Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/pre/post 1923 gourlay


QUESTION: hello!

just wondering if you could offer any advice as to when this piano might have been made and/or the quality of it from your own experience.

is this actually a sherlock-manning?  is it a spinet?  how might you price it?

hopefully hear from you soon!



ANSWER: Hi Matt:

Manning took over Gourlay in 1924 and continued making the Goulay until 1961.

If you give me a serial number I can date it for you.

The quality is middle of the road...nothing remarkable, nothing terrible.

The value is always based on viability. But let's say for argument's sake this is in perfect condition...I'm thinking 1200.00 USD.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: awesome!  thanks so much for the prompt response!

one more thing, if you know:  is this an example of a spinet piano?

i'm concerned about the playing action--for advanced classical.



Hi Matt:

From the looks of it, it looks like a console.

Here's how we tell.

Open the piano and take a look at the action and the keys.

Spinet: the keys stop short of the action, and a portion of the action sits below the level of the back of the keys. The end of the key is connected to a "lifter" that reaches down below the action and lifts up.

Console: The keys go under the action so the entire action system sits atop the keys. In this case, the key pushes up directly on the action.

The Spinet is better named the "drop action" piano.

If you get confused...send me a picture of the inside and we'll call it together.

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ralph Onesti


I am a Registered/tested member of the Piano Technicians Guild (RPT) with 49 years of experience in all phases and levels of the acoustic piano. I will answer any questions regarding acoustic pianos only. All questions and answers are to remain public. Please to not include sensitive material! If they are marked private, I will change them to public. My answers may be of assistance to others. If privacy is an issue, please contact me through my web site: http://www.onestipiano.com Electronic keyboards, organs, and player/reproducing piano mechanisms are outside of my expertise. Anything to do with: Construction, Service, Tuning, Climate Control Systems, Piano Disc, Purchasing, Selling, Insurance Appraisal, Rebuilding, Repairs, Legal issues, Maintenance, Environmental issues, Finish issues with acoustic pianos. My full resume can be found at: http://onestipiano.com/pages/history.html You can like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/onestipianoservice


In business since 1964, Extensive Rebuilding/Repair/Service facility. A certified, tested, member of the Piano Technicians Guild, Member of the Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. Have performed piano service on Concert Stage, Recording Studios, and in the home. Http://www.onestipiano.com. The shop's work comes from all over the world from private clients or other techncians.

The Piano Technicians Guild, Master Piano Technicians of America, Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. (TASA), IAPBT. The Piano Technicians Guild is the only organization in the US that offers a certification test to become Registered. There are no "factory authorized techncians".

The Piano Technicians Journal

Attented Temple University, Drexel University, Philadelphia Community college all in the areas of engineering and Music. I taught a two semester course in Piano Technology and the related acoustical physics at Temple University. I have taught extensively for the Piano Technicians Guild and the Master Piano Technicians of America.

Awards and Honors
Service Award for the Rose Tree Media School District in Pennsylvania. Chapter Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild.

Past/Present Clients
The list is rather extensive. I would suggest you go http://onestipiano.com/pages/testimonials.html where there is a comprehensive list of clients past and present.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.