Pictures of Antique Pianos

I came across this picture  of an old piano and I just wanted to share it. But it’s not just an old piano, it’s believed to be the oldest French piano still in existence (by Louis Bas of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, France, 1781). After I found this pic, I thought it would be fun to put together an article featuring other old pianos that are still around. It’s amazing that some of these have lasted so long and are in great condition.


Obviously it looks very different from the image that comes to  mind when you think of a piano of today. What  struck me   most though was the keys. As you can see the colors are reversed compared to how pianos look today. 

old people pic

Birthday party honoring Maurice Ravel, New York City, March 8, 1928. From left: Oscar Fried, conductor; Eva Gauthier, singer; Ravel at piano; Manoah Leide-Tedesco, composer-conductor; and composer George Gershwin.

But all of this did get me thinking though. There really is a history of how the piano evolved and, and just a few hundred years ago, the piano didn’t even exist. There were earlier instruments that were similar, such as the harpsichord  and clavichord and pianoforte. Over time, the design of these instruments slowly evolved into what we know as the piano today.

Here is a pic of the oldest piano in England. It was handmade by Americus  Backers in 1772.

The Oldest English Grand Piano



 The building of the first modern piano is credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731) of Padua, Italy. He is the first person to build a piano that had a hammer that hit the keys, and the musician could change the volume of the sound by how lightly they pressed the keys. Here is a pic of one of the oldest remaining pianos that he designed. It’s from 1720.

old tan piano



 The following are some pics of antique pianos that I found that are actually for sale. Obviously they are really expensive, and I’m sure these types of pianos go to collectors or even museums. More info on the following pianos can be found here (Just a side note–I’m not an affiliate for this site. I just found these pics and truly thought they were worth sharing).

Giraffe Piano, Anon, Vienna, ca. 1825



Square Piano, Erad, Paris, 1787


 square piano

Erad Square Piano, Paris, ca. 1828



Oldest Steinway Piano, ca. 1859

 oldest steinway


 The level of craftsmanship it took to make instruments like there is amazing. I can’t imagine the amount of time it would have took to make something like this, and the skill level involved to actually make the pitch of the piano sound perfect.

Another thing I was thinking about is…I wonder who actually played these pianos? Who did these pianos belong to, and what songs did they play? Obviously we will never know the answers to those questions. But it’s something kind of fun to think about.

Here is a video of someone playing a restored antique piano, from 1874. Amazing how wonderful this instrument still sounds!

The piano has evolved and changed through the years, but has remained one of the most loved instruments. Maybe someday I will have a real baby grand piano, but that has not happened yet! I’m happy with my yamaha keyboard for now! To hear my songs, go to the music player on the top right side of this page. To download my piano songs, click here

Do you play the piano? What kind of songs do you write? Leave me a comment below! Feel free to leave the link to your website/music.

Did you like this post or my songs? I send out monthly newsletters where you can get previews of unreleased songs before they’re listed on the website. Click here to join the mailing list.

About ldellavella

Lindsay Della Vella BS, COC is the founder and owner of Midnight Medical Coding. Our goal is to provide education to diagnostic radiology coders.
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