Dating a piano in this way is notoriously unreliable, partly because so much misleading information has been published.These websites are often quoting from books which are incorrect, many of the date-ranges they give are very vague anyway, and they may expect you to PAY for this misinformation, so why not make a donation to us instead?Armed with over forty thousand images for reference, we can usually make a more objective assessment of the age from photos which show what the WHOLE piano looks like.
Sometimes, they are harder to see, and may be underneath a grand.
Removable wooden parts of the case are often imprinted with a number, but this may only be the last 3 digits of serial numbers, which are usually long numbers, at least 5 digits.
Some for British pianos are listed in date order near the bottom of this page.
A growing number of websites offer apparently simple dating of pianos by their serial numbers.
There is a widespread belief that numbers are the be-all-and-end-all for dating pianos, but the length of this page should indicate to you that it is not that simple, and I do not intend to perpetuate this myth by blindly repeating other people’s lists, although I have included some in the second section, .
Don’t forget that you can use the usual CTRL F to search for a name on this page.Only a minority of piano makers have ever published dates of their serial numbers, and many of these are incorrect or misleading, so on this page, I have only included dates that I have some evidence for.On the Piano History If you open the top of a piano and peer inside, you will often find one or more numbers in there.inside the piano, if available, are often a much more accurate and reliable guide to the age of an instrument than numbers. are published widely in many books, but the same kind of information is not normally available for pianos, except on this website, and if there are no date-marks, serial numbers are one option, but there are many examples on the internet of dates of serial numbers blindly stated for pianos, based on incorrect information, with no crosschecking of anything else.The result is that an exact date will be stated as if it were fact, with no reference to whether the piano is of a type that could possibly have been made then.In many of the items in our files, the American use of the hash sign or sharp (#) has been adopted (rather than the Italian "No.") to denote numbers, especially serial numbers: this is useful to know when a number looks like a year.