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#1979014 - 10/26/12 05:14 PM $quare Grands
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1093
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
I have been asked for some estimates of worth on square grands, and always seem to be 90% below what the owner thinks it's worth. I know of these things that people would give away, if they could, so I don't put a lot of value in them.
One party I have spoken with has an estimate of $ 20,000. I have never seen one sold for that, myself. Has anybody seen any square grands sold? What sort of price do they bring?
(out of touch with the 19th century)
Regards,

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#1979019 - 10/26/12 05:26 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
I only service two of them and avoid any discussion about their value. I would probably come in 95% below what the owners think they are worth. Here is a good site to go to in order to see nicer restored examples and their selling prices. I can't comment on the validity of the "sold" price listing but some are fetching some remarkable amounts, antique value for the most part I would think...

http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/products/square-grand/
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1979055 - 10/26/12 06:42 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
I always defer to an antique dealer, which I'm not. I figure, those instruments have far more antique and historical value than musical value.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1979157 - 10/27/12 12:58 AM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2034
Loc: Maine
I like the "Antique Dealer" idea. Let someone else give them the bad news.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#1979297 - 10/27/12 01:36 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 624
Loc: NY and NC
I have been an antique dealer for almost 40 years. I bought a Chickering square grand in beautiful rosewood veneer with absolutely gorgeous carved legs similar to one on that site listed above. I bought it out of a house for $300 and moved it myself with my wife and two friends. After two years in my shop, I sold it for $300. I told them they had to move it themselves. I guess that gives you some idea of value, although the piano was not restored, of course, and did not really play.

My grandfather was a tuner-tech and could rebuild or repair anything: organs, pianos, including players, nickelodians, and so on. He told me once that square grands weren't worth working on. Poor design, difficult to get parts, and so on. He even made his own parts a lot of the time (he retired in the late 50's or early 60's before so many suppplies were available. In my travels, I have seen many square grands and smaller, but similar-styled spinets gutted and made into desks. I have hated to see this, but at least the beautiful cabinetry survives in a useful way.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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#1979331 - 10/27/12 04:12 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Chopinlover49]
Peyton Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2522
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Chopinlover49
I have been an antique dealer for almost 40 years. I bought a Chickering square grand in beautiful rosewood veneer with absolutely gorgeous carved legs similar to one on that site listed above. I bought it out of a house for $300 and moved it myself with my wife and two friends. After two years in my shop, I sold it for $300. I told them they had to move it themselves. I guess that gives you some idea of value, although the piano was not restored, of course, and did not really play.

My grandfather was a tuner-tech and could rebuild or repair anything: organs, pianos, including players, nickelodians, and so on. He told me once that square grands weren't worth working on. Poor design, difficult to get parts, and so on. He even made his own parts a lot of the time (he retired in the late 50's or early 60's before so many suppplies were available. In my travels, I have seen many square grands and smaller, but similar-styled spinets gutted and made into desks. I have hated to see this, but at least the beautiful cabinetry survives in a useful way.


It's funny to hear what you have to say...

I had a Chickering square probably around 35 years ago that I couldn't give away. Finally an antique dealer took it for nothing and the last I had heard had refinished it and sold it as furniture. It was a very pretty piano but wouldn't stay in tune for more than a day.


David, you would have loved it... smile Actually, it probably would have made a nice coffin.


Edited by Peyton (10/27/12 04:14 PM)
_________________________
"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
www.peytonart.com


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#1979335 - 10/27/12 04:26 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Peyton]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2034
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Peyton
David, you would have loved it... smile Actually, it probably would have made a nice coffin.
Ha! 'Glad you didn't call it a square "grand". Every time I see a square piano I can't get out of my mind how useful a road flare would be at that moment.

There's nothing grand about a square.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#1979399 - 10/27/12 06:57 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Lluís Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 313
Loc: Barcelona,Spain, European Unio...
Unrestored Pleyels , Erards and Broadwoods (European) goes to 1500 U$ till 8000$ no more (If not artcased!) ... Restored ones goes +4000 (Depending if it is some artcase it can rise it till 20.000$ or more...)
_________________________
1942 Challen Baby Grand Piano

1855 Pleyel Pianino (Restoring -> www.pleyelrestoration.blogspot.com )

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#1979425 - 10/27/12 07:47 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19224
Loc: New York City
Why wouldn't some like these purely for their furniture aspect? Do the majority of people who buy these do so for this reason?


