Thursday, April 29, 2010

How much is the piano in the window?

When I was growing up in Russia, I used to have a piano. It was black, gorgeous and very old. I didn't realize how old at the time. I didn't really care. It was in my room as long as I could remember, and my parents told stories about getting it into our first-floor apartment through a window. It was never clear in the story where the piano came from or how they got it. I remember liking its legs, which were turned, curvy and heavy-looking, and I assumed all pianos looked like this. Some of my friends had plain-looking pianos at home and I just thought that they preferred the simple style of those.

When we left the country, the piano had to stay behind because of silly reasons like "it wouldn't fit on the plane overhead bin". The person who bought our apartment kindly told us that the piano wouldn't transfer to him - that he will keep it for us, but it will remain ours and if we ever want it we are welcome to have it. We all laughed at that because, really, there was no way we were going to see it again - but it was nice to think we still had some connection to our home.

I started to miss having a piano almost as soon as I no longer was required to play it, of course. And so, now being an adult, I decided to buy one. Naturally, I set out to find one like mine. I looked high and low, and all I could see were plain, modern-looking things that did not have the same romantic appeal as my old piano. It was all either plain-Jane or some horrid country-style lattice-front ugly orange thing. (You can tell, of course, that my primary drive in selecting a piano is not its, um, musical qualities. The musical qualities really take a back seat when you have no pitch or ear for music, such as yours truly). In confusion, I stopped looking.

But then.... I found The Antique Piano Shop. And in it, I found pictures of pianos that looked remarkably like mine.


And in the pictures, I discovered that to look like that, my piano had to be made IN THE LATE 1800s AND IS OFFICIALLY AN ANTIQUE. And, also, small detail, it retails (restored) for $15000.

Now, the only restoration done for my piano was when my dog chewed on its beautiful turned legs, "exposing the natural wood", so to speak, and significantly modernizing the look of the apparently antique piece. I guess you could argue that this restoration did not drive up the value. But anyway, $15000!!

When we left my piano in Russia, jokingly we said that it is much cheaper to just buy another piano in the US than to ever ship this piano from Russia. But, at $15000 price tag, in no longer seems that way, does it? I mean, people get missiles from Russia for like a few thousand grand!! I heard that on the news! If they can get missiles, can't I get my piano for less than $15000?! Exposed wood and all?

Anyone with a boat, an icepick and knowledge of great-circle routes, call me.  Alternatively, anyone with $15000 laying around, consider investing in a piece such as this one.  I will gladly keep it for you in my home at no extra charge.

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