Virtually all pianos have a serial number, which can be used to determine the age of the instrument and often the location of its manufacture. Sometimes, however, serial numbers are hard to find, particularly in older pianos and those that have been rebuilt.
This 1960’s Steinway had been rebuilt, and the rebuilder not only painted over the serial number next to the pin block, but also did not write or etch it anywhere else on the piano as is often done on rebuilds. Thankfully, there was one remaining place that the serial number had been inscribed – on the back of the keyslip! This is the piece that runs across the front of the keyboard, covering most of the front of the keys.
Sometimes finding a serial number makes for a fun scavenger hunt. Most often, though, they are easy to find and provide helpful information both to the piano technician and the owner.