Edited by pianoloverus (10/27/12 07:51 PM)

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#1979439 - 10/27/12 08:17 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
After looking at the pictures a thought came to me! other than a desk modification
it might make a nice cabinet for a retrofit of a digital piano.. with built in speakers!..
smile

This is of course related to the fact that square grands have
no value/popularity as a playing instrument..
only as antique furniture..


Edited by Bob Newbie (10/28/12 09:44 AM)

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#1979561 - 10/28/12 05:56 AM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Lluís Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 313
Loc: Barcelona,Spain, European Unio...
NOT a good idea!
_________________________
1942 Challen Baby Grand Piano

1855 Pleyel Pianino (Restoring -> www.pleyelrestoration.blogspot.com )

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#1979575 - 10/28/12 06:56 AM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Lluís]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7175
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Lluís
Unrestored Pleyels , Erards and Broadwoods (European) goes to 1500 U$ till 8000$ no more (If not artcased!) ... Restored ones goes +4000 (Depending if it is some artcase it can rise it till 20.000$ or more...)


With a "restoration" that cannot be less than 10000 Euros, chase for the mistake..

I have seen an "excellent" square grand Broadwood, that would be evaluated correctly 10000 Euros and more probably due to excellent condition.

Pianos from the really early ages are find for really low price in original condition, but if correctly restored the value can be really high.
restoration of a Forte can cost 15000-30000 Euros, for instance, if someone want to pay for it ... (not using Delignit pinblock in it Lluis wink



Edited by Kamin (10/28/12 06:57 AM)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1979616 - 10/28/12 10:44 AM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2379
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Caveat: I have yet to have the pleasure of working on one of these fine instruments...

IMO, as much as they're junk as instruments, it kind of pains me to see the work and materials that went into them go into the dumpster. I like how some are being repurposed as desks, etc. Especially those Brazilian rosewood veneers and solid legs.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#1979635 - 10/28/12 11:42 AM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
I agree! rather than a desk..I'd retrofit a digital(portable) and built in speakers..
provided the cabinet was a nice cabinet.. smile

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#1979696 - 10/28/12 02:47 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

I had a couple of squares here a while back. The large square with four legs I gave away to a lady that wanted a kitchen island for the home.

The other square is one of the long slim squares with seven legs, (7ft by 2ft) similar to a John Tallman square. This one is a Broadwood 1819. At the moment it is being made into an office desk.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1979788 - 10/28/12 06:49 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Olek]
Lluís Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 313
Loc: Barcelona,Spain, European Unio...
Hi Kamin, once I found a restored Pleyel for only 2000 euro, ofcourse, the restoration was really terrible. I know someone in paris who restores pianos (pianinos and squares) for less than 10.000 euro ,(Ofcourse we're talking about a major restoration the costs goes up 10.000k)
_________________________
1942 Challen Baby Grand Piano

1855 Pleyel Pianino (Restoring -> www.pleyelrestoration.blogspot.com )

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#1979821 - 10/28/12 08:00 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1241
Loc: London
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
The other square is one of the long slim squares with seven legs, (7ft by 2ft) similar to a John Tallman square. This one is a Broadwood 1819. At the moment it is being made into an office desk.

Dan, was the Broadwood in very poor condition? Here in the UK there is a definite market for late 18c or early 19c square fortepianos. These are a very different thing from the later heavier American squares that seem to be so disparaged, and can be very delightful instruments. I am hoping to be able to acquire an early 19c Broadwood, or something similar such as a Clementi, myself.

There are some beautiful early squares here.

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#1980043 - 10/29/12 11:02 AM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Hi David,

I haven’t seen you around for a while; good to see you posting. The Broadwood came to me already gutted unfortunately and was being used as a work bench. Because of that damage I will have to sand away all of the original patina previous to refinishing. Even then I think there will still be scars left….

It is tiny two inch rosewood strips set as parquet with a mahogany border and a blonde strip inlay, possibly yew, blonde ash, or false acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) which is commonly called black locust, indigenous to North Africa and the southern US.

Along the bottom rim of the cabinet there is a strip of decorative brass. This one looks similar to the Broadwood at the link you provided.

