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JFDilmando
Oct-04-2009, 7:13pm
What is the history of the Loar up for Auction ... in the Archive it notes Block inlay, 50's finish and refinish by Steve Gilchrist... it obviously has no block inlay now, so the entire fingerboard is replaced ? was the finish in bad shape, or was it just heavy terrible stuff ?
has anyone seen this Loar lately, or played it ?? what is its particular sound, and temperment ?? Any info would be of interest given that it is actually "available"...

Thanks all....
BTW... I recieved a letter from Grisman on Provenance of a Gilchrist I acquired... thanks for all the help from you all...

JohnD

Darryl Wolfe
Oct-05-2009, 8:26am
The instrument was refinished and re-fingerboarded by Gilchrist while Ken Walthan owned it. This was to make it look "right"

JFDilmando
Oct-05-2009, 9:41pm
Thanks, Darryl.
Do you know what Ken thought of the sound on this particular Loar ?? or have you ever had it in your hands ?

johnD

Darryl Wolfe
Oct-06-2009, 12:20pm
He made a post about it somewhere here. I have not seen it (the mandolin)

Darryl Wolfe
Oct-06-2009, 12:21pm
here is Kens post from LPOD

75319 was my F5. I bought it after I had bought the sidebound July 9 from mando Bros. It was a block inlay 1950's fingerboard and 50's refinish at the time. All parts and case were original, so, having sent the July 9 to Oz for Steve to work on, I decided to send this one as well. At the time, Steve had two original Feb 18's there, so, he had a good colour match to work from.
It is easily the best Gilchrist refinish on a Loar that I have seen to date.
The day it arrived, he called me, and said there was a koala bear sitting on the box, on his front porch.

Ken
__________________
KB Waltham

Links
Oct-06-2009, 8:16pm
I'm just guessing that the auction house did not mention the replaced fingerboard or refinishing! Just a guess!

BradKlein
Oct-07-2009, 8:59am
I'm just guessing that the auction house did not mention the replaced fingerboard or refinishing! Just a guess!

You're welcome to call Skinner and ask for information, and look on their website where it clearly says the instrument has been refinished. Are you implying that Skinner is not an honest dealer?

f5loar
Oct-07-2009, 1:23pm
If they only disclosed the refinish and not the replaced fingerboard,etc then it would imply they failed to disclose all the details. When you are in that price range you sorta would like to know which screws were changed out.
Dishonest? No, but misinformed and failure to completely disclose maybe ! Could be if you ask them they will tell you other things not disclosed in the summary description.

JFDilmando
Oct-07-2009, 1:41pm
I never meant to imply any dishonesty on anyones part.... please !!!
If I was going to get into bidding on this, it would make sense to ask for an onsite look and description, which Skinner, or any reputable auction house would be happy to do...
Or...... I could ask those here in the Cafe what their collective memory is regarding this instrument... This forum is about as informed on mando's as any group can be ,,,, anywhere in the world...

I am not implying anything... lets not pick fights over non existent beefs....

thanks for all the insight and knowledge shared on this instrument, so far.

JohnD

BradKlein
Oct-07-2009, 4:01pm
Hey John, I was directing my comment to the anonymous poster who I quoted, not at you as OP.

Just seemed like a cheap pot shot to me, since the item IS listed as refinished at Skinners. Even major condition issues are sometimes (often?) NOT listed at the big auction houses, and I don't think that amounts to fraud in most cases.

I think there is an understanding that buyers can talk to the experts there, and have to make their own judgements on many issues. It's a subtly different standard between an auction house and a dealer.

I presume they don't write detailed catalogue copy in part, so as not to be held to it in the case of litigation - which I hear is not uncommon in the world of the big auction houses. So there is an element of buyer beware. in the case of a store, one is paying in part for the dealer's judgement and reputation for standing behind what they sell.

On the other hand, in the big auction catalogues one doesn't have to read, "this is quite possibly the BEST sounding XXX ever made!", over and over.

Links
Oct-07-2009, 4:03pm
You're welcome to call Skinner and ask for information, and look on their website where it clearly says the instrument has been refinished. Are you implying that Skinner is not an honest dealer?

JohnD - I think BradKlein was referring to my post and not your questions.

Brad - I agree with Tom's post and was not implying that Skinner's was dishonest in any way. To the best of my knowledge, they have never been nailed by our legal system as per Sotheby's and Christies. Many auction companies do not offer "condition reports", sometimes because they just don't know, as Tom suggested. Sometimes, they do know and just do not offer it either by choice, and often even when asked. If interested, best to look at it yourself and make you own evaluation.

