Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Wheelock


My husband inherited a beautiful ornate 50 inch upright black Wheelock New York #13469 piano from his Grandmother (born 1903) who said it was her Mother's piano.  DO you have any information on this piano?  I can't give it away, so I am thinking it probably is a lower grade piano and only worth sentimental value. But before we do anything with it, my husband asked me to see what I can find.  Do you know anything about these pianos? It plays but needs tuning.  I opened the case and all I can see is that the key strings are attached to and rest up against a large heavy piece of wood.  I do not see a brass plate like I have seen in other pianos.

Hi Robin,

Your Wheelock upright was manufactured around 1896. The Wheelock Piano Company was established in 1880 and the factory was located on 149th Street in New York City. In subsequent years, Wheelock became a part of the Aeolian Corporation. Production of Wheelock pianos discontinued in 1941 and Aeolian went of business in 1983.

Most pianos of this vintage are well-past their practical life expectancy of about 100 years and are not usually given any value by dealers in my area. There are exceptions based on actual condition, brand, restorative work, etc., but those are rare.

To really get a sense of what you have inherited, have a technician service the piano and assess its actual condition. If you need a referral, contact the Piano Technicians Guild (www.ptg.org).

The cast iron plate is there but you may not be able to see it when the action is still in the piano.

Good luck.

Sam Noel

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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Samuel Noel


I am a contracted piano technician for Steinway and Sons in New York handling warranty issues, prepping pianos for the showroom and delivery; I also serve the City University of NY as a piano technician. I am also self-employed in New York. I apprenticed (Manhattan School of Music)in 1982 and was factory (Steinway) trained in 1983. I have experience tuning, repairing, reconditioning, and appraisals. Please note that appraising an instrument involves a visual inspection and knowledge of the local market area. I am not an expert in player mechanisms, refinishing, electronic keyboards, midi, nor organs. I love the work of making an instrument sound concert quality.


I successfully apprenticed at the Manhattan School of Music under Alan Buchman and Peter Favant in 1982 (also received B.A. in music from same school) and employed by Steinway and Sons in 1983 as a tuner-technician. I also served as service manager for Steinway. Presently, I service pianos for CUNY and I handle warranty issues and tunings for Steinway.

The Piano Technicians Guild, New York Chapter

Manhattan School of Music, BA; American Management Association certificate (Steinway and Sons); Queens College, CUNY, MA

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