Recently while browsing the 'Net for information on a Steinway XR,
I found a company that restores and sells antique pianos, including
player pianos: http://www.antiquepianoshop.com/
Besides the beautiful and more desirable high name grands, reproducers
and original and built-up nickelodeons shown for sale, they also had
listed well over two dozen common upright foot pump players. Wonderful,
But here's the thing -- 15 of these pumpers were shown as having been
sold (restored, of course) for an average price of over $15,000. Now!
Here I was, based on letters I've read on the MMDigest in recent
months, ready to send my dozen or so old players (some of which have
been given to me over the years) to the landfill. Never in my 25 years
of restoring players have I ever, ever, came even close to those kinds
of prices for a restored player.
I'm wondering (and please respond, off-line if you like) if I
under-priced my restorations, or if the prices shown are now the going
rate, or just what the deal is. If I thought I could sell a restored
player for those prices I would break out the ol' glue pot. Perhaps
their restorations included new pin blocks, replacing every action
part, etc.; I don't know, but still... Is the player market dead or is
my market in the wrong place? Thanks.
[ The family has been in business for several decades and they usually
[ are located in an up-scale district frequented by tourists. They
[ apparently have perfected the marketing of old pianos as desirable
[ antiques to grace the parlour -- and they get the price they demand!
[ -- Editor (Robbie)