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https://pianoauctions.co.uk/29th-june-2021-catalogue/lot-105-bsendorfer-c1924

6 foot 7 built in 1924 with an estimate of £4-6k. I wonder what had happened to this piano for it to be valued so low. No pictures. I've half tempted to make this my project piano. Even if you didn't like it when it was rebuilt I suspect you wouldn't lose any money on it. Be interested to see how much it goes for.

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Is that low for a 100-year-old piano? I shall be going to view on the Sunday. I'll take a look.

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The listing says "photographs, videos & condition report are available on request."


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That doesn't seem all that low of a price for a piano that's 97 years old, if in mostly original condition or in need of more comprehensive restoration/rebuilding.


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Originally Posted by Aritempor
https://pianoauctions.co.uk/29th-june-2021-catalogue/lot-105-bsendorfer-c1924

6 foot 7 built in 1924 with an estimate of £4-6k. I wonder what had happened to this piano for it to be valued so low. No pictures. I've half tempted to make this my project piano. Even if you didn't like it when it was rebuilt I suspect you wouldn't lose any money on it. Be interested to see how much it goes for.

It might seem low when you consider the price of a new Bösendorfer 200 is £94,000, but this is a piano which has had its life. This piano might be structurally in good condition, but a piano of that age will almost certainly need a new pin block, new bridge caps, and new strings. It will probably need some major work done on the soundboard, or it may indeed require a new soundboard. If the keyboard is in good condition then it can be saved but the reality is that even restoring an original keyboard is a very expensive job. It will almost certainly require a new action if you want mechanical reliability (consistent touch and good response).

The work required to bring the piano into a condition indistinguishable from new could be as much as £40,000, and if you've already paid £6,000 for the piano, it starts to look less like a bargain. I do realise that for those who want a Bösendorfer in as-new condition, buying one this age and having it fully rebuild is a good road to take if you know your rebuilder well, or if you decide to send it back to the Bösendorfer factory which is also an option.

If this piano was a Bechstein or a Blüthner, neither of which are regarded with quite the same status as Bösendorfer or Steinway, you'd find the value of the piano was much lower, probably £800 - £2000. I don't know why that's the case but I suspect it more realistically reflects the value of a 100-year-old piano that requires work.


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After you've spent £40,000 on restoration, that difference is more of a rounding error than anything else. But hierarchies must be preserved.

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Right


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Don’t get me wrong though, old unrestored pianos can sound charming in their own right without restoration, but it’s hit or miss.


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Pics now up here

https://pianoauctions.co.uk/29th-june-2021-catalogue/lot-105-bsendorfer-c1924

They have another 200 on auction as well with a guide price of £35-40k that was built in 2009

https://pianoauctions.co.uk/29th-june-2021-catalogue/lot-75-bosendorfer-c2009

Interesting to see the pics as the innards look the same to my untrained eyes aside from the sostenuto pedal.

If the case was a bit more ornate, I would be seriously tempted smile!

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Originally Posted by Aritempor
Interesting to see the pics as the innards look the same to my untrained eyes aside from the sostenuto pedal.

The pictures show only wear and tear on the surfaces, which don't tell much other than age which you new already, but....

1) the black finishing on the old one appears to be so-so preserved lacquer, vs the new being high polish poly

2) the tuning pins (as well as the hardware) of the old one is well tarnished

3) the soundboard also appear to be a bit aged

These are BIG clues that the two instruments are quite not the same.

What it matter most, you don't see: how good/bad are the strings? the hammers? the felt in the dampers? the action? Heck, you don't even see a picture of the latter! Does it hold a tune? Does it have serious cracks in the bridges? It does not appear to have serious cracks in the soundboard, but is it so, or just carefully chosen shooting point and light for the picture? Does it have reasonable crown left in the soundboard?

As others said, it depends on your goals. If you want a total rebuild, you care ONLY about structural soundness: how are the rims and the posts underneath? Does the plate have any crack? If you want to do a partial rebuild or just use it as is you care about these two AND all the questions I mentioned above AND several others.

If you could try it in person, better yet with a good technician, it may be a good price. In the USA it is not uncommon to have people hoping that you will PAY them to haul away what basically is a their heavy piece of trash (not say that's the case here, but you have to be aware that it's POSSIBLE and you have to do your homework to know exactly what you are getting into)

Best of luck!