Glassweb
Oct-07-2009, 4:17pm
true what Links says above... it's really the responsibility of all bidders to find out as much about the item they plan to bid on BEFORE any bidding is done. it doesn't matter whether it's Ebay or Sotheby's... best not to trust anyone with your money.

Links
Oct-08-2009, 8:22am
This brings up another interesting questions - the vaule of a refinished Loar. Some may have been sold recently and have an idea, but I don't recall one. Any guesses what this one will go for. A "general" rule has been that a refinished instrument is worth 50% of what a similar original is. With the economy as such does this perhaps change a little (or a lot)?

BradKlein
Oct-08-2009, 9:37am
Spring of '07, I had a chance to play a Gilchrist refinished Loar at Larry Wexer's.
Signed 13 June 1923.
I thought it was a very nice instrument and priced well under $100K, at a time when the market was somewhat stronger.
I don't know what it actually went for, and I'm no expert on pricing high end instruments, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Skinner estimates were pretty close.

Links
Oct-08-2009, 10:08am
My guess would be toward the lower end of the estimate, but who knows!

Glassweb
Oct-08-2009, 2:33pm
at this time it might not even hit the reserve... we'll see...

kudzugypsy
Oct-08-2009, 3:24pm
depends (as always) on the number of bidders - in years past, you may have 6+ serious bidders on a loar - now, you may have only 1 or 2 or none. the thing about this auction is there really isnt much that i see to cause a gasp in the market mentality one way or the other. i mean, if the loar goes for $75k, well, its not original - if it goes for $100k, then its still not gonna help those $225k+ loars out there sell. what we "need" is an auction lot of really good pieces to set some kind of present value - right now, its just stuff sitting for over a year with 2007 prices in the hopes someone wins the lotto and goes on a spree.

Glassweb
Oct-08-2009, 4:00pm
in the past year a few really nice Loars and Ferns have sold and they've brought very healthy prices, though not like a couple of years back. the prices that a few dealers are currently asking for Loars are, to me, not realistic with the current market situation. stay tuned Loar fans...

Brian Aldridge
Oct-08-2009, 8:19pm
pardon my ignorance, but where is this mandolin being auctioned?

Rich Evans
Oct-08-2009, 8:54pm
Brian,

It is being auctioned by Skinner in Boston on Oct. 11th. You can find it online via google.

Rich Michaud
Oct-09-2009, 4:50pm
I went to Skinner's today to check out the Loar. There it was with new strings in slack mode. I turner her up, and sat there for about 45 minutes playing away having a blast. It is a great mandolin with a lot of pop and a big sound. It is loud and responsive-more than the 4 other Loars that I have tried. There are no apparent issues, cracks, sinkage or anything else materially adverse that I could see, feel or hear. It is similar to my Dudenbostel-which is a Loar copy. Whoever gets this will have a great sounding instrument. I know that Steve Gil. refinished it etc. -so what in my book-He probably improved it.

By the way, I showed David Bonsey (I am not sure of the spelling of his last name) at Skinner this thread on his computer and he got a kick out of the comments. The instrument is available to be checked out in person by any serious buyer.
Rich Michaud

Glassweb
Oct-09-2009, 5:02pm
and there you go... i do believe Rich knows a thing or two about fine mandolins!

BradKlein
Oct-11-2009, 10:28pm
Sold for $70K (the low end of the estimate), according to the web site. I don't know if that includes fees to the auction house.

AlanN
Oct-12-2009, 3:55am
Steve Gil. refinished it etc. -so what in my book-He probably improved it.

:mandosmiley:

kudzugypsy
Oct-12-2009, 7:30am
according to the results page - $70k included the buyers premium.

Links
Oct-12-2009, 11:45am
That's about what several of us predicted (or guessed). I was actually a little surprised, as in my opinion most (cetainly not all) players/collectors are looking for "all original" and would have no interest in this mandolin. I am not necessarily in that "camp", but many buyers need to know when they buy something at that price level, they can turn around and sell it for what they have in it. I think it is always easiest to sell the "best" regardless of the price. That said, especially after Rich's assessment of the mandolin, sounds like the new owner got a very fine mandolin at a fair price - can't ask for much more than that. Congrats to the new owner!

