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High end bow as an investment?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Robin Ruscio, Jun 4, 2011.


  1. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    One of local symphony members came by to check out my bass which is for sale for a friend of his. He was surprised to learn the price I paid for my Robert Dow French bow; he said it was worth quite a bit more now as his prices and demand had gone up.

    He also brought his satory, easily the best bow I had ever played; it was convincing to try it on my bass which I know so well.

    It got me thinking about whether I might be able to rationalize a bow upgrade for myself as a sound financial investment. Im fortunate enough to save a good chunk of my income into a Roth IRA, which has done fine since I started, especially given the crisis of last few years.

    I wondered if I took the same amount of money Ive been investing over a year and used it to upgrade to a bow which is likely to appreciate over the next 40 years if I would do well with it. Obviously old have to love the bow as well, but if thought I could earn some value in it that would be great. It would obviously have to be something in high demand, and while I can't afford a satory, I could probably commission a Sue Lipkin an have enough saved by the time it was completed to pay for it.

    What do you think? Feasible? My experience with the Dow is that it made as much as the market over the last 7 years since I bought it.

    I should mention I'm not an orchestra player but I do love the bow and play and practice with it all the time. I think my audiences seem to respond very positively to my bowed solos and much more so since I got the Dow.
     
  2. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    The rule of thumb with instrument investment is to buy it and enjoy it if you can afford it without considering the investment return. Then if it does make money it's icing on the cake like any other collectible.
     
  3. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    Always true- I guess I'd have a hard time justifying (rationalizing?)it otherwise. This Dow is solid already, the gains for my career may be nil.

    Probably just GAS but I'll be trying some higher quality bow out at the ISB next week anyway.

    Btw, Roy, my student Oliver Smith will be starting with you soon at Belmont. Hes been improving a lot since he started with me last fall. I think you'll like working with him.
     
  4. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Great! I'm looking forward to working with him. Make sure he logs a lot of bow time, thanks! :)
     
  5. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    He's not gotten an upright yet- :(. I love teaching the bow so I'm disappointed. I'll bug him again about it.
     
  6. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    It may be that a bow would appreciate at an attractive rate. My Morizot is certainly worth more now than it was 40, 30, 20, or even 10 years ago, theoretically. But who would buy it, if I ever want to sell (I won't, in my case), and when?

    Another thing to consider, I think, is the relative liquidity of bows/instruments, as assets. We see some of these vintage bows stay up for sale for years, sometimes, at some of the dealers.

    If/when one wants to turn a bow or instrument into cash, will one be able to wait for months or years for the sale? Or, as happens more often, will the need/desire for cash create pressure to reduce pricing?

    I say, +1 to doing it because you like the bow. If it appreciates, great. If you can ever sell it, great. But to need the money for retirement or a mortgage down payment, I don't think so...
     
  7. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Just let him know that the earlier he gets an upright and starts working on it the less the learning curve when he gets here-and he will have to study it as an Electric Bass Major. Also let him know that I encourage my students to get their own instruments if they can afford them so they don't have to fight for time on the limited amount of school basses we have here.
     

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