Non-mint Dominique Peccatte bows

April 25, 2021, 3:09 PM · I am currently trying out a violin bow by Dominique Peccatte. This bow is truly the best bow I have ever played on. I am able to play things I have struggled to play in the past with ease. Staccatos are a breeze and those chords in the Bach Chaconne feels like the bow is playing itself. Furthermore, the bow also enhanced the tone of my violin greatly.

Ok now the issue. The violin bow has a replaced button and a slight crack at the top of the frog. The shop selling to me has already discounted the bow by 30% due to this. Despite the discount, I am still hesitant to make the investment as I've heard it will be really hard to resell if I ever needed to in the future. Need some advice on this as even with the discount, this is still quite a big investment.

Replies (56)

Edited: April 25, 2021, 3:44 PM · I once had such a decision to make. I "bought the bow" because I figured I don't know what the future would bring and if I didn't have the thing I thought I needed I would never know what it was like to have the joy of it. It turned out to be all joy. It wasn't anything as important as a bow though.
Edited: April 25, 2021, 6:14 PM · So it's only worth $1.3 million, not $1.8 million? If it's allowing you to breeze through the Chaconne without breaking a sweat then I think you'd sell a few of your Ferrari and Bugatti automobiles to pay for it.

I wonder if anyone else can hear the improvement in your tone who does not already know it's a priceless antique bow that you're trialing. I would certainly test that before taking out another mortgage on your estate in the Hamptons.

Edited: April 25, 2021, 6:28 PM · Instead of buying an inflated pricey bow, you can buy a copy of the Paganini Caprices edited by Galamian, work through that, and acquire good bow technique.
*Just a joke.

Edit: I would try to search for some modern makers as well. If you have (You probably have done so already) already, then I’ve got nothing. The name inflates the price greatly, so you might be able to find something just as good but for less money. I do realize that it's a Peccatte... so not likely.

Edit 2: If you can take it out on a trial, you should have another shop evaluate how much they would value it at. That way you can make sure the original shop isn't gouging you for money and that the bow will resell nicely.

I've never shopped for something as expensive as a Peccatte, so do not let my post influence you too much. It's your money.

April 25, 2021, 6:33 PM · I have a couple colleagues who play on bows with such provenance, but acquired them for substantially less due to things like splines, crack repairs, etc. If it does play incredibly well, and you're not looking into it as an investment piece, and the price is within your budget--why not?

But, if it's in the five figure range, know that you can play a lot of very good bows by modern makers that don't exceed $5000-$6000 dollars, especially if you can spend some time with the bowmaker to see how they can come up with something that suits your unique individual preferences. That might be a better choice for some folks.

Edited: April 25, 2021, 7:34 PM · Thank you everyone for the advice! I really appreciate it. I forgot to mention that I tried 3 other Pecattes, 3 Voirins, and a Pajeot side my side with another violinist and we both agreed that the Peccatte I like was exceptional. But all Pecattes were better than the other bows I tried even under a blind test

That being said, I also agree with others here that suggest that I work with a contemporary bow maker to craft the ideal bow for me. Has anyone had good experience with that? Are bows crafted today just as good if not better then the makers such as Peccatte/Tourte? I’ve tried many (30+) contemporary bows and although I can tell they are beautiful and very well crafted, but I haven’t been able to find one so far that matched the suppleness and tone like the Peccatte. I myself believe in progress and don’t think that makers today are less gifted than a hundred years ago, so perhaps I just need to be patient and work with a maker. More fun that way and save me lots of $$$ LOL

If anyone would like to suggest a maker you think that would be great to work with, please recommend. Ultimately it is the playing quality of the stick I’m interested in and not some inflated name/price. Im sure dealers/shops would tell me otherwise to convince me that the higher the price, the more special and amazing a bow will be. Personally, I would like to prove them wrong =p But perhaps I’m just naive and haven’t tried enough bows to prove one way or another. Please let me know your experience

Edited: April 25, 2021, 8:36 PM · I have tried several D.Peccattes and have loved each of them, although they've each been distinct. (One of them was the bow that Ricci used for a Paganini Caprices recording, and it is truly extraordinary.) The tonal profile is not just a matter of magic; I actually play better, technically, with one, including automatically steering to better sounding points.

