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Letter: Price of Vintage Instruments

Letter: Price of Vintage Instruments

by Michael Darnton

Originally published in American Lutherie #61, 2000


Regarding Chris Foss’ letter in AL#60: If Chris would evaluate the pricing of antique instruments from an economist’s viewpoint rather than a politician’s (in the sense of wanting the power to regulate who gets how much of what), he would understand it better.

He says he “understand[s] increases in value with increases in utility, but absolutely do[se]n’t understand increases in value with ‘collectability’.” In fact, utility has almost nothing to do with pricing. As any economist will probably tell you, pricing is a factor of supply and demand: if there are ninety-one pre-war Martin D-45s and no one on the face of the Earth wants them, they will be very cheap. But since there are only ninety-one, and everyone wants them, they are very expensive.

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