All About Pianos

How Do I Know If My Old Piano is Worth Anything?

Written By :

Fairfax County Piano Tuners

Published on August 15, 2023

Are you a piano owner wondering, how do I know if my old piano is worth anything? Whether you’re not interested in playing anymore or have inherited a piano, don’t toss it out just yet! In many cases, you can sell that piano to private buyers, schools, and other such places easily.

To find out if your old piano is worth anything, research its make and model, age, condition, and market demand. It’s also good to note if the piano has any historical significance and if a donation for tax purposes might be a better option.

Obviously, there is more to answering the question, how do I know if my old piano is worth anything? Also, you can usually contact a piano services technician near you for an appraisal. They can advise on a piano’s value and might even suggest how to sell it as quickly and profitably as possible.

how do I know if my old piano is worth anything

How Do I Know If My Old Piano is Worth Anything?

A piano’s value depends on various factors including its age, brand, condition, model, historical significance, and market demand. With this in mind, check out some steps to take to assess the value of your old piano:

Research the Brand and Model

Start by identifying the brand and model of your piano. Some brands have a reputation for producing high-quality instruments that retain their value over time. If you’re not sure the piano’s brand and model, these tips can help:

  • Look inside the piano, usually under the lid or on the frame. You might find a label or emblem with the brand name, logo, and model name or number.
  • Check the front area of the piano, near the keyboard. Some pianos have a nameplate or label attached in that area.
  • Carefully examine the back of the piano. Sometimes, there might be a label, stamp, or emblem on the back panel or bottom.
  • Lift the top lid of the piano and look underneath it. Some pianos have information about the manufacturer and model on the inside of the lid.
  • If you can access the area where the strings are, you might find information stamped onto the cast iron plate, including the brand name.
  • Once you’ve identified the brand, you can also locate the serial number. This is usually found on a metal plate or frame somewhere inside the piano. The serial number can provide valuable information about the piano’s manufacturing date.

What’s the Age of Your Antique Piano?

The age of the piano plays a significant role in its overall value. Generally, older pianos may have more value if they are well-maintained and come from reputable manufacturers. If you’re not sure of the piano’s age, check with a piano services technician. They can usually check its condition and other factors and at least estimate the keyboard’s age.

Serial Number

Find the serial number of the piano. This can often be located on the inside of the piano, usually near the tuning pins. Serial numbers can help you determine the manufacturing date, which can affect its value.


The condition of the piano is crucial. A well-maintained piano will have higher value. Check for any visible wear and tear, water damage, cracked soundboard, damaged keys, and rusty strings. Also, check if the piano holds its tune.

Restoration History

If the piano has undergone any restoration work, this could impact its value. High-quality restorations can sometimes increase the value, especially if the piano sounds and plays beautifully after restoration.

Brand Reputation

Pianos from well-known and reputable manufacturers tend to have better value compared to lesser-known brands. You can often find out about a manufacturer’s reputation online. Note the value of their pianos compared to other brands. Also, check out online reviews about their models over the years from piano manufacturers.

a contractor polishing a piano

Market Demand

The demand for pianos varies by region and over time. Antique and vintage pianos might have a niche market, so it’s essential to research the current demand for such instruments. Also, your area will have a lower or higher demand for pianos than others.

For instance, areas with music colleges might see a high demand for used pianos. Both the schools and pupils are often in the market for affordable instruments! Churches and music halls also tend to be in the market for used pianos as well. If you have a high concentration of these venues in your area, your piano might be in high demand.

Historical Significance of Antique Pianos

If the piano has a notable history, such as being owned by a famous musician or used in a significant event, it could have higher value. Even if the piano was used by a local performer, this could increase its value.

Is it a Grand Piano?

Assessing the value of a grand piano involves considering the brand, age, and condition. Renowned brands like Steinway & Sons hold higher value. Check for wear, damage, and repairs, while original components and finishes enhance worth. A piano technician’s evaluation of sound quality and playability is crucial. Rarity and market demand also play a role, especially for limited edition or unique models. Overall, brand reputation, condition, age, and expert opinions determine a grand piano’s value.

*Note that if it’s a square grand piano this means it is antique as this style has not been produced in the last 125 years.

Examples of Rare Grand Pianos

Some examples of rare grand piano models and makes include:

  1. Bosendorfer 290 Imperial: Known for its extended 97 keys and exceptional craftsmanship, Bosendorfer’s 290 Imperial is a highly sought-after concert grand piano with a distinct and rich sound.
  2. Steinway Model M Centennial: This limited edition Steinway piano was crafted to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary in 1953. Its unique design and historical importance make it a collector’s item.
  3. Fazioli F308: Fazioli is a relatively newer brand that produces a limited number of pianos each year. The F308, with its impressive 10-foot length, is one of the largest and most sought-after Fazioli models.
  4. Bluthner 150th Anniversary Phoenix: To commemorate their 150th anniversary, Bluthner created the Phoenix grand piano, featuring a stunning design and exceptional sound, making it a rare find.
  5. Chickering & Sons Concert Grand: Chickering pianos were prominent in the 19th century and their concert grand models from that era are highly valued for their historical significance and quality craftsmanship.
  6. Erard Double Escapement: Pianos by Erard, a renowned 19th-century piano maker, are known for their innovation. The Double Escapement model features a unique action mechanism, making it a rare collector’s item.
  7. Yamaha CFIIIS: While Yamaha is a well-known brand, their CFIIIS concert grand piano is considered rare due to its exceptional quality, often used in prestigious concert halls.
  8. Mason & Hamlin Model CC: Mason & Hamlin’s Model CC is celebrated for its unique “Tension Resonator” design, contributing to its powerful sound.

Tips for Antique Piano Identification

Identifying an antique piano requires a keen eye for details and some research. Here are some tips to help you accurately identify and evaluate an antique piano:

  • Examine Design and Style: Study the piano’s design, style, and construction. Different eras had distinctive design elements, and understanding these can give you clues about the piano’s age and origin. Pay attention to details like the shape of the legs, case ornamentation, and materials used. Is it an upright piano?
  • Consult Reference Materials: There are books, websites, and online forums dedicated to piano identification. These resources can provide information about various piano makers, models, and historical context. Some popular books include “Piano Atlas” and “Pierce Piano Atlas.”
  • Seek Professional Appraisal: If you’re unsure about the piano’s identity, condition, or value, consider seeking the expertise of a professional piano appraiser. They can assess the piano’s authenticity, age, condition, and provide an estimated value.
  • Examine Internal Components: Carefully open the piano and inspect its internal components. Look for any manufacturer labels, stamps, or dates on the soundboard, strings, hammers, and action mechanism. The quality of materials and craftsmanship can offer insights into the piano’s origin.
  • Evaluate Materials and Construction: Antique pianos were made using different types of wood and materials over the years. Understanding the materials used and the construction methods can provide clues to its age.
  • Visit Museums or Restoration Workshops: Visiting museums with piano collections or restoration workshops can give you hands-on experience with different piano models and help you learn more about their characteristics.

A Word From Our Piano Services Team

Fairfax County Piano Tuners by PianoCraft is happy to help answer, how do I know if my old piano is worth anything? Hopefully we’ve given you some great advice to consider! Also, call our Fairfax piano services technicians if you’re in the area and need tuning, repairs, and other support. We offer FREE quotes and outstanding expertise.

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