Broadwood 1815
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1980149 - 10/29/12 03:54 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2379
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
Hi David,
This one looks similar to the Broadwood at the link you provided.

Broadwood 1815


Does anyone notice anything missing in this picture??? laugh
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#1980168 - 10/29/12 04:30 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: OperaTenor]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2034
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Does anyone notice anything missing in this picture??? laugh
There is an illusion of one rear leg missing, but the shadows seem to indicate that it's there. Did these things have a pedal lyre?
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#1980183 - 10/29/12 05:18 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada


On the pedal lyre, third down on the left side of the front page. it usually was hidden underneath with a hook assembly.

The Front Page

Interesting note for this thread: last week while this was ongoing I got a call from the Chateau Granville which is a large hotel on downtown Vancouver.

The manager had a large American square to sell manufactured in Ohio. I just phoned him to see if it was sold; some guy came by to have a look, fell in love with the thing….

SOLD!...For a grand…one grand for one grand…..


_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1980228 - 10/29/12 07:00 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1241
Loc: London
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
Hi David,

I haven’t seen you around for a while; good to see you posting.

Thanks Dan! I am definitely still around.

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#1980899 - 10/31/12 11:43 AM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
We have a specialist in UK who restores them. She had a 4 year waiting list at the last count.

Their value after restoration is mostly the same as the cost of the restoration.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#1980928 - 10/31/12 01:09 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: rxd]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: rxd
We have a specialist in UK who restores them. She had a 4 year waiting list at the last count. Their value after restoration is mostly the same as the cost of the restoration.
No doubt this depends on the individual piano and its desirability/scarcity. The market situation in the UK may be different than in N. America, where we see far too many very large squares that were built until fairly late (1880s). These often had more of a value as a piece of furniture than an instrument when they were new. I can see there being demand and therefore value for e.g. an 1820 Broadwood. But I can't see a large 1880s American no-name brand square having a value equal to the cost of restoration which can easily be upward of $10,000. But I guess "all you need" is a buyer (someone whose wife falls in love with it).
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

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#1980967 - 10/31/12 02:27 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
I was thinking of 1805 and 1809 Broadwoods. They all fail at the hitch pin rail. Sure, they're historical pieces but it's like old uprights, there's so many of them.

I remember as a kid, late '40's every backyard bonfire had 2-3 thrown on.

There's a junk shop near me, they've had one for years.

I have access to two of them right now. Like the illustration above, they both have the pedal post missing. You want em?

I just saw a container full of bird cages being shipped to China, maybe squares are next.


Edited by rxd (10/31/12 02:39 PM)
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#1981230 - 11/01/12 06:42 AM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Supply]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2034
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Supply
But I guess "all you need" is a buyer (someone whose wife falls in love with it).
Ho wow! I've had some unpleasant experience with that scenario! "But honey, it's just SO cute!" (Some how the pairing of "cute" with a four hundred pound behemoth escapes me.)
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#1981311 - 11/01/12 11:29 AM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Supply]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19224
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Supply
Originally Posted By: rxd
We have a specialist in UK who restores them. She had a 4 year waiting list at the last count. Their value after restoration is mostly the same as the cost of the restoration.
No doubt this depends on the individual piano and its desirability/scarcity. The market situation in the UK may be different than in N. America, where we see far too many very large squares that were built until fairly late (1880s). These often had more of a value as a piece of furniture than an instrument when they were new. I can see there being demand and therefore value for e.g. an 1820 Broadwood. But I can't see a large 1880s American no-name brand square having a value equal to the cost of restoration which can easily be upward of $10,000. But I guess "all you need" is a buyer (someone whose wife falls in love with it).
Don't most people who buy these pianos buy them for their appeal furniture? (If so, it seems like their playability would seem to be mostly irrlevant)

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#1981329 - 11/01/12 12:54 PM Re: $quare Grands [Re: Ed Foote]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada


Similar to any other vintage club or society such as the player piano people, early music instruments are used with regularity by the early music societies that enjoy the continuity of having an operational square, virginal, melodeon etc.

Vintage instruments can also be a conversational piece or interesting furniture piece when not played. Try having that with the endless, high gloss, black, massed produced by robotics, modern piano in a utilitarian, nondescript box.

Completely uninteresting when not played, and completely uninteresting when played.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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