A 30% devaluation would still certainly put the bow "comfortably" into the $100k+ range, I believe. I have been very tempted by one previously, but I would have wanted investment value as well as the sheer joy of playing it. (It was a major step up over my already very fine V.Fetique.)

I have played a contemporary bow that I consider the equal of my Fetique, but it does not have the tonal profile of that bow. But at a fifth the price, it's vastly more affordable. I have never played a contemporary bow -- or for that matter, a bow by another antique maker -- that I consider the equal of a D.Peccatte. (I've been told that I should try a Kittel but I've never gotten my hands on one.)

I think the question of whether you drop six figures on a bow is largely a matter of the degree to which $100k+ is a significant amount of money to you, and whether it's worth it as a basically recreational bit of "fun money". It's probably no different than buying a fancy sports car, except that it should hold its value; you can argue that it's an investment.

Note that bow repairs arguably hold up less well than most violin repairs, though, and so if you make the investment, you should really think through the condition carefully to make sure you can live with a possible loss if the repair fails. Slight crack near the frog seems okay, I think; replaced button (assuming you mean "eye" is no big deal).

And no, to Mike's comment, another shop will not give you an independent evaluation on something being sold by another shop. It's considered unethical.

Edited: April 25, 2021, 9:25 PM · Wow really? Interesting.

Edit: I apologize for suggesting that.

Edited: April 25, 2021, 9:04 PM · Button does not mean eye, its the whole thumbscrew assembly, I believe
April 25, 2021, 9:26 PM · Thank you Lydia for your response. I was hoping for you to reply since I know you have a lot of experience trying both contemporary and antique bows. Have you tried bows by Benoit Rolland? I wonder if his bows would compete with D. Peccattes?

And Lyndon is correct. The button is the thumbscrew at the end of the bow that you turn to tighten the bow. That part is not original. The breakdown for devaluation is 10% for the replaced button and 20% for the slightly cracked frog at the top (only on one side) as well as some general wear from playing over the years.

Edited: April 25, 2021, 9:37 PM · If the crack is in the frog as opposed to the stick above the frog, that's pretty minor
April 25, 2021, 9:48 PM · The button is the octagonal part that attaches to the screw, and it’s the part that you turn to adjust hair tension. It’s sometimes called the adjuster, and it’s separate from the screw and eyelet.

Unoriginal parts and repairs do reduce value, but makers at the highest level are so desirable that it can sometimes be worth it to accept flaws in order to get a bow that plays like nothing else. Since the shop is being clear about the devaluation, it is probably very reasonable. A button can be replaced without affecting tone much, if at all, so the consideration of price is more to do with collectible value. Pristine examples tend to be the easiest to sell, but a lot depends on the pricing and finding the right player.

At the shop, we recently sold a cello bow by a French maker that had been severely damaged. The frog had been destroyed and the stick had broken several inches behind the head. The bow was fitted with a reproduction frog by a bow restorer and a faithfully executed new head was grafted on. In spite of all this, the bow played like a bow by that maker. It sold for less than 1/10 of the price of a pristine example by that maker but made a talented player very happy. He had been trying all the fine bows in the shop for weeks and immediately fell in love when this one came in. He bought it because of the way it performed and didn’t really care if he’d ever be able to resell it. To him, its real value was in the improved performance it offered him for recordings.

April 25, 2021, 9:58 PM · I am guessing, Charles, that your violin and the Peccatte bow that you are considering work well together, and I wonder how important it is that the bow that you select functions well with your particular violin?

When one commissions a bow, I wonder how well a maker can predict that it will produce the sound that one wants on a certain violin.

Edited: April 25, 2021, 10:10 PM · Thanks Rich! In your experience, if a bow that had a replaced button and small crack on the frog but is a fantastic player, does it usually take a long time to sell?

