Serial numbers of Erard pianos

When I bought my Erard piano (nr 38180), I tried to find its age. Internet is full of quasi-exact dating of Erard pianos, but the doubts are huge, in fact. So, I decide to make my own research and put together all documented facts about relations of Erard serial numbers to years of production. I have used different sources, so I am only a compiler, but not the author of information. So, if you need to date your own Erard piano, you can use this table. 

As we know, Erard is not only a person, but a piano factory with long and rich history. It was located in Paris, France, but also the London branch was very active and existed during many years.

The problem of Erard’s numeration is that from the beginning (ca 1780) to 1808 Erard used the different numeration for every type of musical instruments he had produced. So, we have different numeration for square pianos, for grand pianos of old type, for grand pianos of new type etc. After 1808 Erard decided to standardize his numeration and used the numeration of square pianos – the main type of his production before 1808. Only Erard’s harps continued to have their own numeration.

The Erard’s factory in London (opened 1792) has its own numeration from ca. 1831, so it’s important to determine where the piano was made.

Erard made his first grand piano in 1797 (the other sources give us the date „ca. 1790”). The first square piano – in 1777.

Erard’s factory in Paris

LEGEND:
The number(s) – the date (more or less exact) – the type of piano (when is known).

The earliest numbers of Erard’s pianos are following:

Pianos „en forme de clavecin” (old model):

  • 1-70 – 11 February 1798 – 14 January 1801
  • 28 – 1800
  • 55 – 1801
  • 71-209 – 12 January 1802 – 24 August 1806
  • 86 – 1802
  • 133 – 1803
  • 210-263 – January 1807 – December 1809
  • 264-394 are not exist (= 1-131 of „new model”)

Pianos „en forme de clavecin” (new model):

  • 1-131 – 1810 – 13 September 1816
  • 395-410 – 25 January 1816 – December 1817
  • 411-447 – January 1818 – September 1819

NEW unified numbering:

