Purchasing a quality bow can be a wise investment for your playing and your wallet
Photo: Richard Ward, Ifshin Violins
The last few years have witnessed a dramatic increase in violins and bows as investments. With traditional investments, like real estate and the stock market, not as strong as they once were and interest rates at historic lows, many are scrambling to find investments that pay a better return. As a result, the market for collectible violins and violin bows has been vigorous.
Violins and bows fit into the category of “usable collectibles”—that is, they pay musical and financial dividends. Indeed, the value of fine stringed instruments and bows increases over time, but one must use them to treasure them. And, while the market in both violins and bows continues to grow, bows are especially enjoying some advantages over violins in the current collector market. Bows generally cost less (so they are more accessible) and take less storage room, and while musicians may have one or two instruments, they likely own numerous bows, and so the demand is much higher. And bows offer more bang for your buck—while $10,000 can buy a nice violin, it will buy a first-class French bow from the early 20th century. Furthermore, the number of well-preserved classic bows declines at a faster rate than it does for instruments, adding to bows’ increasing rarity—and value.