I'm trying to date this Chappell overstrung/underdampened piano which I took off someone clearing out a house. It seems someone potentially painted this piano a very long time ago. The hammers are ridged and compressed, so I can tell it has been heavily played, whilst certain bridle straps have been shoddily replaced. A is almost a whole semitone flat, but when tuned it's going to sound great, the strings carry a lot of tone still, it's mostly the action that needs TLC I think. I'm replacing all bridles and butt springs.
Could someone help me age the piano? The serial number is in the image attached some online sources say this could be as old as 1890s.
The number you show, preceded by the letter H, is not the serial number, it is probably a dealer's stock number. If for example, it was Harrods who sold it, it would have been shortly before 1920. Around this time, they used a paper label saying "Guaranteed by Harrods".
Since you have already undressed the piano, it should be a simple job to take out the first few keys at the bass end, and search on or under them for dates. Otherwise, look around for a larger number, probably 5 or 6 digits. It is probably visible just by opening the top, without taking the piano apart, and may be in the 65,000 range. Removable wooden parts of the case may imprinted with the last 3 digits of the serial number.
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If you find old references or links on this site to pianogen.org, they should refer to pianohistory.info