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Rare and valuable piano found in second-hand store for €60

21:36 28/02/2021

Sometimes second-hand is the best hand as music lover Veerle Deknopper found out when she made a remarkable discovery in a collectibles store in her home town of Mechelen.

When she inspected a piano for sale in the store, her knowledge alerted her to the fact that it was probably worth much more than the €60 asking price.

"Usually old pianos are not worth much more because they have a wooden frame or because the keys no longer work but this piano had a metal frame bearing the name Pleyel," Deknopper told VRT.

"Pleyel was a quality 19th-century keyboard builder. At that time Pleyel kept a book in which they wrote down who varnished the piano or who stretched the strings.

"There was a serial number on the piano, so I could check who made which part of the piano. The original strings and lacquer were still completely intact, which is really rare."

Her purchase is an upright piano from 1890 and is identical to that of composer Claude Debussy.

"I learned that a similar piano was sold in France recently for €18,000. However that piano did need a restoration of 300 hours," Deknopper added.

"But my piano is also worth a lot, because it still contains all the original parts. The chance to come across such a piece is very rare.

"Even if it is worth close to €20,000 I'm keeping it. I'm going to put it in our music café and hope to give it a new life."

Written by Richard Harris