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Grand & Baby Grand Pianos

The inventor of the piano, Bartolomo Cristofori, designed his original instruments after the harpsichord, which uses a horizontal soundboard to hold the strings. The grand piano also uses a horizontal soundboard that strings vibrate against. The sound of a grand piano is made by hammers that strike the strings. Beginning in about 1750, both English and German piano makers made innovations to the piano to increase its volume and improve its tone. By the early 1800s, the basis for the modern grand piano was established.

Grand pianos are differentiated by the length of the soundboard. A piano with a soundboard over 7 feet in length is referred to as a concert grand piano. Pianos with soundboards between 6 and 7 feet are called grand pianos, with different classes based on piano style. Pianos with horizontal soundboards less than 6 feet long are called baby grand pianos. The tone of concert grand pianos is considered to be superior to grand and baby grand pianos, as the length of the soundboard allows for more variation and flexibility in tone as the instrument is played.

The value of a vintage grand piano is less dependent on age and more dependent on the type of piano, the manufacturer, and the condition of the instrument. Pianos contain 11,000 different parts and are very complicated instruments, so collectors should seek the help of an appraiser.


Quick Facts

  • Pianos with shorter soundboards have poorer tone, according to most musicians. For the sound of a baby grand piano to be better than an upright piano, it must be a minimum length of 4 feet 10 inches
  • An Erard Louis XVI-style concert grand piano with gold trim and ormolu accents from 1876 sold for $175,000
  • The most expensive grand piano in the world is the Crystal Piano, played by Chinese pianist Lang Lang during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The piano was sold at auction for $3.22 million

Recommended Items at Auction

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YAMAHA BLACK LACQUER BABY GRAND PIANO
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
YAMAHA BLACK LACQUER BABY GRAND PIANO
by Potomack Company
Est: $1,000- $3,000
$5001 Bid
Baldwin Baby Grand Piano
Nov 03, 10:00 AM CDT
Baldwin Baby Grand Piano
by Revere Auctions
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$5000 Bids
Early 20th c Baldwin Grand Piano
Oct 29, 9:30 AM EDT
Early 20th c Baldwin Grand Piano
by Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$5000 Bids
BLUTHNER KAISER WILHELM II PARLOUR GRAND PIANO, ROYAL PRESENTATION PIECE, BUILT IN 1902, LEIPZIG, GERMANY
Nov 14, 11:00 AM EST
BLUTHNER KAISER WILHELM II PARLOUR GRAND PIANO, ROYAL PRESENTATION PIECE, BUILT IN 1902, LEIPZIG, GERMANY
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $10,000- $20,000
$5,0000 Bids
HAZELTON BROTHERS EBONY BABY GRAND PIANO, H 39", W 56", L 57"
Nov 12, 11:00 AM EST
HAZELTON BROTHERS EBONY BABY GRAND PIANO, H 39", W 56", L 57"
by DuMouchelles
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$1,1000 Bids
SCHUMANN BABY GRAND PIANO / BLACK
Oct 25, 4:00 PM EDT
SCHUMANN BABY GRAND PIANO / BLACK
by DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions
Est: $5,000- $8,000
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Grand & Baby Grand Pianos


DuMouchelles

DuMouchelles

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Potomack Company

Potomack Company

Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers

Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers