Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
Let me start by saying I really don't know much about pianos. I'm looking to determine what the value of a M&H would be to see if it's worth keeping. After doing a little research, it seems to be a great brand. I think the serial number is G10661 which would make it from somewhere in 1890s (but it doesn't look it). It's the only number I can find on it (it was on the inside). There were also a bunch of hand written dates from the early to mid 60s inside as well.
All I am looking for is a guestamate to see if it's worth trying to sell (and sell as is). The reason is that this is from the mother of a friend. It's kind of a long story, but I will try to keep is short so you understand where I a coming from (so please read if you can). The mother broke her hip, and will now be staying with her daughter. It turns out she hasn't paid her taxes in years and is probably going to lose the house (Yonkers, NY). It also turns out that she is a hoarder (like the TV show if you ever saw it). So, more than likely the house will be taken very shortly (probably weeks). To me it looks like it's in pretty decent shape. All the keys seem to play (a few key tops are missing) and it doesn't sound bad (but I play guitar, not piano). The inside is seems very clean. The exterior is pretty good (but one side looks like it's missing some veneer). I couldn't take a picture because there is so much crap around it I couldn't get far enough away to take one (not even enough room to move it to see the back).
The question is, is this some we should try to sell, or just leave it behind and let it hit the dumpster (I hate to waste a nice instrument). The place is such a mess that it would take a good day in order to clear a path large enough to get it out the front door. And I don't think I could have anyone really take a look at it because you literally need to climb over crap to get to it. Below is a link to a picture of something close to it that I found on-line if that helps. It has the fold down music holder, but I don't remember if it had recessed panels or not.
It would probably be worth your effort, however, condition is everything. If it needs significant reconditioning it might not be worth it. You can expect to pay about $200 to get it moved, so if you want to sell it, that will figure in. You will be able to sell it at a price based upon condition. You are correct that the Mason and Hamlin piano in general is very well thought of, but there are a lot of variables here.
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927 Very part time piano broker.
Paul, Clear enough space around it to take a good picture, and put it on Craigslist for a low price or best offer. Perhaps you can attract that person who is looking for a piano from the "Golden age" to tinker with. Better that than leaving it for the trash hauler. Sounds like you are going to be under pressure to clean out the house on a deadline (no fun, my wife and I had to do that in January of this year).
Charles Walter Model 1520 Yamaha NP 30, NP 11, PSR E333
A quick story about a Mason & Hamlin model 50 upright.
About a year ago, I saw an ad on Craigslist for a 1950’s Mason & Hamlin model 50 upright for $900. It caught my attention and was not too far from my location; so, I called the owner to ask about the piano. The owner said it had been in his family since it was new and his uncle was the last owner and he had recently passed away and the piano came to him. He said he did not play and did not have room for it and had it stored in his garage.
Although I did not need another piano, I decided this might be something worth buying as an investment and offered the promise of another exciting piano adventure. So, I scheduled a time to go look at the piano the next day. When I arrived at the owner’s house, he had the piano in his garage, as he stated, under a quilt. I thought to myself, whatever was under that quilt looked a lot shorter than 50”. When he removed the quilt, it was a Mason & Hamlin upright alright, but a 36” spinet. During our phone conversation, I failed to ask the details about the height of the piano and assumed that a M&H model 50 was 50” tall… I am not aware of any other M&H model 50 that is not 50” tall.
Needless to say, I was disappointed and told the owner that I was not interested in the spinet, even though it was a M&H. I think we were both disappointed.
It was not the first wild goose chase I had been on, and probably won’t be the last.
Good luck with your M&H piano.
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Thanks for the opionions. I did call a local dealer/repair company and they said due to the age, it's not something they would take (even for free). I will probably call a few more local shops to see what they have to say. But it does look like we got a reprieve from forclosure, so we may have a few months to get things cleaned up. Hopefully we can get it cleaned up enough to have a tech take a look at it. (My main goal is to just save a fine instrument from the wrecking ball). I will post pics when I get a chance to to take some.
Any more opinions would still be appreciated. Thanks, Paul.