How to Tell the Value of an Old Kohler & Campbell Piano

By Kaite Mitchell ; Updated September 15, 2017
You can gain a basic understanding of your piano's value with a few steps.

Kohler & Campbell started making pianos in 1896 in New York City. Through the years, the company has produced many piano lines and models, some of which are quite valuable today. If you own a Kohler & Campbell piano and want to assess its value, there are several things to consider.

Find the serial number on your piano.

Find the serial number on your piano and use it to find the age of your machine. Serial numbers are located in different places on Kohler & Campbell pianos, depending on the model, piano style (upright or grand) and the year of manufacture. The serial number might be on the plate holding the tuning pins, branded into the wood of the case on the outside or inside, under the strings, or on a label affixed to the piano. If you have your piano serviced regularly, your tuner can also give you this information.

Evaluate the condition.

Evaluate your piano's condition. Note any chips in the finish and the type of wood it is made of. The fewer dings or chips in the wood, the higher the value. Specialty woods, like mahogany or ebony, were used for early 20th century pianos; if you have a piano from that time period still in working order (or even in a repairable condition), it is far more valuable than a modern rock maple piano. Decorative carving and a more elaborate physical appearance will increase your piano's value as well.

Find out if the piano has been serviced regularly.

Evaluate if the piano has been serviced and tuned regularly and the state of the internal workings. Regular tunings keep the machinery of the piano in better shape and increase the useful life of the piano, thereby increasing the value. Anything that causes the piano to play improperly, such as broken strings, loose pins, or worn felt on the hammers, will cause the value to drop and should be repaired with each tuning or before trying to sell or purchase a piano. There are guidelines on the Piano Bluebook website to help you set your piano's grade.

Check a secondhand piano store to find out the going prices.

Check with secondhand piano stores or online sales forums for Kohler & Campbell pianos of your model and year and in your piano's condition. This will give you a price range of piano sale prices and not appraised value -- which may or may not, depending on market, be the absolute sale price of your piano.

Ask the piano tuner for the basic value.

Contact your piano tuner and ask him or her for a base value. Generally they can give you a price range based on your model and its condition at your bi-annual tuning without extra charge. This price will only be a ballpark number and not as precise as an evaluation.

Pay a professional appraiser.

Pay for a professional appraisal by someone who specifically appraises musical instruments. You can find them through the Piano Bluebook website or get a reference from a shop that sells pianos.

Warning

Do not take any statement of value as the absolute price you would get if you sold your piano. There are many external factors (cost of living in your area, market for secondhand pianos, etc.) that will affect the final sale price.