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#1973253 - 10/14/12 06:10 PM 1925 Gulbransen
Gabe D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/12
Posts: 4
Hi All,

Hope this is the right place for this. I'm helping my family move, and one item that we won't be able to take to the new house is what I've discovered (via serial number) to be a 1925 Gulbransen upright piano.

It's been in our living room for more than a decade (having previously been in another house, passed down from my grandparents, etc), but mostly as a furniture piece, as nobody in the household can play more than chopsticks. It's fallen badly out of tune (or so I've been told, as I'm very ignorant on Pianos and music in general, to be honest) and some of the ivory has chipped off, but it's otherwise in pretty good condition. At least structurally.

All of the keys make a tone still, but that's about as much as I can tell of whether it's still in good condition on the inside. It isn't and never was a player piano. Supposedly it's never had another done to it, no reconstruction or anything, and is basically still in original condition.

To be blunt, my question is basically as follows: does this item have any resale value? I very much need to move it quickly, and I've seen in a bit of online research that restored similar models could be worth surprising amounts. I don't really have the time or capital for something like that. Could it be worth selling in its current condition, or should I settle for anyone who'll take it without me having to pay them? Ha. You won't offend me by saying the latter, I just need to know. My big concern is give it away/donating it now and later regretting it.

I'll try to post some photos. Thanks for any/all help, I'm really out of my depth here.

Edited by Gabe D (10/14/12 10:20 PM)

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#1973254 - 10/14/12 06:12 PM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Gabe D]
Gabe D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/12
Posts: 4
Okay obviously I need to work on my photoposting skills...

#1973308 - 10/14/12 08:16 PM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Gabe D]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21657
Loc: Oakland
You might get a little bit of money for it if you have enough time to advertise, but you may be lucky to get someone to take it for free. You never can tell what others will do. It might be a nice piano restored, but restoration is expensive and time consuming. New pianos may be cheaper. There may be hidden problems that could make it a poor candidate, and it may be difficult to find someone who does a good job on these old pianos.
Semipro Tech

#1973331 - 10/14/12 09:21 PM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Gabe D]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Gabe - Welcome to Piano World!

It's a handsome piano. You didn't mention your, or its, location. If you are in Chicago, you might have the best luck if you want to peddle it. Gulbransen and Lyon & Healy are still sought in the area by those who are history buffs. Gulbransen was a respected instrument.

So much would depend on what lurks inside and only a good piano technician can provide that info. Those hammers don't look bad at all and it might make a very nice starter piano for someone with a little added work. As far as the cabinet goes, its in good shape, but some furniture polish and a little elbow grease would certainly help.

Good Luck,
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

#1973360 - 10/14/12 10:22 PM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Gabe D]
Gabe D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/12
Posts: 4
Hi, thanks for the replies BDB and Marty. I (and the piano!) are in Pasadena CA, so I have the big city thing (Los Angeles)going for me, but not the Chicago thing I guess.

I updated the original post with some working photos of the exterior. Today I took some better photos of the inside (hammers and stuff) so I'll see if I can post those belows. Sorry if the photos are kind of big.

#1973367 - 10/14/12 10:36 PM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Gabe D]
Gabe D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/12
Posts: 4
I thought it looked pretty nice on the outside, but the inside, which I've never really seen before was even more beautiful to me. Apologies for the photo overload, but I thought these internal ones might give a better idea of the condition. Of course I realize there's probably not too much to be gleaned simply from photos.

#1973902 - 10/16/12 02:25 AM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Gabe D]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Gabe, to be honest, with the current market, your piano doesn't have much in the way of resale value. I wouldn't be surprised if it's basically a sound (no pun intended) piano, and it's almost certainly not junk, but it more than likely needs hundreds of dollars' worth of work to make it a good instrument once again.

I think you're best off finding someone willing to take it and put some money into it, and letting them have it.
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician

#1978660 - 10/25/12 09:20 PM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Gabe D]
Ivory Keys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/23/12
Posts: 2
How did you know that your piano is a 1925? I have one that could almost be your piano's twin! The # on mine is 126071. I don't know if that is the style # or what? I'm looking for a date and value on mine too! Any info you could pass along would be appreciated! Thanks

#1978679 - 10/25/12 10:10 PM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Gabe D]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3872
I'm enjoying the sunrise over piano pic! The piano action does not look in bad condition from the pictures. Due to it's age, it's a starter piano quality, unless rebuilt. The cabinet is plain, so no added value there. Back in the day, we could put less than $1000 into these pianos and they would be pretty good. It's much harder to do that today. Most need rebuilding at a cost of $5k to 10K. Round by me, this would Craigslist from free to $300.00.

#1978754 - 10/26/12 03:02 AM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Ivory Keys]
Paul S. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/10
Posts: 100
Loc: Washington (State), USA
Ivory Keys,

Your piano dates from sometime between 1915 and 1920 (http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/pianoage.htm).

As to value, as someone else already pointed out to the original poster, your piano's probably worth $0-$300.
Paul Slaughter
1911 M. Schulz 6'3" Grand

#1978763 - 10/26/12 03:51 AM Re: 1925 Gulbransen [Re: Gabe D]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21657
Loc: Oakland
Gulbransen 126071 would be from 1919.
Semipro Tech


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