this forum and give their opinion, but be prepared to hear from people who have no interest in history, and would like to scrap every piano that does not conform to modern specifications. If we applied that to everything, there would be no history, and no museums.

Take any mass-produced product of a hundred years ago, and ask someone on the other side of the world its value: There is no way that they can begin to guess what condition it is in, and no way of knowing local market forces. Ask your tuner, or if you are in East Anglia, email me. The first thing you need to know is whether the piano is capable of being tuned, so a tuner must test all the tuning pins, and this puts the piano out of tune, and this means that it will need to be re-tuned. If an antique piano is untuneable, it is often not worth the cost of fixing it, but I do sometimes rescue antique pianos in Britain, athough at the moment, we are out of space.

The preloved pianos website offers an amusing list showing what they would pay for pianos, basically reducing from £300 if it is late 1900s, down to little or nothing before 1920. My own personal taste would turn that upside down and pay progressively more for anything pre-1900! At least we seem to agree that ordinary run-of-the-mill pianos made around a century ago have very little value here in Britain unless they have been professionally restored.
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