View Full Version : Valuation of old(er) pipes
This is a question I seem to get at least a couple of times each week :shrug: and from both sides too - I mean, people buying, and people thinking of selling.
I think a lot of us would be really interested in your answer(s) to the question of 'How can one determine the value of an old set of pipes?'
FWIW - my suggestion usually is to find an expert (such as you), and have them look at the instrument. But obviously, in some cases that may not be a solution...
05-21-2003, 08:42 AM
Fair Retail Market Value is generally described as the value agreed upon by buyer and seller, given full disclosure and with both parties being knowledgeable on the subject matter.
Let's say that I'm in the market for an old Henderson (for personal use & not for resale) and I want original engraved silver with ivory. From watching listings and talking with sellers and buyers I know that Retail Market Value is somewhere between $4,500 and $5,500 USD. That's where I start. Now I take the following into consideration:
1) how anxious is the seller to sell
2) is there anything that would discount the value of the bagpipe
a) cracks, warps, or other damage to the wood
b) missing or damaged fixtures
c) non-original parts
d) other considerations
The buyer and seller try to find that point where they're both happy, all matters considered. What I mean here is that if I'm looking for a fast sale I might take less than full value in order to complete the sale. If on the other hand I'm in no hurry to sell, I can afford to wait for full value. As they say, timing is everything.
Now this example was easy. What about that box of parts that you saw on EBAY or the old bagpipe stuck under the bed down the road. Often what I find is that the cost of acquiring, repairing, and restoring these old relics is far greater than buying a good set of new pipes. Also, if you're thinking of selling the restored bagpipe you end up with a long list of repairs/conditions that may devalue the end product. Often the original cost of the bagpipe plus the cost of repairs far surpasses the end value of the bagpipe.
The other consideration is that you can put the time and expense into one of these older sets and still wind up with a so-so bagpipe. Just because it's a hundred years old doesn't mean that it's classic.
I often act as a resource or go-between for buyers and sellers alike. What I do is to represent the instrument without prejudice. If I see something that I like or dislike I point it out for both sides to consider. I don't try to establish a value. I let buyers and sellers do that based on the information that I provide.
05-21-2003, 04:42 PM
I hope you don't mind a follow up question here.
I suppose there is the present value in a vintage set of pipes that some one is willing to pay and conversly let go of, the above mentioned agreement between two parties.
My point is what about replacement value, say if they are stollen or totaly destroyed? One would hope to replace them with pipes of equal value/quality, a statement of replacement value would be very valuble for insurance purposes.
I ask this as I have a vintage set and have been able to trace their provinance (sp?) exactly and their replacement cost would be enormous. I realize not all pipes could be traced so well but the loss of a vintage silver & ivory set to be replaced with a modern pipe would quite a challenge. Older Glens, Hendersons etc. to be replaced with ....what?
05-21-2003, 06:20 PM
Excellent point. What do I tell my insurance company? They think I'm stuffed in the head already when I told them about my Georgian Piano!
05-24-2003, 06:00 AM
I wanted to get to this question earlier. There is probably more than one way of looking at this. Insurance companies will insure just about anything....for a price. Musical instruments present a bit of a challenge however if your instrument is well-documented by pictures and words you shouldn't have any trouble finding an insurer.
In establishing a value, you can get an expert opinion of value or you can document what similar bagpipes are selling for through various "classified" sites on the Internet. It's really not hard to see that full ivory Henderson pipes Pre WWI command about $3,000 USD of so.
I know of insurance claims that were paid on the basis of an expert opinion of value and good documentation.
How do you establish replacement value? Go to the high end of the price range. Provide your insurer with some alternative such as a "new classic of equal value". Again, your premiums will be directly tied to price and availability of a suitable replacement. If I had a pristine Donald MacDonald bagpipe, I'm not sure that I would insure it for more than $7,500. Reasons? You're not going to find anyother DM pipe for sale and the premiums to try to insure on that basis would be extremely high. On the other hand, $7,500 would purchase you an excellent replacement bagpipe and your premiums wouldn't be too outrageous.
Best to talk with your insurer on all the small print.