Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/age of piano?


We have a Newcombe (Toronto) upright piano - serial no. 14476.  My father rescued it in the early 1970s from a hippie house where it had been covered in psychedelic graffiti paint.  He had it professionally restored and tuned.  Unfortunately, no one in our family ever found the time to learn to play it (except me - I taught myself a few tunes by ear).  I received it from my mother when she moved away in the 1990s, but still no one in my family played it much.  It has now been sitting in our basement for 17 years.  We had it professionally tuned a couple of years ago, but no one has played it and it has not been moved.  Other than that, it is in excellent condition and has ivory keys (slightly yellow with age).  It also has the original ornate stool.  I would just like to know what value it may have, as we are moving a long distance away and cannot bring it with us.  Your input is appreciated.  Thank you.

Although it plays, it probably isn't all that playable to an experienced pianist.  It may be of value to someone for decorative purposes.

You can check bluebookofpianos.com or pierces piano atlas (for a fee on-line) to learn its age according to its serial number, if it is listed.

You could also search the Music Trade Review (mostly American pianos) at mbsi.org, "search the indexes" to learn more about its history.

Basements in cold climates can be damp, which is detrimental to the piano's woods and metals.

Your best chance to turn your piano into money is to post it on line with pictures of the keys, the case, and the inside workings (action).If it has ivory keys, it is old.  If you can also post a short video clip demonstrating its sound and responsiveness to a skilled player, that could draw attention.

Since you must leave it and have nothing invested, you may only find someone to remove it at their expense.

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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Robert James Seeley


I enjoy historical research at the site: mbsi.org for articles in the Music Trade Review, 1880 forward, supplemented by other on-line searches.


After several months of research, I have compiled a multi-chapter history of the Adam Schaaf piano ( mine is No. 58,265) back to the 1860s. In the last week I have compiled a 6-page brochure for the owner of a Compton-Price/Boston Piano Co. upright (No.13,630). I can provide samples of my desk-top publishing skills from these documents, and I would like to share them in entirety with anyone interested. The visual impact of research is important. I am passionate about giving these surviving, obscure instruments the respect they deserve, as well as the people who made them. My piano technician encourages me to submit them to the Piano Technicians Guild in Kansas City.

DMA, Doctorate in Musical Arts, 1980, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; MM, 1969; BM, 1967; both from North Texas State University. I have spent the first full year of my retirement from 44 years of college teaching (Music, English, German) on these and other on-line research projects.

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