Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Merrill Piano Age


QUESTION: Mr. Onesti,

I've inherited a gorgeous Merrill Piano. The serial number I believe is 11118, and the number 26 is engraved in the wood in at least two places. Could you kindly tell me if you can determine the age of my piano? I am grateful for any information you can provide.
Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Jane:

Merrill was started in Boston in 1885.

The factory was in Neponset, Mass.

Your piano was built in 1904.

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

QUESTION: Wow! I knew it had been in the family for generations, but I didn't realize it was that old. Your information is a wonderful addition to our history. Thank you so very much! How would I determine the estimated value? It's in excellent condition.
Again, my family and I are very grateful for your help. Thank you!!!!

ANSWER: Hi Jane:

Estimating the value from here is tough.

However, and in general,and assuming this is an upright, they generally weigh in at about 250.00 in really good condition.

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

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr Ornesti. I've included a picture of the piano. Perhaps this would increase the value?

Hi Jane:

Short answer: you bet.

However, now we are in a completely different place. Grands carry much more value than uprights and they are much more prone to pin block problems also.

The case appears to be in beautiful condition.

If the insides of the piano are original, and you would like to be accurate, we need an assessment.

This piano could be worth up to 7K, or much, much less.

Accuracy depends on a "hands on" evaluation.

If you were in the Philadelphia area this would be easy. Actually, it is easy anywhere you are in the US. Go to http://www.ptg.org. There you will find a place that says, "locate a technician". Click on that and plug in your zip code.

A list of registered technicians will pop up. Find one with pre-sales evaluation experience. I'm not saying you are selling, but that is the type of eval we need here.

Make an appointment to have them come out. They will look at the following areas:

Soundboard/rib integrity
Pin Block torque
Action viability (ability to be played and serviced)
Damper system viability
Case (furniture)

With that information they (we) can put a good number on your piano.

Stay in touch!

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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.

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.

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