Rich Michaud
Oct-12-2009, 6:29pm
I find it fascinating that it sold for 70K. Does that mean that a refinishing of an instrument reduces the price to one half the value of a clean Loar which I believe have been selling from 150,00 to 225,00? Is this indicative of the decline in high end instruments and art work and real estate because of the recession? Here was a perfectly good Loar-albeit refinished at less than one half the expected price of a clean Loar. This tells me to stay the hell out of the high end market. Rich

Glassweb
Oct-12-2009, 6:43pm
here's my take... this mandolin was actually refinished twice ... Ken Waltham mentioned this in his post. also, the fingerboard has been replaced twice ... again, not the sort of thing that collectors of high-end American collectible instruments are looking for. granted, one of the best (if not THE best) did the current refinishing work, but the mandolin has definitely been far removed from "excellent, all original condition". and so it goes. as someone who has bought a number of Loars and Ferns i'll say that i've never objected to paying top-dollar for top tier instruments, as i feel that in the end, these are the ones that will at least retain their value the best. the fact that somebody just paid $70,000.00 for a twice-worked-over Loar is actually an encouraging sign to me. hey, but that's just me... ;)

Ken Waltham
Oct-12-2009, 9:00pm
I agree completely, Steve.
I have been saying for years that the gap between collector and player is ever widening.
Same between Loars and Ferns. There is only one " number one" grade, and the rest fall behind.
I used to say to Lynn, and he'd laugh, that " a Loar is a Loar, and a Fern is not".
Same with a refin, or modified instrument. When you get to the high end, condition is everything.
Ken

f5loar
Oct-12-2009, 9:58pm
Like in real estate where it is "location,location,location" in vintage instruments it is "condition,condition,condition" that sells for the most.

Darryl Wolfe
Oct-13-2009, 8:13am
Like Steven said, I am encouraged by the price it brought. Of course this is something only a Loar owner can say. This is sortof like hoping the stock market rebounds and we just had a good day

It also speaks good to the merit of redoing a redone Loar to get it as close to original looks as possible

Links
Oct-13-2009, 8:18am
I agree totally with the last four posts, although I am not as "fascinated" as Rich that it sold for
70K. I thought I was being generous in guessing that it would sell for the bottom end of the estimate. You could argue that the actual price was only about $51,000 or a little less (if the buyers premium was 18% and the sellers commission was 15%). It seems like to me that it could have sold at a private sale for at least somewhere between 51K and 70K.

I guess the bottom line is that these top of the line instruments, with issues, are just not going to even approach 50% of the value of an original. Although not a musical instrument, try selling a piece of American antique cut glass with a chip or a crack for 50 % of it's value!

Mandoist
Oct-13-2009, 9:24am
My mother once told me this fact of life...

When it comes to Loar's instruments there will always be more inexperienced appraisers and experts than owners.

Guess there always have been, and always will be?


:))

Links
Oct-13-2009, 11:31am
Just curios Kevin - what is it about owning one that makes a person an expert on either the instrument or the appraisal of one. Perhaps you were referring to all of us, one of us, or a few of us. I did notice that you did not venture a guess about the value before the end of the auction.

I went back and read the posts and I think just about everyone was right on the money!

Mandoist
Oct-13-2009, 1:18pm
Just curios Kevin - what is it about owning one that makes a person an expert on either the instrument or the appraisal of one.


I didn't imply owners were experts nor able appraisers. Though a few are obviously able and expert.

I do enjoy reading posts and hearing thoughts from those who share their own expertise on what the actual market value should be, and what may or may not drive that figure. I tend to sit back comfortably, knowing an auction or economy will not devalue a Strad violin nor a Loar mandolin. So I just sit and wait for a buyer for the one I have, with no intention of offering any economic discounts, and with no worries about auction prices, etc.

What I do not understand is why Strad prices are driven so high (in the millions) when there are so many more of them than Loars? More popular? Classical musicians & fans have more money?


:confused:

woodwizard
Oct-13-2009, 1:28pm
When I checked out the site today it says it sold for $62,500. (probably doesn't count fees maybe?) Nice looking mando.

danb
Oct-13-2009, 1:40pm
What I do not understand is why Strad prices are driven so high (in the millions) when there are so many more of them than Loars? More popular? Classical musicians & fans have more money?

:confused:


A longer tradition of appreciation, and more people willing to pay the price to own and listen to them...

mrmando
Oct-13-2009, 1:59pm
Well, it's only 85 years since the last Loars were made. Anyone happen to know what Strads were selling for in 1800?