Andrew, I imagine the maker would want to hear your violin. I think a maker I once connected with a while ago had requested this so they can tailor it more to my violin and playing style

April 25, 2021, 10:33 PM · The bow will always hold its value and will most likely appreciate assuming you’re getting it for a fair price. You could have it certified and appraised by an expert like Salchow or Childs in NY. There aren’t any modern makers in possession of the same wood or hand as Dominique Peccatte. It sounds like you’ve trialed enough bows to know when you’ve got something very special in your hand. If you can comfortably afford it you should get it. From what you’ve described, it will allow you to reach your full musical potential and it could be a solid long-term investment regardless of the minor imperfections. I would expect a great bow that’s 150 years old to show some signs of wear and fatigue. From an investment standpoint it’s a safer bet than any modern or contemporary bow. From a player standpoint you don’t know what you’ll end up with if you commission something new.
April 25, 2021, 11:37 PM · Frankly, I'd cheerfully take a fantastic-playing D.Peccatte devalued 30% by a cracked frog and a replaced button (thanks for the definition). Neither of those things affect the stick and playing quality, as far as I know.

Rolland claims to have some wizardry of tonally matching bow to violin, and being able to figure out how to make a bow based on watching the player's style. I've never tried one, personally. He doesn't normally have inventory. He makes commissions, and he has, as far as I know, a lengthy waiting list.

Honestly, though, if you have that kind of money to spare, you could commission a dozen or more top-notch contemporary bows for the cost of even that devalued Peccatte.

I am of the opinion that investments in violins and bows should be assumed to be illiquid, and that the only reason that you would ever want to sell during your lifetime is if you intended to upgrade again, or you intend to fully retire from ever playing at all. Consequently any question of "investability" is largely theoretical. If you can't afford to drop $100k+ on a fun toy, it's probably not a good idea to buy a bow with that money.

I assume that any Peccatte would be sold with a certificate from Millant, Raffin, Childs, etc. I would be extremely cautious buying one that isn't already certified -- I would absolutely ask why no cert.

Edited: April 26, 2021, 12:09 AM · There are a lot of factors involved here. One isn't simply throwing their money away, but rather making a pretty decent investment choice in an antique, with the side benefit of being able to use it to play. As long as one doesn't break the stick, a bow of this class will appreciate over time. It won't always be easy to sell, mind you, but if buying the bow doesn't give you financial strain, you can probably afford to wait for top dollar if you intend to sell. If you can wait decades, even an auction sell would likely net you a profit. Just don't think about getting your money back within the near future.

To the OPs main point - non-mint bows and instruments at this price point are the rule, not the exception. Think of it more as paying a huge premium for a mint example of a Strad or a Peccatte - the average example would be priced quite a bit lower, since most instruments and bows have been used and suffer some wear and tear. We haven't seen the damage mentioned on the frog but I would usually expect a replaced button to devalue more than a simple crack on a frog. For bows of a certain age, it's more or less expected to have had cracks in the frog and bushings done inside the butt end of the stick and perhaps the inside of the frog as well (rusting screws can often cause cracks in the middle of frogs, etc). The big thing to note, of course, is the stick - any break or for the most part crack on the stick or head (except in the handle area, where the stick can be rebushed and very securely repaired) results in a near total devaluation. A very desirable bow like a Peccatte could still retain a reasonable amount of value as a player's bow, but it should be priced at around 1/10 of the value it would be otherwise.

For a new or fairly recent instrument, one would expect quite good or perfect condition, and any cracks/replaced parts (for bows) would cause significant deviation from the normal market price. For top-tier bows, it's the opposite. The Tourte that sold for auction for almost 700k usd was in almost-new condition (but still had a few chips at the top of the frog), while a Tourte with replacement mounts can auction for below 100k usd. A "normal" Tourte with original parts might go for 150 or 200k usd at auction, with normal condition issues. The mint Tourte is the outlier, not the rule.

Two very important points (that you are probably aware of, but is worth checking):
1. You will need a certificate from one of the 4 or so top experts in the world for French bows - Raffin, Guillaume, Childs, Salchow.
2. You will need to purchase insurance, which won't be cheap, but should still not prevent your investment from appreciating. It is very unwise to purchase an investment grade bow and then risk the value dropping by 90% because of an accident.

As a professional violinist I can only dream of owning a top-tier investment grade bows like a D. Peccatte, but if one had the wealth, it can make sense.

