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MMD > Archives > July 2004 > 2004.07.02 > 10Prev  Next

Value of Steinway OR Duo-Art Grand
By Ellsworth Johnson

Bob and Sonja:  I used to own an identical piano back in the 1960s.
As I recall there is a full page photo in Bowers "Guidebook To
Automatic Musical Instruments," vol. 1.  I would give you a page number
but I have mislaid the book at this moment.  I live in a 15-room
Victorian house and many places where I could have laid the book down.
I do have the photo in my computer and could email it to you if you
really wanted to see that photo .

At one time in the 1970s I visited Harold Lloyd's mansion in Beverly
Hills, Calif., and he had an identical piano.  (He was deceased then.)
I sold my Steinway Duo-Art for $4500.  It had a nice matching bench
which I had reupholstered in antique green velvet.  I wish I had it
back.  At the peak of easy money, back in the 1990s, I had heard of
such a piano fully restored going for the likes of $ 50,000.  I am now
convinced we are on the down slope of values and I don't think one
would fetch anywhere near that much now.

I think what you might do is ask for bids. You could try eBay and have
a reserve price of what you would really want.  That way if you didn't
get the reserve price you don't have to sell to anyone.  The bidding
would give you an idea of what you might be able to get.  Then you
could re-advertise it again on eBay and maybe lower your reserve price
to make a sale.  These pianos nowadays are like rare automobiles or
sought after models, and they are worth what someone is willing to pay.

About 30 years ago I owned a 6-foot Welte Licensee reproducing grand
that I had restored.  A local music teacher wanted it really bad but
didn't have the money, $3500.  She and her husband almost cried.
I wound up selling it to the music department of Washington State
University.  The department head in those days was Dr. Kemble Stout
and he was a lover of reproducing pianos.

A few years later I learned the fellow and his music teacher wife had
inherited from her father a 1936 Chrysler Airflow car in nice original
condition.  I always wanted one of those cars and either couldn't find
one or maybe didn't have the money.  I learned they advertised it and
some fellow came all the way from the East Coast and bought it and
drove it away.  When I learned all this story I told them, "My God,
if I had only known about your car, I would have offered to trade you
even up for the piano," and they almost cried again.

Nowadays I have a 4-door 1976 Lincoln Towne car with a 460 engine that
I had all remanufactured about 10,000 miles ago.  The rest of the car
is in quite nice original condition.  I am interested in selling the
car or trading.

Ellsworth Johnson
Spokane, Washington

(Message sent Fri 2 Jul 2004, 20:56:48 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Duo-Art, Grand, OR, Steinway, Value

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