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Value of old tonewoods?


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I have a couple billets from a shop that closed in the ’70s that I’m considering passing along. I know value will vary piece by piece but I’m curious what a ballpark dollar value would be for 50+ year old bookmatched sets of maple and / or spruce? I have some solid billets as well but a good bit of the bookmatched sets have a GERMANY stamp on them, which makes me think they’re a good bit older than the ’70s.

These must have been sourced commercially—I know they’re nothing groundbreaking.

Hoping folks here that might have been paying better attention to auctions and such can give me a rough guess. I know I should just put them on eBay (and I probably will) but I have a severe allergy to that platform.

If there’s an outfit that buys this kind of thing up that might be useful info too.

Thanks as always for the insight!




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Hmmm, I think they can get stuff still, just have to pay some extra tax. I’m not sure Boris built a Texas border wall, or iron curtain.

I expect most makers will have more than a lifetime of wood in stock, just seems to be the way it is. Once I visited a bow maker in Brussels, and was stunned by the huge amount of Pernambuco logs he had. He admitted he’d never get close to using half.

I’ve also seen that wood dealers offer discount for quantity.

With wood being so heavy (and it’s just wood, tonewood doesn’t exist) it might be easier for the OP to sell it locally or in their country. I think exporting it, the having to re-import whatever didn’t sell wouldn’t work out to be very cost effective.

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On 10/21/2021 at 5:51 PM, Nick Allen said:

If you post these on the luthier exchange here you'd have an easier time selling them.  

The comments so far are likely accurate. Posting the pieces with photos dimensions and weights will likely get replies. There are possible defects within the wood that might it less attractive for buyers, so that is a courtesy one might offer.

Lately, unless the history of the wood is established ( at least in my mind ) it is very difficult to pay in excess of "internet" prices for one or two pieces unless a hobbyist is aching to start a new project.  

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I know there is a specialty wood supplier (Gilmer Woods) local to me that has a selection of wood for instruments. If you have something like that within a reasonable distance maybe they would buy the whole thing. You won't get "top dollar" but you also don't have to deal with dozens of flaky potential buyers. 

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  • 1 month later...

Not to wake this old post when it was comfortably sleeping in the sweet hereafter, but I just finally put a small selection of pieces up on the Luthier Exchange. I’m trying to raise a little money to get my new shop off the ground so any offers are appreciated. Anything that doesn’t move here will likely go to eBay, just FYI. Thanks again for all the guidance!

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