Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/piano value


We have a Shubert cabinet grand upright piano serial #37286, 1903 steel sound board, Columbian Expo label inside top, seems in good tune, needs some ivorys replaced (3), varnish finish damaged on one end, otherwise good. Need to move now and wonder if its worth moving or if should leave behind and replace. Can you give us some idea of its value?

Hi Karen,

It's almost impossible to appraise an instrument sight-unseen. Generally speaking, pianos of this vintage are assigned a $0 value by dealers in my area. Pianos of this time period were expected to last about 100 years and your upright is past that. Cheap new pianos from Asia have severely undermined the used piano market (with the exception of premium brands such as Steinway, Bechstein, Mason & Hamlin and good quality Japanese pianos such as Yamaha and Kawai). Moreover, replacement parts for older pianos are expensive.

Again, I haven't seen your piano but buying a newer instrument after the move might make more sense in today's market.


Sam Noel

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.