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1889 Antique Steinway upright

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Posted 4 years ago

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oldstuff
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This is an original Steinway made in 1889 that has been in my family since it was made. According to Steinway it was called a "Rosewood" design. It is in very good condition with the original keys all in working order. I am curious to what the worth of a piano like this is today?

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  1. Hammer Butt, 3 years ago
    From what I've observed over the years, similar asking price on a piano like yours tops out around $1500. Sounds disappointing, considering the piano is an "antique Steinway". You have to remember though that it's a musical instrument first, with over 5,000 moving parts, made primarily of wood, leather, cloth, felt, metal, and a bit of ivory, and after 120 years, chances are that its overall condition is less-than-pristine, to put it gracefully (imagine the condition YOU'LL be in after 120 years!) Complete restoration (rebuilt action with all new parts, new strings, new soundboard, new or refurbished bridges, keys bleached, cabinet restoration, etc.) will run $13,000-$15,000 (not a technician quote--it's what I'm paying to have a similar piano restored myself). You can certainly do less and have a viable instrument. Your rosewood is awesome. For what its worth, many excellent pianos were built up through the Depression and prior to WW II. Most of them end up in the dump, because it's not economically feasible to restore them for most people. That being said, there were a lot of great piano makers (the piano techs know them) whose names nobody recognizes anymore. Restored, they don't command the top dollar price recognized brands like Steinway do... For that reason, there's even less justification to restore them. You have a great piano. Restored, it would easily blow away anything comparable that they're making today (you have string lengths that compare to a small grand piano). Being a Steinway, it will hold its value better. But if you restore it, like as not, you'll not readily recover your investment if you sell it. It's worth paying the money if YOU want the piano.
  2. Hammer Butt, 3 years ago
    BTW--Your piano is referred to as "Rosewood" because that's the species of wood they used to veneer the cabinet. Relatively hard to come by today, and relatively expensive--harvested rosewood is now embargoed from many sources--have to cut down the rainforests to get it. By today's standards, all that rosewood and ivory is exotic. They don't make 'em like they used to...

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