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MMD > Archives > April 2001 > 2001.04.20 > 01Prev  Next

Antique Store Prices
By Mark Fudge

Some of you may remember that in MMD 000805 I reported finding an
88-note Weber foot-operated grand piano in Buxton, Derbyshire.  The
asking price at this time was GBP 9,500 (Sterling).  I revisited the
town yesterday and called in the shop to see if it was still there.
Since my last visit the piano had been restrung and rehammered.  The
asking price has now gone up to GBP 12,500.

I was able to look underneath the instrument and noted that much of the
elbows and so on have been replaced with plumber's copper pipes, and
then sealed with silicone bathroom sealant.  So much for authenticity!

The shop owner was also on hand and was eager to explain that once a
player piano was taken onto the Antique Roadshow, then the price would
rocket on all instruments.  His point was "how come something which
cost the price of two Rolls Royce motor cars in 1925 could only be
worth a few thousand pounds nowadays!"

He was also claiming that the instrument had been in the Odeon Cinema
in Leicester Square.  When I asked about this I was told that it came
via a salvage dealer who had removed it from there recently.  He was
eager to point out that there had been a T-connector on the piano when
he bought it which had connected the piano to the Wurlitzer.  I'm not
entirely convinced by this!  Surely any standard Pianola connected to
a Wurlitzer cinema organ would be very different than a normal 88-note
foot-operated player?

The really disturbing part to all this is that he has sold the
instrument.  He claims his market is the type of person who wants
a pianola but does not know anything about them.  A definite case
of 'buyer beware'!

Mark Fudge

(Message sent Fri 20 Apr 2001, 09:19:57 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  Antique, Prices, Store

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