A C. Bechstein is made to last for generations. It is loved and inherited and belongs to the family. The personal history of an instrument is not always inherited. Some instruments have served great personalities, have been in royal houses or with famous musicians, have endured world travels and even wars without suffering any damage. Bechstein grand pianos are almost indestructible due to their construction and the high-quality materials in their basic substance.
All instruments made by us have an identity: the "Great Instrument Number", which is inscribed on the cast-iron frame, is noted in our production books with the date of first delivery and the name of the first recipient. This tradition can be traced back to 1853 - except for the destruction of some pages due to the war.
Where can I find the serial number?
You can usually find the serial number in black numbers on the cast iron frame, near the tuning pins. Only on the earliest C. Bechstein instruments can it be found in large numerals on the soundboard near the C. Bechstein logo. This may be somewhat hidden behind the strings or dampers. On older pianos, you can also sometimes find the serial number on the inside of the case sides next to the action. If you do not find a number or if there are several contradictory numbers, the number may have been removed or manipulated by a previous owner. If the authenticity or completeness of the found number is doubtful, the year of manufacture can unfortunately not be determined. Then only an expert on site can estimate the age. Other numbers in the back of the soundboard or elsewhere on the instrument are unfortunately not helpful in determining the year of manufacture. These are internal production numbers for which there are no records. Photographs are also of no help in this case.