If you really only care about how it plays, you could find another bow that is cheaper, I'm sure. For example, old German bows are much cheaper. Heinrich Knopf made bows for Kittle, (not all of Kittle's bows, mind you) but a bow made in his name - while still expensive - will be a fraction of a Kittle's cost. I've seen some that are amazing. I've tried many bows at different price points, and I've found pretty amazing bows from very diverse backgrounds. A Tubbs at 10-15k can easily match famous French bows at double the price, and in terms of playing qualities I'd say modern bows have much higher odds of giving a complete playing experience than an old bow. There's a lot of psychology involved, too. If you can try comparing a diverse range of bows without knowing what you have - mix good modern makers, Nurnbergers or Pfretzschners, Tubbs and Dodds, and the early French bows and post-Voirin style bows (they play differently). You might be surprised.

But if you have the money, treat the Peccatte as a long-term investment and enjoy.

Edited: April 26, 2021, 4:06 AM · It has been forever since I have used a Peccatte. It was amazing, however.

I did at one point try as many modern makers as possible, and the best of them are quite something. Rolland did make a bow for me, and he did a lovely job of making something that sounds good and feels like part of my arm. It took two tries, but he really nailed it. Some of the comfort of a Lamy, and maybe a bit of the sound quality of good mid-19c bows. Not interchangeable with them, but it's not a pointless discussion. Who knows what he could have done if I'd stumped up for a gold-mounted signature model?

Another very lovely, if different sound is Noel Burke. Not made for me, though-- who knows what he could do on a custom order? And I recently tried a Matt Wehling stick that gets a truly magical tone. No idea how typical that was.

Since then, I've tried a bunch of older makers. The best have been quite astounding. There was a Persoit that had some of the cutting-edge sound of the Peccatte I remember from a few decades ago. Not the most varied palette of tone, but it had complete control of even reluctant violins-- and the ability to pass just about anyone on the autobahn. Just put your foot down, and there was always 10% more. Dodd (Kew) makes fantastic tone quality, if not always the absolute largest volume of sound. A Pajeot (nickel mounted) got a unique sound, and was very good to handle in almost everything. I also tried another better-quality one that had gone soft-- one of the reasons to tread carefully in the older stuff. The best Voirins are very sexy. Lafleurs are not at all identical, but share a suavity and silkiness that is quite amazing. I've tried a few Simons that hint at something fabulous, although perhaps those weren't the best examples.

So do the best contemporary bows beat them down?
As with violins, good bows can be described as gentry, aristocracy, and royalty. With great wood, the best modern makers can and do compete with the aristocracy. The Voirin/Lamy bucket, anyway, maybe reaching up to Simon.

Royalty would be (by reputation, anyway) Tourte, Peccatte, Persoit, Eury. And Kittel at his best. Love to get a chance to try any of those and form more of an opinion. The few examples I have seen deliver more of everything.

Obviously, you'll get a faster sale if you have a mint condition anything. Something with a replacement frog becomes more interesting to players than collectors or dealers, and might need a bit of extra time to generate interest. But there have always been bows like that in the marketplace, and players will always want the best sticks available.

April 26, 2021, 6:01 AM · My 2 cents. Buy it.
If it’s that good another ‘player’ will be willing to pay for it in the future.
Cheers,
Buri
April 26, 2021, 6:04 AM · I think you need to make sure it has a reputable certificate, if it doesn't selling it might become a nightmare
Edited: April 26, 2021, 9:22 AM · One of my rules of violin is that if you want a mint "collector's" violin you often have to deal with the fact that it's that way because no one over the last 300 years wanted to play on it. If you find one that's beat to shreds, that's often the best one you'll ever play, and 300 years of past players agreed.

It sounds like you need to decide whether you are a collector or a player.

In my experience there's always a customer for a great playing beater if the price is appropriate to the condition.

April 26, 2021, 3:08 PM · "It sounds like you need to decide whether you are a collector or a player."

That statement really nails it, I believe.