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Originally Posted by Aritempor
....Interesting to see the pics as the innards look the same to my untrained eyes aside from the sostenuto pedal.

Interesting stuff here - the model 200 is Bösendorfer's oldest model still available today. Yes, there have been regular tweaks of the design over the years, but the character of this older 200 would be similar to a new one made today. This model was one of the most popular chamber music instruments at that time - a piano trio, piano as accompaniment, etc. is what this piano was designed for.

My 2 cents,


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Those tiny casters on that big Bosie make me nervous....

ETA: I'm talking about the 1924 piano of course, compare those casters to the "we mean business" ones that are on the 2009 model!!

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Oh my, it's sooo fun to look through all the catalogues!!

Check out this amazing case on an 1882 S&S upright:

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More info: https://pianoauctions.co.uk/29th-june-2021-catalogue/lot-5-steinway-c1882

Or this one, a model I've never heard of:
[Linked Image]
More info: https://pianoauctions.co.uk/29th-june-2021-catalogue/lot-26-brinsmead-c1855

Then, if you like green:
[Linked Image]
More info: https://pianoauctions.co.uk/29th-june-2021-catalogue/lot-58-b-squire


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Cool stuff!


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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Originally Posted by Aritempor
....Interesting to see the pics as the innards look the same to my untrained eyes aside from the sostenuto pedal.

Interesting stuff here - the model 200 is Bösendorfer's oldest model still available today. Yes, there have been regular tweaks of the design over the years, but the character of this older 200 would be similar to a new one made today. This model was one of the most popular chamber music instruments at that time - a piano trio, piano as accompaniment, etc. is what this piano was designed for.

My 2 cents,

I didn't know that about the 200 but it bears out in the pics. The iron frame looks the same and the scale design looks unchanged. About the only thing I could easily see had changed was the dacapo bar in the treble in place of agraffes in the newer model. I wonder why they did that.

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Those tiny casters on that big Bosie make me nervous....

ETA: I'm talking about the 1924 piano of course, compare those casters to the "we mean business" ones that are on the 2009 model!!

The smaller casters aren't really that bad? It's only a 200. I see makers today even using the same small casters. The B is longer than the 200 and the pics in the link below show small castors too

https://steinway.co.uk/pianos/model-b/

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Oh my, it's sooo fun to look through all the catalogues!!

Check out this amazing case on an 1882 S&S upright:

[Linked Image]
More info: https://pianoauctions.co.uk/29th-june-2021-catalogue/lot-5-steinway-c1882

A little too ornate though beauty is in the eye of the beholder smile.

https://pianoauctions.co.uk/27th-april-2021-catalogue/lot-105-bechstein-c1897

That one was in the last auction and I went as far as registering as a bidder but didn't bid on the day because I decided that I'd be better off rebuilding a grand rather than an upright but also because my little girl looked at the pictures and asked why someone had seen fit to build a piano into a coffin :P. Kinda put me off lol.

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The 1924 Bösendorfer carried this vendor inscription:

[Linked Image]

I have seen this inscription before, but not really understood it. It is well known that the Wigmore Hall in London opened as Bechstein Hall, part of the Bechstein showrooms complex. In WW1 due to anti-German feeling, the Bechstein property was seized - after the war it was acquired by the department store Debenhams (across the road) and the hall reopened as Wigmore Hall. What I had not realised was that the showrooms also reopened, and that the whole complex was then known as "the Wigmore Hall and Piano Galleries Ltd".

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Oh my, it's sooo fun to look through all the catalogues!!

Even more fun to attend the viewing of the sale! I spent a happy morning there this morning. A propos "I can quit at any time I want to", I found myself tempted by one of the items...

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Originally Posted by David-G
Even more fun to attend the viewing of the sale! I spent a happy morning there this morning. A propos "I can quit at any time I want to", I found myself tempted by one of the items...

Well I wish you luck if you're going to bite the bullet and bid. I'll probably find my way to the next few viewings potentially (once I have sorted out younger son's secondary school as all my free time is being sucked up preparing for grammar/private school exams). If you haven't bought a piano or indeed are shopping for a second one that maybe see you there and share a coffee over a crazy passion?! smile.

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