Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Determining Mathushek Piano Year


QUESTION: Hello there,

I was thrilled to find your online service. My family has a Mathushek piano with the following serial number: 32142. Inside it says the piano is a Patent Parlor Gem. The size of 5' 9". I think it may be considered a Living Room Grand.

I'm wondering what year the piano is and, if you you could tell us, what the approximate value is. I'd say the piano is in fair to good condition and holds a tune pretty well.

My mom, who enjoyed playing it, past away in June. We have some neighbors interested in purchasing it, but we'd like to know a fair price to quote them.

Thanks a million for your help!


ANSWER: Hi George:

Your piano was made in 1897 if your serial number is correct.

At this point, monetary value is all but gone.

Age brings "issues" to pianos if they just sit there.

Selling a piano like this has to be 'as is'.

There are structural issues, viability issues, etc.

If you want to be fair, and if the buyers want to know what it is they are getting, I would have it looked at by a registered member of the piano technicians guild.

Go to ptg.org and plug in your zip code under "locate a technician".

It would be worth the service call to "keep the peace".

Happy Thanksgiving!

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


Even though it's old, the piano plays well and looks great. Based on this, would you say we should sell it for $500? $1000?

Thanks in advance for your final thoughts/guess-timate!


Hi George:

This is a "soft" Market for pianos.

I would put it on the market for 1800.00.

You can allow any REGISTERED member of the piano technicians guild to come inspect it. No UN-registered members (Associates). We all carry a card!


1. Sold as is with no warranties either written or implied.

2. The piano must be moved by a professional piano mover. Three guys, dad's pickup and a six pack of Bud is a recipe for disaster!!!! Piano movers are insured and we're worried about injury and your home.

3. The move expense is the responsibility of the buyer not the seller.

4. This is always a case for "ask for ten, hope for seven, and take five.

These pianos were some of the best in their day, but in this case that day is gone.

I would post this in the local music schools, music stores, and anywhere you think pianists may congregate.

Bill it as the perfect family piano or starter instrument and see where it goes from there.

Let me know how you do. I'm here for you!

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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.

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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.

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