Non-mint Dominique Peccatte bows
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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
Wow really? Interesting.
Button does not mean eye, its the whole thumbscrew assembly, I believe
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?
If the crack is in the frog as opposed to the stick above the frog, that's pretty minor
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
It has been forever since I have used a Peccatte. It was amazing, however.
My 2 cents. Buy it.
I think you need to make sure it has a reputable certificate, if it doesn't selling it might become a nightmare
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."
Jeez, just cut the bow in half and buy both halves!
I understand gluten-free. But non-mint?
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.
No the other thing that can devalue a bow is if the top expert says its not a Peccatte or a workshop bow, seriously
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.
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.
The investment market is characteristically ridiculous however.
I have that cracking issue with my Charles Peccatte bow.It seems to be a cosmetic issue only.
IF someone can detect that a replacement button by a skilled copyist is not original.
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.
I think that for an amateur, the split of "player" vs. "collector" is not as clean.
Invest all your money into dogecoin today, buy a Pecatte tomorrow.
Dogecoin is over.
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.
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.
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.
As long as everything is insured with up to date appraisals.
Who would put it on a music stand? That's insane.
The guy who drives a Ferrari risks totalling it in an accident every time he takes it out of the garage.
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.
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).
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.
@John and John. I do appreciate your considered responses that reassure me I'm not just muttering to myself.
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.
"...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..."
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.
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!
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.
"Bowcoin". Love that.
As a perpetual hunter of high-quality equipment who would certainly
Lend me a few Peccattes and Tourtes to study, and I shall send you to the nearest substitutes.
Jesus died for our peccattes
But if you add all of the attributed ones up, you'd be able to make a good dozen True Crosses.
If that would need to be my burden, then for the good of the world, I would bear them.
I'll bet! Careful in Customs.