It's time for me to review my insurance policies and I'm wondering how to value my "good" bow. It is an Adolph C. Schuster *** that I bought 35+ years ago for around $1500. I recently saw a similar, albeit only one *, Schuster in a catalogue with a price well over $10,000. I know what my instrument is worth but the bow is a mystery my local shop doesn't deal in high-end bows so I'm asking the panel of experts.
The reason I have a good bow and a cheap violin is that back then I bought a really good Reinhold Schnable violin back then and got the bow to go with it. Unfortunately, the Schnable and I never really got along (it did not "speak easily" although my teacher loved it and bought it from me) but I kept the Schuster when I sold the Schnable it does make my violin sing.
I don't think the insurance company will care what you think your bow is worth, or even what a v.com consensus is. You need an updated appraisal from someone who has enough of a name or at least a professional presence for the appraisal to carry some weight. Ask for an insurance appraisal specifically.
Mary Ellen is correct. You must ask for an "insurance appraisal" and there will be a fee for that, but you want to get that on the stationery of an established dealer who does that kind of thing. (You might well ask whether that whole business is a bunch of BS, especially considering "everyone knows" that insurance appraisals are inflated, but there it is.)
It's valid till the insurance company asks for an update, or if the value increases.
Since you're in NJ George, I'd recommend taking a day trip into Manhattan. You could show the bow to either Isaac Salchow or Yung Chin. They are 2 of the most respected names in bow making today in the US. Both are in the same building (250 W. 54th Street).
One thing about a catalog price ... that's not necessarily the price that is ultimately paid. Nate is right, you need to take your bow to NYC. Roy Hargrove is at the Blue Note later this month ...
I have an Adolf C. Schuster viola bow which I bought a couple of years ago for $3,500. The button isn't original, it was replaced by Hill's in the late 40's. It's silver mounted, has the eagle brand on the frog and is branded *Adolf C Schuster* on the stick. It weighs 67g (light for a viola bow, which might influence the price). I'm inclined to be very skeptical about a $10,000 Schuster bow. For what it's worth, my Schuster is a lovely bow, I like it better than the Claude Thomassin I had formerly.
Katherine, et al.,