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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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A STEINWAY MINIATURE GRAND PIANO
Dec 13, 9:00 AM CST
A STEINWAY MINIATURE GRAND PIANO
by Jackson's International
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$1,3001 Bid
GEYER BABY GRAND PIANO
Dec 07, 10:00 AM GMT
GEYER BABY GRAND PIANO
by Sheppards
Est: €800- €1,200
€4800 Bids
Wm Knabe & Co. Upright Piano, c. 1955-1960
Dec 11, 11:00 AM EST
Wm Knabe & Co. Upright Piano, c. 1955-1960
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
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Antique 1912 Knabe Baby Grand Piano w/Bench
Dec 11, 11:00 AM EST
Antique 1912 Knabe Baby Grand Piano w/Bench
by Gallery 63
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$7000 Bids
Antique German Schoenhut childs piano
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Antique German Schoenhut childs piano
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$1250 Bids
Mason & Hamlin White Lacquer Grand Piano, 1928
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Mason & Hamlin White Lacquer Grand Piano, 1928
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$1,0000 Bids
A C. Bechstein black lacquer grand piano, 1928
Dec 15, 1:00 PM CET
A C. Bechstein black lacquer grand piano, 1928
by Venduehuis der Notarissen
Est: €4,000- €6,000
€4,0000 Bids
A C. Bechstein black lacquer grand piano, 1937
Dec 15, 1:00 PM CET
A C. Bechstein black lacquer grand piano, 1937
by Venduehuis der Notarissen
Est: €3,000- €4,000
€3,0000 Bids
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A Steinway & Sons Louis XV-Style Mahogany Grand Piano and Stool, circa 1900 Mark
Dec 09, 10:00 AM CST
A Steinway & Sons Louis XV-Style Mahogany Grand Piano and Stool, circa 1900 Mark
by Heritage Auctions
Est: $15,000- $25,000
$7,5000 Bids
Boston Ebonized Baby Grand Piano
Dec 06, 10:00 AM EST
Boston Ebonized Baby Grand Piano
by Weschler's
Est: $500- $1,000
$2500 Bids
SAMICK SIG-D50PD BABY GRAND PIANO W/ DISK PLAYER
Dec 10, 12:00 PM EST
SAMICK SIG-D50PD BABY GRAND PIANO W/ DISK PLAYER
by Burchard Galleries Inc
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5000 Bids
Steinway & Sons Ebonized Baby Grand Piano and Bench
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CST
Steinway & Sons Ebonized Baby Grand Piano and Bench
by New Orleans Auction Galleries
Est: $5,000- $8,000
$4,6000 Bids
Steinway and Sons Ebony Grand Piano, Model M
Dec 17, 12:00 PM EST
Steinway and Sons Ebony Grand Piano, Model M
by Main Auction Galleries
Est: $6,000- $8,000
$3,0000 Bids
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A French Grand Piano, Gaveau et Cie Louis Birarello
Dec 06, 10:00 AM PST
A French Grand Piano, Gaveau et Cie Louis Birarello
by John Moran Auctioneers
Est: $30,000- $50,000
$22,5000 Bids
Kawai, a KG-1D boudoir grand piano, brig
Dec 09, 10:00 AM GMT
Kawai, a KG-1D boudoir grand piano, brig
by Kinghams Auctioneers
Est: £500- £800
£3000 Bids
STEINWAY GRAND PIANO
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
STEINWAY GRAND PIANO
by Abell Auction
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$3,0000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Grand & Baby Grand Pianos


Venduehuis der Notarissen

Venduehuis der Notarissen

Burchard Galleries Inc

Burchard Galleries Inc

John Moran Auctioneers

John Moran Auctioneers

Abell Auction

Abell Auction