How Old is my Gaveau Piano?

Founded in Paris in 1847 by Joseph Gabriel Gaveau, this French firm was to gain an excellent reputation for high-quality harpsichords, and in particular small upright pianos.

By 1907, when Gaveau was passed to the founder’s son, Etienne, the firm was producing and selling over 1,000 pianos a year. Etienne Gaveau expanded the factory and had a 1,100-seat concert hall, Salle Gaveau, built in Rue la Boetie in Paris.

Between the 1910s and 1940s, the severe economic climate meant that Gaveau, now joined by his sons Marcel and Andre, had to diversify to compete with their main competitor, Pleyel. Production started of small unfretted clavichords and spinets, made possible by the short-term hiring of Arnold Dolmetsch, who designed these instruments for Gaveau between 1911 and 1914. On Dolmetsch’s return to England, Gaveau returned to producing uprights pianos only.

In 1960 Gaveau joined forces with Erard and a year later with their great rival Pleyel.

Dates and serial numbers when the pianos were manufactured 

1855 145
1860 2000
1870 7000
1880 10000
1890 21000
1900 33800
1910 51500
1920 66100
1930 88400
1940 95100
1950 102000
1960 110380
1970 115622
1980 121600
1988 122500