The first 2 things we need to know is the Name Brand of the Piano and the approximate age of the piano. The name brand is usually found on the Fall Board (the cabinetry that covers the keys when closed, reveals them when opened. It is also called the “Name Board”) As shown in the photo below.
Sometimes there is no name on the Fall Board. This is an indication that the piano was refinished at one time and the decal was not replaced. It is also an indication that an amateur or hobbyist did the refinishing. Professionals will rarely leave the Fall Board bare – but sometimes they do as shown below.
If no name is on the Fall Board, you will need to open the top lid of the piano. You are going to have to open it anyway to find the Serial Number. The name is usually found on the top of the plate (the Cast Iron metal plate which holds most of the tension of the piano) on the treble side as shown below. Be sure the hinge is attached on the lid before opening.
If you cannot find a name anywhere on the piano CLICK HERE
Once you have the name of the piano, find the serial number . They are usually found on the same metal plate. You are looking for an arbitrary 5 or 6 digit number stamped or inked on or near the plate, or sometimes on the very top of the piano as seen below. Also, look for a model number. This would be embossed in the plate near the name especially on newer pianos, and very helpful in finding the value.
The indicates common areas where the serial number may be found.
With the name and serial number, you are ready to look up the age. The serial numbers on this PDF file are in 5 year increments.
It is highly unlikely that you will find the exact number in the list that you find on the piano.
Find the name of the piano on the list, and determine where your number falls between the years. This will tell you approximately (within 5 years) when the piano was built. CLICK HERE to download the PDF File.
Now that we have the name, serial number and age of the piano, we need to know what type of upright it is. There are basically 4 types of Upright (also called “Vertical”) pianos, as well as player pianos. Measure your piano from the floor to the top, look through the photos below find the piano size that is similar to yours. Take Note: Spinet and Console pianos are very similar. These are the shorter pianos, and knowing whether your piano is a Spinet or a Console is important to determine its value. Click here to understand the difference between a Spinet and a Console.
Images below are full-size uprights—about 48–60 inches tall. That’s what I have!