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#1755173 - 09/19/11 08:31 AM What to do with my Steinway
BobVtR Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 2
New forum member would appreciate advice: We have a mahogany 1917 Steinway baby grand model M that has been in the family for 55 years. With no pianists at home anymore, we are ready to part with it. It sounds great and looks just beautiful; it is in very good condition (our tuner says it needs absolutely nothing). In 1978 pins and strings were replaced, hammer felt was replaced, back checks (?) were replaced and it was regulated, voiced, tuned, etc. Tunings and cleanings have been done since then, including 2 weeks ago, so everything we know about it is excellent. We are, however, not quite sure how to sell it, how to present it (at age 94), who to sell it to, and what to ask for price. thanks for your advice.

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#1755191 - 09/19/11 09:03 AM Re: What to do with my Steinway [Re: BobVtR]
PassingBy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 1676
Here is a good place to put up an advertisement for your piano:


There is a small fee, but is very reasonable.

Or you could ask around and give it to someone who wants to learn the piano and you know will take care of it, play it and love it.

Good luck!

#1755240 - 09/19/11 10:51 AM Re: What to do with my Steinway [Re: BobVtR]
Karl Watson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 664
Would love to see you donate it to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, my old Alma mater. It's an all-Steinway school.

#1755261 - 09/19/11 11:24 AM Re: What to do with my Steinway [Re: Karl Watson]
Rich Galassini Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 10405
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Karl Watson
Would love to see you donate it to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, my old Alma mater. It's an all-Steinway school.


I had no idea! When did you go to Curtis?

Just so you know, when I last spoke about this subject with Gary Graffman (then the Director) I was surprised to hear that they had more Steinway pianos than they could use because people have left them to the school.

Having said that, they are certainly using them now with the new construction, so maybe now is a good time for a gift like that. Heck, the piano could be sent here first for a thorough rebuilding. smile
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:

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#1755275 - 09/19/11 11:48 AM Re: What to do with my Steinway [Re: Rich Galassini]
Karl Watson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 664

How kind of you.

I was there '68-'71, my scholarship was in organ, but I was in Dr. Billy Sokoloff's piano class and it remains the foundation of my keyboard technique and musical approach. Spent part of my middle year in Paris with Marcel Dupre (organ), and also studied piano with him. Bye the way, his Erard was a beaut.

I was organist at Arch Street Presbyterian, 19th & Arch, from '69-'73.

Everything was Steinway during those years, the instruments supplied by the local Steinway dealer, and they were, ALL of them, nightmares. I shan't name the concern. Chief amongst the horrors was the D in Curtis Hall, perhaps the worst concert grand I've ever heard or played in a major venue. Fortunately my church had nice instruments from the turn of the century. Nowadays, members of the organ class are supplied with a piano from school. In my time, we had to depend on the pianos at our respective churchs.

You are doing a wonderful work in Philadelphia and have an enviable reputation. Please, please keep up the good work !


#1755330 - 09/19/11 01:55 PM Re: What to do with my Steinway [Re: BobVtR]
Swarth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 448
Loc: SF Bay Area Ca.
Class reunions aside, what you need to do is start researching, find every Steinway M you can for sale and compare. Then YOU can make an informed decision. There are those who would love to buy it for a "song" telling you it needs to be completely rebuilt. The harsh reality is that a 30+ old restoration isn't going to help the value much and kind of places it in sellers limbo. It's not a "core" piano as some might tell you and as such has a base value of perhaps $4-7K. On the other side it's also not a completely restored version fresh from the rebuilder, so no chance of ever coming near those prices. The sad truth is that in this economic climate, getting much more than the high core price might be very difficult. Then again, it is a "Golden Age" Steinway. You mentioned a Mahogany case. Is it an art case or ? You started out here in a good place, so search, search and find the comparables that best match your situation, and good luck!

Edited by Swarth (09/19/11 01:57 PM)
Quid est veritas et mendacium, cum orbis terrarum.

#1755446 - 09/19/11 04:16 PM Re: What to do with my Steinway [Re: BobVtR]
PianoWorksATL Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 3294
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Swarth has given you a good start. For a Steinway of that age in old but working condition, you might find a player/buyer at $10k-$11k, but most will be looking to rebuild it and paying in the range of what Swarth indicated.
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop

#1755472 - 09/19/11 04:39 PM Re: What to do with my Steinway [Re: BobVtR]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1215
Loc: Nashville, TN
Where do you live Bob? Certain areas of the country might be better than others to unload your Steinway M. For instance, I don't think there would be a very strong market in Mississippi, but might be a good market in, say, NYC.
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

#1755545 - 09/19/11 06:15 PM Re: What to do with my Steinway [Re: Pianolance]
BobVtR Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 2
Location will not help much. I live on the NH - VT border about half way up (just where RTs 91 and 89 intersect), so it's a rural location about 2 hours North of Boston, 2.5 North of Hartford, CT, and 4 hours North of NYC with great interstate highway access. So it is a tiny local market, but a great destination, especially in the upcoming leaf season.


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