April 26, 2021, 3:16 PM · Jeez, just cut the bow in half and buy both halves!
April 26, 2021, 3:42 PM · I understand gluten-free. But non-mint?
Edited: April 26, 2021, 4:14 PM · Sounds like a nice deal. Probably the best bow I’ve tried next to my Sartory was a Dominique Peccatte (I haven’t tried a Tourte yet). It had many of the same qualities you described. The most important thing at the end of the day is that it really performs well and makes you sound better. As a few have already alluded to, there’s a dichotomy between a performer’s bow and a collector’s piece. The only thing that would really devalue a bow, in terms of monetary value, is if the stick itself, was broken then repaired. Even then so, a repaired bow can be very good if it is well repaired.
April 26, 2021, 4:20 PM · No the other thing that can devalue a bow is if the top expert says its not a Peccatte or a workshop bow, seriously
April 26, 2021, 4:42 PM · I think almost every Peccatte has some cracking in the top part of the frog where it mates with the stick. The steel screws rusted and split the wood. If your crack is on the order of this I would not worry about it. Missing original button is a bigger deal like 1/3 of the bow. Try to negotiate a better price. Don't be afraid to walk that is part of astute negotiation. Assuming you have independent certificate and condition report if not get them before you make the purchase. Good excuse to fly to NY to see Salchow.
April 26, 2021, 4:47 PM · i can't possibly see how a missing button is a 1/3 deduction, that's just ridiculous. If it were the frog, that's another story.
April 26, 2021, 6:27 PM · The investment market is characteristically ridiculous however.
Edited: April 27, 2021, 11:41 AM · I have that cracking issue with my Charles Peccatte bow.It seems to be a cosmetic issue only.
A button replacement takes about ten percent off the value of the bow so a Toronto dealer told me.
April 27, 2021, 2:27 PM · IF someone can detect that a replacement button by a skilled copyist is not original.

Some instruments sold 40 years ago were considered to be original, while today, they are not. 20 or 40 years from now, there may be some other similar ups and downs.

April 27, 2021, 4:09 PM · Q. What do football, homeopathy and violin bows have in common? A. the expression of the human religious instinct; i.e. the dominance of faith over reason.
April 27, 2021, 7:38 PM · I think that for an amateur, the split of "player" vs. "collector" is not as clean.

You're basically buying an extremely expensive art object for your own pleasure. Assuming that you're not so wealthy that this is a fairly modest expense, you're weighing this against other things that you could also have. Is this better than driving a fancy car? Taking a tour around the world? Doing a major home remodel? Bidding on some other cool, once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Your time, effort, and emotional investment in the hobby itself probably impacts whether or not the money spent is worthwhile. If you're the sort of amateur who spends most nights and the weekends in personal practice and rehearsals -- you play two to four hours a day, for instance -- the investment is going to feel a lot more rewarding than if you casually pick up the violin here and there. High-end equipment forces your playing level up; it tends to demand more skill because it is more likely to respond precisely to input, and if that input is bad, the results will be bad.

Investment value arguably offsets some of the massive cash drain of such a purchase. You can make an argument that if you buy it and it appreciates, you are essentially getting "free" use of it during the time that you own it. However, the same arguments for "a house is not an investment" apply here as well, other than the fact that the carrying costs are relatively low. I think the "but it's an investment!" argument is something of a feelgood excuse, more so than a reality.

Even if you define yourself as a collector, the fairly illiquid nature of an instrument means that it's not really classifiable as a good investment.

April 27, 2021, 7:50 PM · Invest all your money into dogecoin today, buy a Pecatte tomorrow.
April 27, 2021, 7:56 PM · Dogecoin is over.

Bowcoin!

April 27, 2021, 9:46 PM · I agree with Lydia. Instruments and bows are not good, pure investment vehicles. An S&P 500 index fund is a safer bet. There’s a bit of risk in assessing attribution, condition and value upon purchase and they are difficult and expensive to sell. On the other hand, good quality items should hold their value or appreciate over time. Furthermore they are unique works of art that provide endless challenge, gratification and joy to our lives. You may consider it an investment in your life and wellness. But it’s a disposable income purchase not a retirement plan. Personally, I would not tie up more than 5-10% of my total net worth in instruments and bows.
Edited: April 28, 2021, 3:05 AM · I'd have thought it crazy for anyone who invests a 6-figure sum on a stick of wood (or a "unique work(s) of art to provide endless challenge, gratification and joy to our lives") to regularly risk breaking it on a music stand. But it's a crazy world.
April 28, 2021, 12:18 PM · Steve, I tend to agree. I would be way to scared of damage or theft to play on something that expensive. But I'm not worth $10M.
April 28, 2021, 1:20 PM · As long as everything is insured with up to date appraisals.
April 28, 2021, 2:36 PM · Who would put it on a music stand? That's insane.
April 28, 2021, 7:05 PM · The guy who drives a Ferrari risks totalling it in an accident every time he takes it out of the garage.

