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Letter: Price of Vintage Instruments

Letter: Price of Vintage Instruments

by John Calkin

Originally published in American Lutherie #61, 2000


Chris Foss isn’t the only one baffled by the cost of vintage instruments. I’ve wanted to believe right from the start that the vintage scene was a shuck created by a few knowledgeable dealers who spread their gospel from regular columns in the music rags. The truth, no doubt, is that any old thing you can point to is interesting to someone, and that once enough people show an interest that thing becomes collectible and the price shoots up.

Some objects are life enhancing, and different people find different objects. Folks who collect old porcelain don’t eat off their collection. Antique chairs may never be allowed to perch a human. There are no doubt instrument collectors who never play their guitars. It’s not a shame, it’s just the way it is.

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