So I dismantled it. The metal insides when for scrap. I kept the ornate supports and some of the carved panels, and will use them for something one day. The keys I sold on Ebay for £20
I had to laugh at the bold above (not at you, but laughing at me) . . . that's exactly what I did with my old piano, dismantled it and the pieces are still sitting, waiting for me to do something with them one day. I have a bag containing the ivory keys that I offered to my sister (who is an art professor at a university) and she said that they are basically worthless.
My piano was an inheritance from my great aunt. I received it when I was about 15 years old and my parents had it moved into our basement. I spent many hours re-self-teaching (took lessons when I was younger) and even composing my own songs. (No, I'm not pianist in any stretch of the word. I just piddled and tried.) But the piano had a lot of sentimental value. At that time of my teenage angst it was the one thing that gave me pleasure.
It was old (1926 was the date inside), beautifully carved and I loved it, even though it might not have been in great 'health' sound-wise, I didn't care.
When my father bought a new pool table for the basement and decided that the best place for securing the pool cue rack was on the side of my piano? I was incensed! Yes, he drilled holes in the side of my piano instead of his precious walls so that he could hang his pool cues. I yelled at him (quite courageous of me) "What if I drilled holes in your trumpet? How would you feel about that?"
That piano followed me to my new house a few years after I was married the first time. There was a perfect niche where, I felt, the piano belonged. When we got divorced I brought the piano with me to my new apartment and had it retuned. At that time I asked about restoration and the cost was way too much (newly divorced, etc.) but I was still able to play it, I'm killer at Fur Elise
When I met and moved into our new home with LDH I had the piano moved with us and the movers were less than careless. I heard a lough THUNK and saw that they turned the piano on it's side and were trying to drag it through the door.
When I had time and money enough I went to get bids for piano restoration . . . the soundboard was cracked along with several keys and hammers broken on the inside. In the end, after quite a few years of my piano being a catch-all in my hallway and even trying to teach the DDs how to play, I knew it was time to get rid of it.
Thanks for letting me share my story about my beloved piano.
OP -- even if the keys are a bit chipped, if the workings of them are still intact, I say keep them as is. It lends authenticity to the age of the piano and appearances of the keys doesn't harm the sound at all.
What you need to look at is the felt, soundboard, pedals and strings. You know, the internal workings.
veryfluffy put it succinctly -- old pianos don't have much worth. It's your choice if your piano has enough sentimental value to it for you to go through the trouble. A new piano will probably cost much less than the restoration to the old piano.