April 29, 2021, 2:49 AM · But a Ferrari isn't a "unique work(s) of art to provide endless challenge, gratification and joy to our lives", it's just a richie's toy.
Edited: April 29, 2021, 3:14 AM · Steve, think about the argument you are making (IE, that a angique bow by a pioneering French maker like Peccatte are just rich person's toys).

Would you prefer a world in which, since all bows are the same, a Peccatte is valued the same as a mass produced Chinese bow and large children would be given a Peccatte bow as their first beginner bow? Yes, I'm pushing your opinion to the extreme, which maybe you didn't intend, but I think it's useful.

I don't agree with your previously stated opinions implying that all bows are the same and that we are suffering from mass religious psychosis (again, I'm pushing to extremes to make a point).

I do think that a bow by a top modern maker could possibly match a bow like Peccatte - there is a huge psychological component to choosing instruments. But the fact is, a maker like Peccatte did it first, and that originality and lineage gives it antique value that people will pay for.

Nobody is requiring a purchase of a Peccatte bow in order to win an orchestra job, for example. I won my salaried job on a violin that cost under 10k USD.

But the antique value attached to Tourtes, Peccattes do ensure that they will not be treated as beater bows. I think that's better than locking them all up in museums.

April 29, 2021, 6:56 AM · It is interesting how value is perceived in the world of fine collectibles. To many a D. Peccatte bow could never be more than a simple stick of wood. One must be a skilled player to appreciate the working nuances of the bow as a tool. But more importantly one must also be a collector to appreciate the historical significance of such an artifact. If your not both why bother.
April 29, 2021, 7:51 AM · @John and John. I do appreciate your considered responses that reassure me I'm not just muttering to myself.

Of course I too am overstating my case in order to be provocative. I certainly wouldn't say that all bows are equally virtuous, but on purely rational grounds I find it impossible to accept that certain (all?) bows by a certain maker possess practical qualities that cannot be reproduced by others. In my view the rather few degrees of freedom available to bow-makers leave little or no room for mystery, still less "genius". I may change my mind the day someone discovers a way of objectifying those qualities, but while they remain purely in the subjective realm I can't forget the many other circumstances in which bias and self-delusion can enter our value judgements.

April 29, 2021, 10:15 AM · I have a simpler gloss, which is that art collectors are colossal idiots, just like bitcoin buyers are idiots, but with fewer environmental and societal ramifications.

It is a collective delusion that unfortunately affects prices for people that have a use for these objects, but we're also well into the first-world problems here.

April 29, 2021, 11:20 AM · "...on purely rational grounds I find it impossible to accept that certain (all?) bows by a certain maker possess practical qualities that cannot be reproduced by others..."

And yet it seems to be the case, which is why old Italian violins and old French bows continue to be coveted by players. It is not for lack of trying by modern makers. The fact is, it is extraordinarily difficult to simply copy a bow or violin and get the same results, even with the exact measurements. The prices we see for these instruments are not a recent phenomena or fad--there has been steady increase over time. This tells me that in the long term and over many thousands, or hundreds of thousands of buyers, they are correctly priced. It's not all smoke and mirrors, especially because most musicians have little excess capital. They are making rational choices that often involve a compromise: this violin vs a nicer house. This bow vs a nice new car.

We forget that bows, like violins, are made of wood, and wood ages and changes. The wood in a Peccatte is not the same as that of a newly-commissioned bow, even though bow makers use old wood. I have looked at many, many modern bow makers, and even when balance, flex, and craftsmanship were all exemplary, there was one problem: they all sound "green." There is a lack of resonance or overtones in new bows. This
is why many of those old French bows are so coveted by discriminating players: it's not just how they feel, but how they sound. Also, new bows, like new violins, change in flex. Old bows don't--what you see is what you will get in 10 or 20 years. I have had many new bows, and they do change, sometimes for the worse.
Just like violins.

Edited: April 29, 2021, 11:43 AM · Thanks for your thoughtful response Steve. It's the nature of the internet that things can get a bit hyperbolic - there are a lot of things to discuss when it comes to a complicated topic like antique violin bows.