Links
Oct-13-2009, 2:31pm
Kevin - I don't think the difference in numbers produced between the Strads (around 500) and the Loars (probably a little less that 300) would account for the big difference in price. First off, some of the professionals that own and play Strads have huge incomes compared to many of the professionals that play mandolins. Wealthy individuals, be they supporters, benefactors, etc. in classical music probably out number mandolin supporters ten to one or more. People whom have heard of Strads probably out number people that have heard of Loars a hundred to one. I don't see much of a comparison.

You own a great Loar and I don't blame you for not taking a dime less than you are asking (actually I thought it had been sold), but you are probably in a position where you don't have to sell it. Your scenario has nothing to do with the current market price of Loars. The market price is set by what someone is willing to pay for one that is for sale. Market price is set by buyers, not sellers.

kudzugypsy
Oct-14-2009, 8:07am
i have no idea why this Strad=Loar deal aways comes up regarding how high Loar prices can go. there are millions of violinists in the world, in every country, every culture uses the violin in all genres of music - the mandolin is NO WHERE NEAR this popular and it never will be - its a minute part of the game.
i digress here but...
someone mentioned a Strads value in 1800 - well, Strads were not even in vogue until the mid-1800s, nearly 140 years after they were made as most artists preferred the Amati and Stainer sound, as it was more "pleasant to the ear" - these were WAY more desired than the Strad. As music changed the new demands made the Strad/Guarini more desired for its power (after a new longer scale neck was installed - so much for the originality factor). Amati had the idea and the later italian makers improved on that design -so who knows the long term historical role of the loar - it could become the Amati of the mandolin world over the next 100 years - not to even mention the loar's main genre is BG music as of today - if it were to disappear in 50 years, a loar would be right there with the tenor/plectrum banjo.

i also cant understand the belief that the run up in loar (and vintage instruments in general) over the last 10+ years can be explained by the fact they are limited & "not made anymore" and it has nothing to do with....a bubble/speculation - just 12 years ago, you could buy a mint July 9 '23 from Elderly for $45K. i love old instruments just like everyone here, and have just as much skin in the game as anyone else with a stash of pre-war stuff, but i can see the holes in the dike with this present mindset that its all gonna come back next year. the 20% appreciation year over year that was going on is just not coming back. Loars could settle at $125-150K and the market would be fine and healthy.

Links
Oct-14-2009, 10:51am
Amen Kudzu! Like you, I have a lot of "skin in the game", but have never thought just because I own a fair share of pre-war instruments that they were "bulletproof" in regards to financial ups and downs, popularity, etc., etc. They will be worth whatever they bring when me or my children decide to sell them. I can deal with whatever they might bring, not because I like losing money, but because I accept the risk that goes along with owning a collectible. Anything that appreciates in value quickly can also depreciate quickly in value!

Glassweb
Oct-14-2009, 10:52am
when (if) the money comes back, the market will come right back too. another thing... Chris Thile's forays into the classical world almost insure a new interest in Loar F5's. given that the signed Loar F5 is the closest thing America has to a signed Strad, i can't help but feel that the value of these things will eventually go up. the mandolin is more popular than ever, and this will, over time, be reflected in new record prices for the nicer examples.

f5loar
Oct-14-2009, 11:42am
Links has it right. When we are dead and gone or sell when needed the price will be the price and not much you can do about it today. As far as collectibles/investments go I sure enjoy picking on mine! Art pieces seem to just hang on the wall. Cars tend to burn up gas/upkeep. Those little wooden ducks collect dust.
For what it's worth the new issue of Vintage Guitar has an article that says the prewar desireable Martins seemed to have squeeked by the ressesion this time and have only gone up in value during it. A really clean prewar Martin is as hard to come by as a clean Loar. And we must also realize that what we say here does not accurately reflect what is being traded/sold behind closed doors. There are lots of private Loar deals going on each year you never hear about. We don't have a Barrett/Jackson TV show where we can see the price daily on our Plasma screens.
We only get a small sample going through Skinner/Gruhns/Elderly/Mando Bros/Mando Central/etc.
By the time it got to those guys it's likely been passed over by the big buck buyers.

mrmando
Oct-14-2009, 1:57pm
I'm giving up on mandolins as an investment, and will start searching for paintings that resemble this one (http://www.timeslive.co.za/news/world/article151434.ece).

mandotool
Oct-14-2009, 5:55pm
A question for the very distinguished panel of contributors here..

