Assessing value, quality, provenance, and condition

Appraising a piano

Oftentimes we get asked about the piano appraisal process. This isn’t done just to determine the monetary value of an instrument; it’s also an assessment of quality, craftsmanship, provenance, and more.

To give you a better idea of what an appraisal looks like, here is one we’ve completed for the Bechstein piano we currently have in our showroom. To learn more about this piano get in touch or stop in to play it yourself!


Appraisal of Bechstein Model 8 Concert Vertical Piano in Satin Walnut finish Serial Number 175653 measuring 51.6” in height which, according to the Pierce Piano Atlas, was handcrafted in Germany in 1982 when the American Baldwin Piano Company owned the German Bechstein Company from 1963 until 1986.  This instrument is Bechstein’s flagship upright piano of which they are very proud. Many musicians consider it to be the finest design, from a musical dynamic range standpoint, of an upright piano available. Bechstein writes that this instrument Is built with the same care and precision of their world renowned Concert Grand and semi-concert grand pianos which are awarded the name C. Bechstein in honor of Carl Bechstein the founder of the Bechstein Piano Company in 1853.  Bechstein refers to the Concert model 8 as the ”King of Uprights.”

This particular instrument is in immaculate condition, both musically, structurally, and cosmetically, and does not appear to have been used extensively but properly maintained.  For practical purposes, I would say that it is in like new condition.

Handcrafted, musically impressively designed, pianos built by esteemed builders, such as Bechstein, have significant useful longevity if not subjected to negative environmental conditions or extensive use.  This instrument shows no evidence of any such abuse. As a result, when valuing such an instrument age, in years, is not a significant consideration. Rather, the current selling price of the same instrument should be the significant factor in determining the instruments fair market value.

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