  • 1293-4869 – 1788-1802
  • 1672 – ca 1789 Square piano
  • 1987 – 1791 Square piano
  • 2036 – ca 1791 Grand piano
  • 2336 – 1791 Square piano
  • 2851 – 1794
  • 3979 – 1799
  • 4831 – 1801
  • 4870-6800 – 8 January 1802 – 29 July 1806
  • 4871 – 1802 Square piano
  • 5233 – 1802
  • 6800-10580 – September 1806 – 3 Jan. 1819
  • 6850 – 1806
  • 7098-7114 – October 1807 Square piano
  • 7250-7282 – Ferbuary / March 1808 Square piano
  • 7488 – 1808 Square piano
  • 7752 – ca 1809 Square piano
  • 8414 – February 1812 Square piano
  • 8598 – ca 1812 Square piano
  • 8927 – ca 1813 Square piano
  • 10581-10662 – December 1819-1820
  • 10663-11109 are missing or not exist
  • 11110-12038 – 1820-1822
  • 11492 – ca 1822 Square piano
  • 12039-12972 – 1823 to June 1830
  • 12758 – 1827 Grand
  • 12831 – ca 1828 Grand
  • 12964 – ca 1833 (or before) Grand
  • 13076 – 1832 Grand
  • 13093 – ca 1828 Grand
  • 13143 – ca 1832 Grand
  • 13236 – 1834 Upright piano (pianino)
  • 13279 – 1834 Upright
  • 13317 – 1834 Grand
  • 13334 – 1834 Square piano
  • 13392 – 30.07.1836 Grand
  • 13484 – 1837 Grand
  • 13725 – March 1836
  • 13783 – 1836 Grand
  • 13975 – ca 1840 Square piano
  • 14100 – 1838 Grand
  • 14195 – 1838
  • 14214 – 1838
  • 14230 – 1838 Grand
  • 14404 – 1828 [?]
  • 14440 – 1838 Grand
  • 14731 – 1838 Grand
  • 14769 – 1840 or 1838 Square piano
  • 14832 – 1840
  • 14854 – 1839 Grand
  • 14932 – 1840 Grand
  • 15181 – 1841 Grand
  • 15348 – 1843 Grand
  • 15582 – 1843? Grand
  • 15621 – 1843? Grand
  • 15830 – 1843-44? Grand
  • 16043 – ca 1841 Upright
  • 16100 – 1843
  • 16406 – 1843 Grand
  • 16427 – 1844 Upright
  • 18000 – 1845
  • 19143 – ca 1846 Grand
  • 19333 – 1847
  • 19366 – 1845 Upright
  • 19367 – 1846? Grand
  • 19436 – 1847
  • 19450 – 1845? Square piano
  • 19458 – ca 1847 Upright
  • 19582 – 1847
  • 19769 – 1847 Grand
  • 20293 – 1847
  • 21815 – 1850
  • 22000 – 1850
  • 23784 – 1852? Grand
  • 23981 – ca 1853 Upright
  • 24155 – 1853 Grand
  • 24381 – 1853 Grand piano-harmonium
  • 24598 – 1853 Grand pedal piano
  • 25186 – ca 1855 Grand
  • 26500 – 1855
  • 26606 – 1856 Grand
  • 27367 – 1856 Grand
  • 33678 – 1858 Grand
  • 36314 – 1860 Grand
  • 41481 – 1868
  • 43000 – 1870
  • 48000 – 1875
  • 53450 – ca 1880
  • 54126 – 1880
  • 56532 – ca 1882
  • 56650 – 1882
  • 60320 – 1885
  • 63000 – 1890
  • 68004 – 1892
  • 73500 – 1895
  • 80000 – 1900
  • 80496 – 1901
  • 83500 – 1902
  • 86356 – 1903 Grand
  • 88251 – 1905 Grand
  • 90785 – 1906 Grand
  • 96708 – 1909 Grand
  • 101200 – 1912
  • 104210 – 1912 Grand
  • 105489 – 1914 Upright
  • 106631 – 1912 Grand
  • 115004 – 1920 Grand
  • 120000 – 1930
  • 124000 – 1935
  • 126200 – 1940
  • 127000 – 1945
  • 128300 – 1950
  • 130000 – 1955
  • 130300 – 1956
  • 131000 – 1958
  • 131600 – 1960
  • 131815 – 1961
  • 132000 – 1962
  • 132174 – 1963
  • 132370 – 1964
  • 132479 – 1965
  • 132541 – 1966
  • 132601 – 1967
  • 132833 – 1968
  • 132975 – 1969
  • 133129 – 1970
  • 133300 – 1971
  • 133550 – 1972
  • 133850 – 1973
  • 134200 – 1974
  • 134600 – 1975
  • 134800 – 1976
  • 135000 – 1977
  • 135200 – 1978
  • 135400 – 1979
  • 135600 – 1980
  • 135900 – 1982
  • 136000 – 1983
  • 136170 – 1985
  • 136240 – 1987
  • 136260 – 1988

(the numbers over 120000 are given from Jan Grossbach’s and Pierce Piano Atlas).

Pianos made by Erard’s factory in London:

  • 74 – ca 1830 Grand
  • 177 – 1832 Grand
  • 698 – 1840 Grand
  • 1243 – ca 1840 Grand
  • 1459 – 1844 Grand
  • 2911 – 1852? Grand
  • 4026 – 1851
  • 4140 – ca 1853-55 Grand
  • 4395 – ca 1855 Grand
  • 5862 – ca 1858 Upright
  • 5964 – 1856 Grand
  • 6562 – 1860 Grand
  • 7249 – 1861
  • 7283 – ca 1861
  • 7441 – 1861
  • 9276 – 1866
  • 9760 – 1866
  • 10394 – 1867 Grand
  • 12222 – 1870
  • 14508 – ca 1875
  • 15842 – 1878
  • 18339 – ca 1885
  • 19389 – after 1885 Upright

Doubtful Erard pianos known in USA (not Erard? not exact numbers? not proper date?):

  • 4474 – ca 1825? Cottage piano
  • 7764 – ca 1828? Upright piano

If somebody has any remarks, or more numbers / dates, let me know please.

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