Year of manufacture

Year of manufacture, estimate of value

Owners of a Bechstein upright or grand piano often want to know the instrument’s year of manufacture. We can determine that from our order books. An appraisal report is only possible if a piano technician has examined the instrument on site.

All C. Bechstein instruments have an identity. The “great instrument number,” which is entered on the cast-iron frame, is noted in our production directories with names and date of first delivery to the first recipient. That tradition continues - except for war-related destruction of some pages -traced back to 1853. Bechstein takes no responsibility for archival information.

You are interested in your Bechstein grand piano’s year of manufacture? Compare the “great serial number” printed on the bronzed cast-iron plate or sounding board with the years of manufacture listed here. 
To the archive tables

Generally, you can find the serial number in black digits on the front in the upper part of the cast-iron frame, near the tuing pins. In very old instruments, it can also be found on the soundboard near the C. Bechstein logo. This may be a bit hidden behind the strings or the dampers. If you find no or several contradictory numbers, they have either been removed or manipulated. If the authenticity or the completeness of the numbers found are suspect, it is unfortunately not possible to determine the year of manufacture. Then only an expert can estimate the age on site.

Other numbers in the back area of the sounding board or on other parts of the instrument are not helpful for determining the year of manufacture. A photograph doesn’t help either.

An assessment report cannot be created on the basis of submitted photos. An opinion is only possible through a personal examination by a certified technician on site or in our factory. Upon request, we will be happy to inform you about the costs involved. For this purpose, please contact: technicalservice@bechstein.de. Fax: +49 (0) 3586-7999929.

Historical grand pianos
Serial numbers