Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Pin Cracks' affect on value?


Bownut
 Share

Recommended Posts

Dear Maestronetties, I have a nice old German stick with, as is quite common, a pinned metal face-plate. I noticed recently that there is a small, shortish crack in the back of the head. I was told that this is not tragic for longevity and relatively often seen in, for instance, old Hill bows with metal face-plates. How could this affect the value should I want to sell the bow at some point? Thanks for your help! Yours, Bownut

(Referring to my post of last Saturday: " Nice 3/4 size: Help with ID")

Hello again, Did I do or say something wrong? Is it a silly question? Are the photos not up to scratch? I can safely rule out the possibilty that none of the regulars are able to answer, can't I? And the supporting cast just aren't interested? Maybe I should refer to the Raffin book mentioned here recently but I can't get an online-answer from the Paris office either! The MN Pegbox is a staple part of my daily reading diet: I find it, by turns, entertaining, informative, infuriating and, more than occasionally, seriously thought-provoking! What crime have I committed to deserve being ignored entirely by the complete cast of characters for a whole week? Dejectedly yours, Bownut

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re “value”:

Obviously it is best when a bow (or anything else) is in absolutely perfect, as new condition. Any blemish detracts from this optimal state of affairs, and as a consequence diminishes the “value”. By quite how much is always a source of disagreement. I remember once, I was at a seminar for court experts, and asked the lecturer (who was the president of the Viennese Landesgericht), how he would define depreciation. He answered “In Geld ausgedrückte mistrauen” (engl. Mistrust expressed in an amount of money). You can argue until the cows come home if a “pin crack” is a major or minor blemish or not, you will always find someone who disagrees with you. It would certainly be better if it didn’t have a “pin crack”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nearly all bows with pinned metal faces that I have inspected have this small cracks. Some are so small and/or well glued and touched up that they are invisible without a close look, or can be confused with scratches, but it seems to be typical and characteristic for this way to attach the headplate. Must have to do with wood shrinkage.

Even when the metal was replaced with ebony/ivory a small crack is the usual evidence that it had a metal face before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, martin swan said:

Pin cracks seem to be quite common on French and German bows with metal faces, but it’s rare to see them on a Tubbs or a Hill, although these always have metal faces…

It is a weak point in any bow, and often caused by stuffing too much into the head mortise.

My experience, Hills occasionally, Tubbs often.  It's often enough on Tubbs that I sometimes double check to make sure it's authentic if it doesn't have one (joking, kind of... :)). 

Maybe my experience probably has something to do with these bows exposure to a geographic area with more severe humidity fluctuations than the UK... and the pin style & location used by the maker. One very good bow restorer here developed and produced slightly conical shaped pins for use when restoring or replacing metal head plates to prevent cracks from reoccurring, and another refers to pins in Tubs head plates as a design flaw, so I'm pretty sure it's not just me.

Use of parchment reinforcement on the interior of instruments will tend to cause distortion and have adhesion problems much more quickly here than there as well. That method of reinforcement is/was simply not used here in recent history unless you were/are a "cowboy".

I agree that, when caught before critical and repaired properly, pin cracks have a relatively small effect on "value".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting to hear that.

A pin crack is one of the first things I look at on any bow - high magnification and UV - and I have to say I've only ever seen it on a couple of Tubbs bows.

I wouldn't really want to sell one that had a pin crack - in fact I turned down the opportunity to take on consignment one of the very first gold Tubbs Royal Academy presentation bows simply because it had a pin crack.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Interesting to hear that.

A pin crack is one of the first things I look at on any bow - high magnification and UV - and I have to say I've only ever seen it on a couple of Tubbs bows.

I wouldn't really want to sell one that had a pin crack - in fact I turned down the opportunity to take on consignment one of the very first gold Tubbs Royal Academy presentation bows simply because it had a pin crack.

 

Depends on the bow of course, but I don't think a relatively minor, well repaired, pin crack would stop me offering a nice old bow. I'd just disclose the fault and explain the depreciation involved. I own (personal bow) a very fine early T/G Tubbs with, yes, a properly repaired small pin crack. Love the bow. Great repair job.  Almost undetectable.  Can't say I really ever think about the crack. Properly dealt with I've not seen them return... and I'm sure the frequency of occurrence in my part of the world makes me, and the players here, less concerned about them.

I believe the E/G engraved Wilhemj Tubbs (one or the one he actually used) that set the still unsurpassed auction record in the mid '90s (27,600 BPS) had a very small repaired one as well... of course I assume provenance and playability of that bow drove the two high bidders into their frenzy (I know who had the high bid, so I'm sure I'm half right) and the existence of the crack and the wear at the thumb of the frog was not an issue for them. 

I recall Phil Kass wrote and published an article later that year surmising that it was bid up and purchased by dealers trying to drive up the price of Tubbs bows.  Never had the heart to tell him it was just a player that had a "jones" for it. If he sees this now, I'm sure it's enough in the past he'll forgive me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, martin swan said:

Pin cracks seem to be quite common on French and German bows with metal faces, but it’s rare to see them on a Tubbs or a Hill, although these always have metal faces…

I've seen lots of them on Hill bows. Haven't examined nearly as many Tubbs, so can't say about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the bow that I was referring to. The sun is shining here today,20220126_103121.thumb.jpg.2b3b0a3080cbc1f791b97a22d98c5391.jpg20220126_102950.thumb.jpg.0ff38d734793564c555253b42fca1987.jpg so I think I have managed to get decent pictures of it and the crack. My further question: should I be using it in this condition? It does all one asks of it, without really giving that extra something to the sound: a "useful" stick. It was very popular a few years back with colleagues who had a US tour coming: no illegal white bits! Am I likely to damage it further using it in orchestra?20220126_103046.thumb.jpg.b0f5506b7a01ca133323017b895833a4.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Bownut said:

Here's the bow that I was referring to. The sun is shining here today,20220126_103121.thumb.jpg.2b3b0a3080cbc1f791b97a22d98c5391.jpg20220126_102950.thumb.jpg.0ff38d734793564c555253b42fca1987.jpg so I think I have managed to get decent pictures of it and the crack. My further question: should I be using it in this condition? It does all one asks of it, without really giving that extra something to the sound: a "useful" stick. It was very popular a few years back with colleagues who had a US tour coming: no illegal white bits! Am I likely to damage it further using it in orchestra?20220126_103046.thumb.jpg.b0f5506b7a01ca133323017b895833a4.jpg

This looks very critical and isn't what I would describe as a pin crack anymore. These are usually small, not longer than ca. 1 mm and only from the pin to the outer edge. At your bow a much larger area is affected.

Is it at the place of the pin at all? German bows like this have usually only one pin in the center, but this must have two, one at each side, to have the crack starting from the pin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best thing would be to bring it asap to a qualified repair person. IMO the wedge should be removed immediately to release the pressure, for a repair the faceplate needs to be removed and probably the mortice needs an insert at the rear to prevent it from further cracking up. Otherwise the head could split up sooner or later into two halfs.

There's also often an analog crack where the tip is pinned to the plate, too.

The bow seems to be of nice pernambuco, so it's always worth the effort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...