Antique piano values can vary a lot depending on many factors.
An accurate antique piano appraisal is needed for one to gauge the real value (musical value) and worth (cost or price) of the piano as a piece of decorative furniture.
The middle of the 18th century saw the rise of pianos, as the instruments slowly, but surely replaced the pianoforte.
Though great composers like Bach, Chopin, Haydn, Beethoven, Liszt and more composed their music based on the harpsichord or pianoforte, it was actually Mozart who composed a complete concerto with the piano in mind. Clementi also started to write sonatas for the piano.
There are 18th and 19th century pianos that survived and they are safely tucked in museums. Pianos at the turn of the 20th century are now considered antiques and there are some antique piano dealers who offer “as is” or fully restored pianos.
Used piano prices are not the same as antique piano value appraisal, as used ones usually pertain to pre-owned instrument and not considered as vintage items.
Inspecting a Piano's Key Action Demonstration
For entry level students, buying a modern upright acoustical piano is the best. Entry level students need to “feel” an acoustical keyboard, learn how to correctly touch the keys in order to play well.
For the parents out there who are keen in buying a piano for their child, try the tallest upright that you can afford. The brand of the piano is relevant too.
For advanced or professional pianists out there, you know that the longer and older a grand piano becomes, the better it will sound.
So who will buy the antique piano?
The great compositions of 18th century composers were played on pianofortes or harpsichord and then later on first-generation pianos.
The compositions were meant to be played on these instruments and not on the modern acoustical pianos that offer such a wide range of technical innovations as dampers, sostenutos, and hammer-actions that produce great resonance.
Great composers wrote their piano sonatas and concertos for these now antique instruments. Wouldn't it be great if you could actually hear the piano sonatas as meant to be heard by Bach or Beethoven or Chopin?
Antique pianos are of great interest to musicians who want to reproduce an almost authentic sound of great classical music. Others buy vintage pianos for its historical value and craftsmanship.
It is not fair to compare the tonal and resonance quality of an old antique to a modern acoustical piano. These units were manufactured at a different era where technology and innovations were just words.
There are many fully restored models for sale online. Note that vintage piano values depend on their conditions. Here is the list of antique pianos for sale online to give you an idea of how much to pay for certain types of pianos from different brands.
All vintage pianos in the list have been fully restored and refinished.
1866 Steinway Concert Grand
Mason and Hamlin:
All antique piano values are after complete restoration, here is the list of mixed brands:
Here are some listings of antique upright models priced after fully restored:
If you intend to buy an antique items it is better to buy a grand piano, because its antique piano value not only pertain to its worth in money, but it also has musical value, as well as collectors item as a decorative furniture piece.
A square antique grand piano is not meant to be played, but to be on display and only occasionally played.
Also, an antique upright piano should never be considered as an entry level musical instrument.
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