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Author Topic: No antique value  (Read 710 times)
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BillO
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« on: Sep 10, 2017, 06:50AM »

Why is it trombones carry little or no antique value?

Even the finest specimens of 100 YO trombones sell for only a fraction of their adjusted original cost.

A friend of mine recently sold a glass ashtray from 1918 for $575.  I'd be lucky to get $100 for my Conn 2H.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 10, 2017, 07:01AM »

Prices are based on desirability.  Nobody wants ancient brass instruments except for period players.  On the other hand, there are collectors for everything from matchbooks to vases.  It's a market issue.  If the old horn plays well, just play it and forget about value.  I have a 1925 Olds that I like to take out for a spin every so often.
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Bruce Guttman
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JohnL
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 10, 2017, 07:39AM »

Consider the possible demand. With few exceptions, no one is going to buy any trombone who is not a trombone player. Small population already. Now whittle that already small population down because most trombone players lack either the resources or the desire to acquire an instrument that they can't play regularly.

When I was actively building my Olds collection, there were usually no more than one or two other "serious" bidders", and some of them weren't interested in building a collection - they were looking to resell the instrument at a profit later on.

Vintage instruments that are still playable in modern settings (e.g., Cleveland 2B's, Elkie 88H's and 6H's, Williams 6's) do command a premium (though usually still less than their original selling price adjusted for inflation).
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harrison.t.reed
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 10, 2017, 08:09AM »

Also there are no Stradivarius level trombones out there. Brass instruments don't get better with age, and unlike a Strad violin, which really does sound like 4 million dollars in the hands of a very skilled violinist, the best modern trombones usually sound and play better than the horns they were based on from the 20s - 50s, and are readily available.

Sure, there will be Elkhart fans who will pooh pooh what I've just said. Let's say they're right. The difference between a great vintage Elkhart or Earl Williams vs. a modern trombone is STILL not the same as a Strad against a great modern violin because 90% or more of the sound you get out of a brass instrument depends on the player.

And even looking at history, no trombone has ever played the amount of music with as many owners as a Strad.

" This violin was used for the premiere of [insert 6 or 7 of the most well known violin concertos here]"

The trombone is not like that.
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 10, 2017, 08:44AM »

The difference between a great vintage Elkhart or Earl Williams vs. a modern trombone is STILL not the same as a Strad against a great modern violin because 90% or more of the sound you get out of a brass instrument depends on the player.


Actually, Cremonese violins (Stradivari, Amatii, Guarnerii etc.) are regularly losing out to modern violins in blind testing. Violinists can't reliably hear differences, and when they do they prefer the modern instruments. This result has been overblown in some media, but violinists are beginning to acknowledge that they don't need a million dollar instrument. Good modern violins aren't cheap (you could own a complete set of Shires or Rath or Edwards trombones from alto to contra and spend less than you would on a good modern violin) but they aren't in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

http://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/20175/21158/
https://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21721891-so-say-concert-goers-new-york-and-paris-modern-violins-are-better
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/07/stradivarius-violins-arent-better-than-new-ones-round-two/
The National Geographic article is particularly good -- it presents graphics that show how the scoring came out.
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 10, 2017, 09:02AM »

Done properly, an antique ashtray will hold BOTH an incinerated set of bagpipes, and an incinerated bassoon, there is the value of the ashtray, right there.
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 10, 2017, 09:49AM »

Old horns can gain some value if they were known to be played by someone interesting or if they have a special serial number.

In general though, it's not necessarily a bad thing that old trombones don't get value-inflated. It means that in terms of playability, you generally get what you pay for.
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Alex
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 10, 2017, 09:50AM »

Done properly, an antique ashtray will hold BOTH an incinerated set of bagpipes, and an incinerated bassoon, there is the value of the ashtray, right there.

And you can make a lot of those ashtrays from a trombone
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Matt K

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« Reply #8 on: Sep 10, 2017, 10:46AM »

People use ashtrays as decoration or, for holding actual ashes.  I'd bet there are a lot more smokers than trombonists  ;-)
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BillO
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 10, 2017, 11:06AM »

People use ashtrays as decoration or, for holding actual ashes.  I'd bet there are a lot more smokers than trombonists  ;-)
I have my Conn 2H over my bar.  Lots of folks ask about it, so I take it down and play it for them.  Decoration and play-ability in one old classic.
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 10, 2017, 11:11AM »

A Fuchs bass trombone would sell for a lot more than that ashtray.
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 10, 2017, 11:25AM »

A Fuchs bass trombone would sell for a lot more than that ashtray.

Unless, of course, the ashtray in question was previously owned by Elvis, or by some other famous person whos memorabilia is sought after.
Even an ashtray made from a Fuchs bass might be worth more if it were previously owned by Elvis, than a fully working Fuchs bass being purchased to play.

Now, if Picasso were to have butchered a Fuchs bass and fashioned an ashtray from it, we could be talking millions.
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CharlieB
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 10, 2017, 12:18PM »

Done properly, an antique ashtray will hold BOTH an incinerated set of bagpipes, and an incinerated bassoon, there is the value of the ashtray, right there.

^^^^^  Amen to that !!!!!
I'll provide the matches.
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 10, 2017, 03:10PM »

I know how you can raise the price.

Publish a "price guide book" that states a high value for your trombone. 

It's worked for other collectables like comic books and cars.
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MrPillow
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« Reply #14 on: Sep 10, 2017, 05:46PM »

Comparing trombones from the early 20th century doesn't really seem analogous to the trade in 17th and 18th century Cremonese violins. Look at the prices of 17th century trombones over the last few decades, and they paint a bit of a different picture. Some have sold for upwards of $35,000. An increase in value certainly, but that kind of money is being shelled out by museums - not people who intend to play them.
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« Reply #15 on: Sep 10, 2017, 11:04PM »

" This violin was used for the premiere of [insert 6 or 7 of the most well known violin concertos here]"

The trombone is not like that.

Hard to reach that level when  there aren't 6 or 7 well known trombone concertos.
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harrison.t.reed
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« Reply #16 on: Sep 11, 2017, 05:24AM »

Exactly. The trombone is not like that.
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« Reply #17 on: Sep 11, 2017, 06:50AM »

Value is subjective, and is in the eye of the beholder...or the buyer.  Everything has value to the right person. 
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Rich Woolworth
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« Reply #18 on: Sep 11, 2017, 09:13AM »

Value is subjective, and is in the eye of the beholder...or the buyer.  Everything has value to the right person. 

Which is exactly why it's hard to get people don't spend so much on antique brass instruments. There's really only a few people who fall into the category of the "right" person.... everyone else seems to just be out to make a buck
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