SANANTONIO -- There are 88 keys on a piano, and for one San Antonio family, those keys are attached to a priceless musical instrument.
One that's now for sale.
Piano owner Harold Krueger plays in the present, but the key is definitely in the past.
We had no idea we were sitting on something this valuable, unique and so historically important, he said.
In a contest seven years ago, his piano was certified as the oldest Grand Steinway in the world.
It's like if you walk out in your backyard (and) you found a hole there and you reach down and there was a big piece of gold down there... and you found out you're sitting on a gold mine, he said.
His wife's family bought the piano before the Civil War. It has traveled across the country. But for years this treasure has been in San Antonio.
People will say it's old and it's dusty, Krueger said. Well, the family never thought of it like that.
That's why they became musical encyclopedias about every single detail of it, such as its action, which is the equivalent to analyzing the workings of the motor of a car.
Also, its 1859 authenticity makes it unique. It appraises as priceless.
Even so, the family is forced to sell their old friend because they can't pass it on. The family has no heirs.
So letting the music play on with another family comes as a tough decision with a price.
The bidding will start at $5 million.
There's always someone who wants what somebody else has got, Krueger said. This is one of a kind.
Yet the family's memories of the old Grand remain without a cost.
(It's) kind of like a sad goodbye, he said. You know, it's kind of like a death in many ways because it was a part of the family for so long.
For more information about the auction, go to http://www.antiquesteinwaypiano.com