Loading Spinner

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

See all items

Kawai Grand Piano
Feb 21, 9:00 AM PST
Kawai Grand Piano
by Abell Auction
Est: $200- $400
$5505 Bids
Baldwin Model L Grand Piano with Bench
Feb 21, 9:00 AM PST
Baldwin Model L Grand Piano with Bench
by Abell Auction
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5001 Bid
Mason & Hamlin Mahogany Baby Grand Piano
Feb 23, 9:00 AM EST
Mason & Hamlin Mahogany Baby Grand Piano
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
A Bösendorfer Model 200 Grand Piano
Feb 21, 10:00 AM EST
A Bösendorfer Model 200 Grand Piano
by Hindman
Est: $10,000- $20,000
$5,0001 Bid
Bernstein SG 161 Grand piano, ebonized, Serial number KJKLG0227, approx 104cm H x 145cm W x 158cm D
Feb 25, 10:00 AM AEDT
Bernstein SG 161 Grand piano, ebonized, Serial number KJKLG0227, approx 104cm H x 145cm W x 158cm D
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD8,000- AUD12,000
AUD6,0000 Bids
BERNHARD STEINER EBONY GRAND PIANO
Mar 05, 6:00 PM CST
BERNHARD STEINER EBONY GRAND PIANO
by Dallas Auction Gallery
Est: $6,000- $8,000
$1,0000 Bids
Feurcih parlor grand piano
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Feurcih parlor grand piano
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5000 Bids
K. Kawai GS-50 Grand Piano 39 x 59 x 79 in. (99.1 x 149.9 x 200.7 cm.)
Feb 23, 9:00 AM EST
K. Kawai GS-50 Grand Piano 39 x 59 x 79 in. (99.1 x 149.9 x 200.7 cm.)
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
CHICKERING BABY GRAND PIANO.
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
CHICKERING BABY GRAND PIANO.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids
Vintage Columbia Crusader Piano Telephone Grand Piano
Mar 15, 9:00 AM EDT
Vintage Columbia Crusader Piano Telephone Grand Piano
by Figlio Designs LLC
Est: $100- $200
$90 Bids
ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN DANISH ROSEWOOD UPRIGHT PIANO
Feb 29, 11:00 AM EST
ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN DANISH ROSEWOOD UPRIGHT PIANO
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $10,000
$500 Bids
Huntingto Upright Player Piano Serial no.51340
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Huntingto Upright Player Piano Serial no.51340
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $2,500- $3,000
$3000 Bids
ERARD - PARIS antieke vleugelpiano (bouwjaar 1890)…
Mar 02, 11:00 AM CET
ERARD - PARIS antieke vleugelpiano (bouwjaar 1890)…
by DVC
Est: €0- €0
€100 Bids
John Broadwood & Sons Rosewood Improved Semi-Grand Piano, c. 1830, H.- 37 in., W.- 48 in., D.- 89 1/4 in.
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CST
John Broadwood & Sons Rosewood Improved Semi-Grand Piano, c. 1830, H.- 37 in., W.- 48 in., D.- 89 1/4 in.
by Crescent City Auction Gallery
Est: $800- $1,200
$6000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Grand & Baby Grand Pianos


Abell Auction

Abell Auction

Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

Dallas Auction Gallery

Dallas Auction Gallery

Hindman

Hindman