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Update on Collector Market

September 19, 2022

In my last update back in June we spoke about supply chain issues that delay delivery of new drums, and how that has opened up the vintage drum market and created awareness of this sector to virtually all drummers in all genres of music. We also spoke about the value of vintage drums as investments, and how fine vintage drums tend to still be a "bargain" when compared to other investments. It is this latter topic that we will focus on today.

CURRENT ENVIRONMENT:

Despite the challenges of the past 2.5 years (Covid, supply chain issues, inflation, world economic issues, Russia/Ukraine, etc), the value of fine collectibles continues to skyrocket. Examples include world-record prices for fine art, rare automobiles, sports memorabilia, and more. Some examples from 2022:

$12.6 million, Mickey Mantle Rookie Card

$22 million, 1955 Ferrari, RM Sotheby's Auction

$469 million spread over 790 cars at Monterey auction, average price $590k, with 110 of those cars selling for over $1.0 million each.

$22.6 million. Total price for the ten most expensive art works sold in August 2022. Average price $2.2 million.

$1.0 billion. In November 2022, Christie's will auction the Paul Allen (Microsoft) Collection of fine art which is estimated at a total value over $1.0 billion.

$65 billion. The fine art auction market generated $65 billion in sales in 2021 alone. 

As you can see, the demand is clearly very high for rare and significant items. So, now let's take this a step further and delve into the musical instrument sector:

GUITARS:

The most expensive guitars sold include:

$1.0 million in 2004 for Eric Clapton's Fender Strat. It should be noted that this price doesn't even fall within the Top Ten today.

$965,000 for Bob Dylan's Fender Strat.

$1.2 million for Bob Marley's Washburn

$2.0 million for Jimi Hendrix's 1968 Fender Strat

$2.4 million in 2015 for John Lennon's Gibson acoustic guitar used to write many of the Beatles' hits. 

$2.8 million in 2004 for the Reach Out To Asia guitar for tsunami relief effort. This was an inexpensive Mexican Fender Strat signed by the likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page and others. 

$3.9 million in 2019 for David Gilmour's Pink Floyd Fender Strat.

$4.5 million in 2022 for Kurt Cobain's Fender Mustang.

$6.0 million in 2020 for Kurt Cobain's 1959 Martin D-18E

Clearly, there is no shortage of demand in this market sector either. 

DRUMS:

Now, what about the drum market? Well, this market remains a true bargain in comparison, and it is a market segment that has significant future potential as investors begin to realize the opportunities that exist here. Instruments from the drummers across all genres of music are still available for fractions of the guitar market prices, yet the instruments and artists are no less significant. As an example, Ringo Starr's Beatles drum set was sold at auction for $2.1 million in 2015. A hefty sum for sure, but far below many of the guitar sales noted above. In comparison, drum sets owned by legendary Buddy Rich have sold between $75,000 and $150,000 which is significantly less money, but as an artist, Buddy's reputation is unsurpassed. The basic point here is that there are still many fine artists whose instruments are being sold at levels that, in my professional opinion, are well below their true market value and represent strong future upside.    

I specialize in rare vintage drums and also items owned by famous drummers, and have a large database of items and their related prices. These items have appreciated over time, but they still have huge potential for future appreciation. And, the good news is that investors do not need anything close to $1.0 million dollars to participate. We've brokered sales of items owned by the likes of Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Sonny Greer, Tony Williams, Art Blakey, Joe Morello, Billy Gladstone, Kenny Clarke, Gene Krupa, and many more. And, we have provided appraisal services for many other items that exist in private collections. These items cover genres from jazz to rock and all eras from the 1940s to the present. Items today are still available for prices that are within the reach of serious collectors, but not so high that it is prohibitive. But, the time to buy is now, because as we always see, when prices rise beyond the range of many investors, they look to the next up-and-coming sector for their investment dollars. That sector, in my opinion, is the drum market. 

Feel free to contact me and we can discuss any specific items you may be interested in and I can keep you posted as we acquire new items for our "Private Auction" business.

Steve

vintagedrums@aol.com


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