As a general rule pianos depreciate slowly. Of course a lot will depend on the condition of the piano. An instrument in good condition will be worth whatever was paid for it. For example an upright piano of reasonable quality, made during the nineteen sixties would have sold for around £600. It would not be unreasonable to sell that same piano for £600 today.
Some degree of caution should be exercised when valuing an older piano. Upright pianos, with a full iron frame, which is underdamped and over strung will be more valuable than a threequarter or half frame piano, which is overdamped and straight strung. If a piano has been well maintained during its lifetime then chances are that, other than the general wear and tear of ageing, it will be in good condition and could be worth a reasonable amount, depending on make. An overdamped piano will generally be worth less.
It's worth noting that during the last century, a number of instruments were made using a wooden frame. Sadly these pianos are now worthless and should not be purchased. They will not stand the stresses and strains of modern central heating systems. These pianos usually have an old fashioned spring loop action fitted and do not work well.
Much the same can be applied to the valuation of grand pianos. The main two types of action will determine how much one should pay. A roller action is by far the best style of action in a grand and contains a system of repetition springs that give the keys a firm, responsive feel. The older simplex action, although reliable, does not have quite the same firm feel to it and therefore will reduce the value of the piano. A still older type of action, known as the old English action, is best avoided for the same reasons as the upright spring and loop actions of the mid Victorian era.
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