When i take a look at our community... i cant help but notice a sea of silver hair..(For the most part)..
While I would like to believe that my small herd of old manalins will have some value to my kids some day...I just dont see the demographics or the US economy supporting this..
I would like to hear your thoughts on this.....More about the demand curve verse the demographics..and less on the economy(I think we have enough geniuses out there sorting that out)..
Thanks in advance

f5loar
Oct-14-2009, 8:53pm
Last I looked Chris Thile is not grey headed yet. Just this past weekend I saw a 14 year old playing Nickel Creek stuff on his new Weber F. As long as the music lives and Loars/Ferns/etc are being used I see the next generation also wanting to catch the mojo of the mystic when they are able to afford it. You can still find tenor banjo pickers today in the thousands. Just have to hunt to find them. Go to a FIGA Convention and you will find them.

Links
Oct-15-2009, 7:52am
when (if) the money comes back, the market will come right back too. another thing... Chris Thile's forays into the classical world almost insure a new interest in Loar F5's. given that the signed Loar F5 is the closest thing America has to a signed Strad, i can't help but feel that the value of these things will eventually go up. the mandolin is more popular than ever, and this will, over time, be reflected in new record prices for the nicer examples.

I agree with your first and last sentence, but don't think Chris Thile's foray into classical will have anything to do with it. As long as there are a few folks with money that want these things, I don't think even more popularity will make them more valuable exponentially.

mrmando
Oct-17-2009, 1:24pm
Well, here's a new wrinkle: a Gil-refinished Loar (presumably 75319) was listed with Skinner but didn't meet the owner's reserve price, and is now for sale (http://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi?search_and_display_db_button=on&db_id=37297&query=retrieval) in the Cafe Classifieds.

f5loar
Oct-17-2009, 8:27pm
Wow! They had 2 of them with same serial no. I think 9 or so people here confimed at least one of them sold at Skinner and now another one just like it shows up that didn't sell. Amazing, simply amazing. Me thinks one of them might be a Fake Loar.

Brian Aldridge
Oct-17-2009, 8:56pm
Mandotool, here is a link to an article written by George Gruhn that you may find of interest.

http://www.guitars.com/newsletter/newsltr16.html

Tom, I just think people assumed the Loar sold, although it is up there where Ken Cartwright says they crank the fakes out....

mrmando
Oct-17-2009, 9:22pm
Well, Tom, the Classifieds ad doesn't mention a serial number, but it does say the Loar in question was refinished by Gilchrist and recently listed with Skinner, and it mentions Ken Waltham. Several of us have looked up the final price listed at the Skinner Web site, but that's not the same thing as confirming an actual sale.

If it turns out that I'm leaping to conclusions and the instrument listed on the Classifieds actually is a different one, I apologize in advance. It's just a boat ride away from me, although that may not matter since I don't have enough coin to make an offer on it.

Links
Oct-18-2009, 12:09pm
Well, here's a new wrinkle: a Gil-refinished Loar (presumably 75319) was listed with Skinner but didn't meet the owner's reserve price, and is now for sale (http://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi?search_and_display_db_button=on&db_id=37297&query=retrieval) in the Cafe Classifieds.

And to think that some of us here had the nerve to question the integrity of the large auctions houses! (not Skinner specifically, but the "biggies" in general). I don't think this is in the same category as Christies and Sotherby's transgressions, but certainly does not add to their perception of trustworthiness!

I also echo Mr. Mando's advance apology if indeed I have leaped to the wrong conclusion! I should add that I hope the owner of the one in our classifieds has a successful sale!

Rich Michaud
Oct-25-2009, 4:51pm
I am certain that it is the same instrument because I talked to the owner who is a very honorable person. The auction price was $60,000, the 62,500 number is, per my guess, the house bidding to get it to the reserve number which it did not reach. The instrument is for sale-is not a fake, and in my opinion, an excellent mandolin. Why it did not bring a higher number has nothing to do with the sound, tone, playability or condition except that it has been refinished and the fingerboard replaced and restored. Its a lot of money to most folks these days but the owner would like to sell it. Perhaps we could form a consortium of cafers and buy it collectively as the Mando Cafe Loar.
We could do Loar shares-like time shares. Anyone interested? Rich Michaud

mrmando
Oct-25-2009, 5:48pm
I'm in. If we divide the shares up on an annual basis, I can afford to play the Loar between breakfast and lunch every Feb. 29.