Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Antique piano value


QUESTION: I have a Lester Philadelphia upright piano serial #278790. It has a Pratt Reed and Co. stamp on the inside, has 3 foot pedals, is a mission style possibly but not sure (just guessing by my own research). It weighs around 300 pounds and is in working order but probably needs tuning and wood restoration with some scratches. No bench came with it when it was given to me. I don't play but would like to learn. Is this piano worth restoring Or should I sell and what would be the value?  Would also love to know the year it was made as well as the model name, if any?

ANSWER: Hi Stephanie:

First...these pianos are never worth restoring!

The piano was made in 1956.

Are you in the Philadelphia area?

Perhaps I can suggest a better route for you.

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QUESTION: Thank you for your answer!  Unfortunately I don't live in the Philadelphia area, what would you suggest I do, is it worth anything at all?

Hi Stephanie:

I think the word "restoring" is not the word we want to use here.

I think we need to see if the piano is viable.

In other words, can we get it serviced, up and running, and playable in short order, or do we replace it.

For that, we would need an on site look.

Go to http://www.ptg.org. There you can plug in your zip code and get a registered technician to come and evaluate the condition of the piano.

Remember, for every dollar you put into that piano with regard to restoring, you get a nickel back.

If it can be tuned and have minor repairs done to get it working, great. Any more than that then we look for a replacement.

Keep me posted.  

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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.

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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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