When we did our final walk through with the previous owners the other night, they were still emptying the garage out into their u-haul, so last night was the first chance we had to see if they had left us any going away gifts.
Boy did they ever.
That is a Farrand Cecilian Player Piano.
Ummm...yeah. It's also right about where I thought the chest freezer was going to go when I was operating under the assumption that we were purchasing an empty garage.
What to do, what to do.
My initial thought upon finding it was 'Man, it's going to take three men and a small boy to help get that thing into the back of my truck so I can bring it to the dump.' Lacking data to make a decision(and not needing to make one RIGHT NOW), my wife and I shook our head and walked away, to do some research.
For a while, it looked like we might have lucked into one of those 'happy stories' you sometimes see on Antique Roadshow. In nice, restored condition, these type of player pianos can sell for $15,000-$18,000...and that is nothing to laugh at.
Reality though. This one is not in NICE condition. The wood looks okay, and but about half of the keys are frozen in place. The same research that told me a nice one could be worth $15,000 told me that getting one into that shape could cost $6,000-$8,000.
Hmmm. So...invest $6,000-$8,000 to potentially show a $6,000-$8,000 profit? Maybe, if the money was the only issue...but I'm someone who is going to be challenged to operate a stud finder and a cordless drill over the next week to mount some shelves in the girls room. Restoring a player piano is a different story.
For now...I don't know. Restoring it looks like an option, but not a cheap one. What I do know, is that there appears to be some value in the piano. Whether it is cash value, or emotional value, or historical value, I'm not 100% certain. I do know, that for now, I won't be bringing it to the dump. If I decide I can make some money off it...I will. If I decide that I can make a potential family heirloom out of it...I will. I decide I an eek a tax deduction out of it by donating it to a local historical society, I will. Heck...if I just at some point decide to give it away for free to a loving home that might do something useful with it...I will.
All I really know is that for now it has earned a stay of execution.