What's Chickering Piano Value?
Chikering Grand & Square Pianos for Sale Price Information

The antique Chickering piano is not just a piano... it's a work of art.


Glenn Gould-style Chickering Square Grand Piano

The superior quality of its tone is paralleled by the intricate cabinetry of each instrument. Piano by Chikering is not just a piece of art but a masterpiece of fine craftsmanship and workmanship.

Rightly so for the revered piano company received more than 200 awards among them the prestigious Imperial Cross of the Legion of Honor conferred by Emperor Napoleon III for the company's great service to music.

Perhaps the greatest endorser of the Chickering instruments is the player Franz Liszt. The great Romantic pianist and composer preferred Chickering grand piano that he owned, one of which is on display at the Liszt Museum in Budapest.

Short Chickering Pianos History

Jonas Chickering founded the piano company in 1823 in Boston, Massachusetts. He first apprenticed under John Osborne in 1818 to learn the rudiments of piano-making. Osborne was himself an apprentice of the great American piano-maker of that time, Benjamin Crehore who was the driving force behind the Boston School of piano makers.

Chickering square pianos were very popular prior to the 1870s. Jonas Chickering patented the iron frame for the square piano which he later adapted to a Checkering grand piano. His innovation paid off for his piano received the top award at the 1851 International Exposition in London.

The legacy of old Chickering pianos lived on through Jonas's three sons: Frank; Thomas and George. The company was owned and managed by the three brothers until Frank's demise in 1896. In 1908 the American Piano Company bought Chickering & Sons and continued to produce pianos under the label until 1983. Today, the label has been absorbed by Baldwin.

Chickering Sound & Build Quality

The use of full iron plate for Chickering grands allowed the use of heavier strings and hammer. The switch produced fuller and louder tones and also improved the tuning stability since the iron plate did not shrink and expand with changes in humidity.

The iron plate also did not bend under tension. It could be said that Jonas Chickering paved the way for this major change, for years later all great piano-makers in America followed his lead.

It has been said that Chickering grand pianos that were built up to the 1940s are considered as the best and that antique Chickering pianos from the 1880s until the 1925s have rich and powerful sound, rounded and well-toned. Each piano bearing the label had a clear and bright treble sound and a rich, deep bass. The sound produced was unique that many musicians, composers and pianists preferred the Chickering label.

Chickering Piano Price & Available Models For Sale

There is no one source that gives a detailed list of all the pianos made under the brand Chickering. The oldest American piano manufacturer has a list though of serial numbers corresponding to the date of manufacture of its product. The year model 1823 serial number starts at 100 and ends in 1982 with the serial number 248500.

Here is a list of horizontal and vertical vintage Chickering studio piano for sale today:

Chickering Grand Piano

chickering-piano

  • 1859 Empire Style Square Grand -This style has a great volume and tone.
  • 1861 Chickering Square Grand - The square grand was the first type of piano built in the United States by Jonas Chickering from the 1820s to the 1880s. The action was the same as the grands built in those days. The small soundboard did not allow loud projection of sound but the treble's tone was quite pleasant and the bass full.
  • 1866 Chickering Rococo Square Grand- Made of Brazilian rosewood and highly ornate.
  • 1867 Chickering Concert Grand - This model was the “greatest” piano in that era. It is 8'4”in length and was manufactured for concert pianists. This model is limited edition and has 88 keys instead of the usual 85 keys. The case is Victorian, superbly crafted in its beauty and symmetry. The tone produced by this model is rich, full and powerful.
  • 1870 Chickering Semi-Concert Grand - This semi-concert grand is unique with its rosewood case, ivory and ebony full 88-note keyboard and rather ornate legs and pedals. Most piano enthusiasts agree that vintage pianos from the 1850s to the 1870s have that inimitable bright and clear treble sound in perfect synch with a deep and rich bass tone.
  • 1883 Chickering Victorian Concert Grand - Length is 8' 4” and is made of Brazilian Rosewood. The price is $55,000 fully restored and.
  • 1885 Chickering Square Piano -This model is very ornate with its scalloped casing and is one of the last ones made before the production of square pianos ceased.
  • 1897 Victorian Mahogany Parlor Grand Piano - This model is 6'4” in length finished in ebony black lacquer. Valued at $30,000 this Chickering antique piano is certainly worth its price.
  • 1897 Model 190C Parlor Grand- It is made of Brazilian Rosewood and has a length of 6'3”.
  • 1907 Traditional Style Quarter Grand - a Chickering baby grand piano at 5'4”, mahogany. Fully restored at $16,000 appraisal.
Chickering Upright Piano

The company pride itself with the new repeating action that gives a performer a quick and responsive touch, powerful and precise with a tone that is sonorous, pure and clear. The year was 1889 and by then Chickering have produced more than 77,500 pianos.

  • 1897 Victorian Upright - Back then, this model would have cost $1200, a dear amount even today. A restored model costs around $13,000.
  • 1902 Chickering Mahogany Upright -This is a full size upright piano for the serious musician. Today a restored edition costs $11,000.
  • 1907 Cabriole Leg Upright - In Rococo style, this model is made of rich mahogany.
  • 1909 Sheraton Style Upright - Of brown mahogany this model's ornate and beautiful casing is matched by its high quality sound.

Today, you can easily find vintage Chickering piano for sale online with great discount and free shipping. You just have to know where to look and have the tenacity to do repairs and restoration.

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Updated October 10, 2010
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