One justification I've heard for the supposedly superior nature of antique bows has been superior wood selection (that there isn't much quality pernambuco left these days, etc)- but I've also heard from several bow makers who are quite confident in their stock of old pernambuco. I'm sure makers could give a more informed opinion that I could here.

To respond to Christian - I would certainly agree that violins and bows form part of the art market, and suffer from similar issues (possibly even forming a bubble).

But, as mentioned before, these famous-name antique instruments are not required for "people that have a use." Modern instruments - or antique instruments with providence that the antique market doesn't care for (like German bows for example) can easily function well enough for a working professional.

Bitcoin might have a limited set of uses, but let's be real - the value really comes from pure speculation, not because there is any intrinsic value. A (real) Peccatte will always be an artistically made bow by Peccatte (unless expert opinion changes - there's no risk-free investment).

In the end, it's about economics - there aren't more Peccattes or Tourtes being made, and the market for instruments has only gotten bigger and bigger (think about the huge demand for stringed instruments in East Asia that simply didn't exist 60 years ago). If more and more people appreciate the antique value of these old instruments, then demand will drive prices up.

If you buy a modern violin or bow, the vast majority of the cost comes from the need to make a livelihood (a single violin maker can only make a few violins a year, and need to be compensated enough to make the effort in learning the craft worth it - same thing with bow makers). Although there are a few stars who can command higher prices, there isn't a huge spread between the most famous modern bow makers and a "normal" highly qualified maker, certainly not as much as between say a great Stradivarius and even a great Lupot, which is still very expensive but (based on the one example I've tried) just as good or better.

And a thought for Scott, who posted after I submitted my reply - I live in Hong Kong, a region with the highest housing cost in the world (and not by a small margin). To make up for that it is a region that thankfully does not require a car, having probably the most comprehensive public transit in the world. I think it makes sense for musicians to invest a bit more of their income than necessary in their instruments - I certainly don't need the antique instrument and bow I have to do my job, but I enjoy them and also hope to, in the long term, decently invest that excess money. I'm sure a lot of other musicians feel the same.

I'd certainly rather put my hard earned money in an instrument than a car, which will become worthless in a relatively short period of time. I'd enjoy the instrument more as well.

I know people who have done the opposite - have extremely cheap instruments and bows, and purchase housing here instead. They still perform well enough in their work (perhaps better than I do!), and they don't really care about having the best equipment as long as it is "good enough." They also wouldn't care at all about antique value.

April 29, 2021, 12:49 PM · value in bitcoin is many fold...having money outside the gov't/bank system is valuable to a lot of people. Also, in many parts of the world, women are not allowed to open bank accounts, and they have used bitcoin to effectuate a separate economy and been able to run businesses with it. Many other uses throughout the world!

I knew some owners of a family business, one of whom wanted a Rolls Royce. When they distributed the money to him, they also gave the same amount to the other side of the family. That guy was an art collector, who bought a nice piece of Impressionistic art with it. By the time the Rolls was off to a junkyard (about 20 yrs), the art was worth 10x more.
Of course, a vintage Ferrari would have appreciated like the art...

April 29, 2021, 12:52 PM · Well said Scott. It is a simple matter of supply and demand. Centuries of pricing history seem to prove the value. Whether intrinsic or perceived the market has always been steady and rising. To the nay-sayers perhaps it's a bit of sour grapes? I cannot imagine any violinist who wouldn't dream to own a rare Italian fiddle or French bow made by one of the great masters.
April 29, 2021, 1:54 PM · "Bowcoin". Love that.
April 30, 2021, 8:40 AM · As a perpetual hunter of high-quality equipment who would certainly prefer to spend a modest amount of money for something contemporary rather than purchasing an expensive antique, I would enthusiastically embrace a modern bow that could reproduce the tone and feel of a Peccatte or Tourte. Please point me at one; I'd probably buy it on the spot. :-)
April 30, 2021, 8:49 AM · Lend me a few Peccattes and Tourtes to study, and I shall send you to the nearest substitutes.
April 30, 2021, 10:09 AM · Jesus died for our peccattes
April 30, 2021, 3:10 PM · But if you add all of the attributed ones up, you'd be able to make a good dozen True Crosses.
April 30, 2021, 3:29 PM · If that would need to be my burden, then for the good of the world, I would bear them.
April 30, 2021, 3:37 PM · I'll bet! Careful in Customs.


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