Buying a Burke bow not in perfect condition?

August 23, 2023, 9:45 AM · I'm thinking of buying a Noel Burke bow priced at €7,600. It's a great bow but has a chip on the outside of the frog which has been repaired. Would this be an issue down the road for re-selling? Is €7,600 too much for one of his bows considering it's not in perfect condition?

Replies (12)

Edited: August 23, 2023, 10:21 AM · You might do well to inquire at Maestronet
where experts abide and might be familiar with the retail market.

You would do well to include photos of the damaged area.

You probably know the auction history for his bows indicate this might be a reasonable retail price.

August 28, 2023, 12:10 PM · Thank you for your advice, I appreciate it.
August 28, 2023, 12:14 PM · There may be a time when a tiny chip out of the frog will allow it to be considered near-mint. I have an older bow with that, and it gets huge interest from appraisers. But as Andrew says, it all depends.

I am not sure just how far removed from normal retail this price is. You're not getting a huge benefit from the damage, though.

August 28, 2023, 8:31 PM · If it plays and sounds fantastic I would think it's a good deal. For makers like Mr. Burke I'd reckon values will only go up over time. Is it gold or silver mounted?
Edited: August 29, 2023, 7:31 AM · I would second Andrew's recommendation. Pegbox offers access to highly knowledgable
folks who would have an informed opinion on value and whether it could be restored.....
Value often has little to do with playability. A Voirin with a repaired cracked head might play well but it would be worth a fraction of the value.
(from what I have read)
August 29, 2023, 7:38 AM · You can also go to and look at auction sales for the maker- the Burke's listed show a most recent sale at almost 11k$. A retail price would be very roughly double that. But at those prices you should also expect documentation, letter of authenticity, etc..
August 29, 2023, 1:01 PM · Sometimes items at auction go for full retail in a bidding war so you cannot assume retail is twice the highest auction price, it might be but not always
Edited: August 29, 2023, 4:46 PM · Thanks, Lyndon, for pointing that out.
August 30, 2023, 3:10 PM · The problem you have mentioned does not affect the playability of the bow. It seems you are looking for a tool for making music, so playability is the most important thing.
Edited: August 30, 2023, 9:20 PM · Five years ago when we were bow shopping his wait list for a commission was a year and a half, so it's understandable if a good-playing bow of his sells in a shop at close to the current commission price.
August 31, 2023, 7:46 AM · I don't think Burkes are trading like Rolex Submariners, which are 2x list when bought on the secondary market, but shortages do push up prices.
September 2, 2023, 6:58 PM · I would contact noel and see what he has, or what his waiting list is like...and theres a lot to be said for directly supporting a luthier. But if you really like the bow I doubt that paying a little more or less will matter....after a few years it will owe you nothing.
He's just a superb craftsman.
This is a very enjoyable listen:

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine