Pinned bows..are they worth it?

January 27, 2008 at 07:01 PM · Im curious as to the value of pinned bows of any given maker.Will they hold their value along with the makers unbroken bows?

Replies (23)

January 27, 2008 at 12:36 PM ·

January 27, 2008 at 07:30 PM · In my experience, broken bows are usually sold for the value of the frog + a relatively minimal and nominal charge that might represent the cost of a cheap stick, since the value of a broken stick is just about $0. I would expect, then, that the frog would continue to appreciate at an appropriate rate for that maker's frogs, and the stick would appreciate at some value resembling $0 + X%, which in my math would stay around $0 for the stick.

January 27, 2008 at 07:22 PM · In that case, send me your broken Tourtes. Keep the frog.

January 27, 2008 at 07:36 PM · That's why they usually stay together--the problem of real value vs utility value. The problem with a broken bow isn't how useful it is for the player, but rather how long it might last before it breaks again, perhaps at a very important and inconvenient moment. How much are you willing to pay for an excellent bow that may break at any moment? I've seen repairs that lasted apparently forever, but also apparently equal repairs that broke in the first week.

Pinning, by the way, is probably the least reliable repair method: it weakens the existing joint and adds virtually no strength. There's an interesting story about Hills that they once ran out a series of bows with the grain of the wood running the wrong way (slabbed to the side rather than quartered). In an attempt to reinforce them, they pinned every one they could get their hands on. Subsequently, the only ones that broke were the ones with pins. Pins don't help anything.

January 27, 2008 at 07:52 PM · "Subsequently, the only ones that broke were the ones with pins."

Moral: Don't fix it if it ain't broken. Very interesting of them to think...fix it in advance where it's going to break. Hmmm. I guess that's repair vs. reinforcement.

January 27, 2008 at 11:38 PM · Thanks for that Michael! I was looking at a pinned Pajeot...think I'll pass on it...

January 28, 2008 at 12:38 AM · I don't think you should necessarily do that, if the price is appropriate and you like the bow. It may not break, forever, and when/if it does, you can bet someone will want the frog if you don't and you can't or won't fix the stick. There are many players using broken sticks for just this reason.

January 28, 2008 at 01:09 AM ·

January 28, 2008 at 03:22 AM · Doesn't pinning change the weight, balance, and overall "feel" of the bow?

January 28, 2008 at 03:50 AM · A pin is very small, and shouldn't change anything, since it replaces, not adds.

I don't know what would be a fair price for any specific bow, Peter, but I wouldn't pass judgment on anything under these circumstances (not mine, not yours), anyway.

January 28, 2008 at 06:56 AM · Michael,

While it's true that a pin "replaces, not adds", it's still made of metal so it's denser than the wood it's supposed to replace. Therefore, it should make the bow a teeny tiny bit heavier.

However, I suppose that if the pin is small enough then the added weight might not be noticeable to the player...

January 28, 2008 at 11:48 AM · There are many ways to repair a broken head. Pinning with a small metal pin is probably one of the least reliable.

A lot depends on where the break is, and how much material is available on each side of the break.

We have more options available today than the Hills had; better adhesives and better reinforcing materials. Some breaks can be glued and reinforced internally with carbon fiber in a way that the repair is invisible without x-ray.

I still wouldn't assume that a repair will last forever, and would expect a huge price break on such a bow. How much, I can't say, because I'm not a dealer, and not in touch with how the market treats this. Maybe J. Holmes will comment.

But if I were to purchase one personally, I'd put the value of the stick close to zero as Michael mentioned, reflecting the risk I'd be taking on.

A couple of options to help you assess your risk:

Contact your insurance company to see how they'd handle a claim on a previously broken and repaired bow.

And ask the seller if they will guarantee the bow, and if so, would they be willing to buy it back if it breaks, fix it again, or what?

January 28, 2008 at 12:22 PM · Many thanks Michael and David...I appreciate your expertise!!

January 28, 2008 at 12:45 PM · I once sat on the first desk in a concert where the leader was playing a pinned bow. 10 min before the end the bow snapped. It made quite an impression on the audience! He told me that it was the second time it happened with that bow and the repair guy could not make the repair stabile.

I would not use such a bow in concert after that experience!

Buy a top modern bow instead of an old pice of junk!

January 28, 2008 at 01:45 PM · We once looked at a repaired Lamy. The seller was asking $3200. The repair was not visible to the eye. We were advised that this was not enough of a price break.

We recently had a bow repaired and the luthier wrote a statement for our insurance company that the value after repair is reduced 70%. The luthier said that the strength and playability are in no way compromised by the repair. One cannot see the spot where it was repaired at all.

It probably depends on the type of repair needed. A nice old German bow we had required a repair consisting of a silk wrapping near the tip. The value of this bow was decreased to $100. It still plays nicely and is used by my son when he plays in pit orchestras etc...

January 28, 2008 at 08:22 PM · I've found it difficult to find pinned/spliced/repaired bows for sale; it seems many dealers prefer not to carry them, feeling that players/collectors would prefer to buy an bow that hasn't had problems. Given the potential savings in buying a repaired bow, and following the idea that often a repaired bow may be at least as strong as the original was, I'm happy to consider them. But it's hard to find them ...

Larry Samuels

January 29, 2008 at 12:01 AM ·

January 29, 2008 at 12:05 PM · I just had a customer break a very nice L.Bazin...off came the tip......anyone want to buy it? ;-)

cheers

Sean

January 29, 2008 at 01:02 PM ·

January 29, 2008 at 03:07 PM · hard to say but for £8000 you could get E.A.Ouchard, V. Fetique, A.Richaume.......

But Pajeot bows can be very special! If you like it ...buy it! just don't expect to sell it quick in the future........

Sean

January 29, 2008 at 11:30 PM · Good advice...thank you.....

February 1, 2008 at 10:27 AM · I always put Prosper Colas around the Morizot price mark. Perhaps slightly more. His work was rather varied.......

cheers

Sean

February 1, 2008 at 09:52 PM ·

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