Werner Piano Co., Chicago. Upright in the family

Posted by: WalkFar

Werner Piano Co., Chicago. Upright in the family - 08/04/10 08:40 PM

I am curious if someone could tell me something about this piano found in the home of a family member. This is most probably another story of an old-time upright that will cost many dollars to refurbish. I am just curious about the maker and the piano.

Werner Piano Co., Chicago
180489
Mahogany upright about 50-52 inches tall
Posted by: Bachsky

Re: Werner Piano Co., Chicago. Upright in the family - 08/04/10 11:02 PM

The Pierce Piano Atlas indicates 1923 as the year of manufacture based on your serial number. The company was established in 1902 and the last entry on the serial number list is for 1928.

I don't know anything about the quality of their instruments, but in the early decades of the 1900s there were over 300 companies producing consumer grade pianos in North America. Everyone wanted a "pianny in the parlor."
Posted by: Rank Piano Amateur

Re: Werner Piano Co., Chicago. Upright in the family - 08/05/10 09:16 AM

I grew up with a Leckerling upright, a huge old battleship of a piano produced in 1911 by Wissner. It was one of the pianos that Bachsky describes. It was, however, a superb piano, holding its tunings like a rock, and sounding terrific (for an old upright). In my view, none of these pianos is worth anything in terms of resale, but there are individual pianos that are excellent. It depends on the particular instrument (and, of course, the care they have received over the years). The fact that the pianos have no value means that one should be hesitant about putting too much money into refurbishing them, however. My upright was worth a couple of hundred dollars both before and after being refurbished, and when I upgraded to my wonderful grand I gave it away to a family that needed a piano and couldn't afford one.
Posted by: WalkFar

Re: Werner Piano Co., Chicago. Upright in the family - 08/05/10 01:33 PM

That is a good point, RPA. The issue is not how much it is worth on the open market (before or after a rebuild), but how much it will cost to bring it to the desired condition. Then one can make a judgment on whether it is worth the money.

I know that I would need to have someone evaluate what needs to be replaced, but are there some ballpark figures on how much it would cost to rebuild a piano like this? I know I am not using the correct and precise terminology here, but I assume something like this needs new action parts and new strings.