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"Antique" or "Vintage" Piano Value
Usage of the terms "antique piano" and "vintage piano" is a topic of debate and unclarity in the marketplace.

Both descriptions really refer to the same thing - that it is an old piano.

Society has a great fondness for the past and we admire objects that can give us a nostalgic glimpse of what a
particular era was like.

The definition of an Antique is: an old collectible item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity,
condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features. It is an object that represents a
previous era or time period in human society. It is common practice to define "antique" as objects that are at least
100 years old. Antiques are usually those objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention
to design.

Vintage, on the other hand, has its origins in wine-making. A vintage, in wine-making, is the year or place in which
the wine was bottled. And typically, some vintages are better than others. So, as the term was borrowed, calling an
object vintage would mean that it represents a certain era or year. Vintage, however, does not necessarily mean that
it is an antique.

For valuation purposes in the piano trade, the definitions are a bit different than the "100 years old" antique rule:
"Antique" - pianos made before the Great Depression of the late 1920s
"Vintage" - pianos made from 1930 to 1985

Older pianos must not be compared to older furniture. Unlike other furniture, pianos were designed to be functional,
that is, produce music. Without a careful and complete restoration, these instruments will never perform the way
they were designed. Therefore, a completely restored instrument is much more valuable than an unrestored old
piano. As far as wood restoration/refinishing goes, the general public has adopted the misconception that antique
value decreases from sources such as cable television's Antiques Road Show, which usually showcases pieces
well over 200 years old. These very early antiques were usually finished with varnish or shellac, and these finishes
remain beautiful indefinitely with proper care. These are the antiques that are considered to be more valuable in
their original state. Antique pianos, on the other hand, were finished using early primitive forms of lacquer that
deteriorated from chemical breakdown over time. It is always in an instrument's best interest to have an attractive,
quality cabinet and finish.

For those who want to know how much their piano is worth, we have created a useful online resource to accurately
determine a piano's value.
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