As I tune and repair instruments, I’m occasionally asked to provide an
appraisal. I know this is a service that many builders and technicians
provide, but it’s not something I’ve ever been comfortable with.
For those that do provide appraisals, I’m curious about the process - is
there a certification required to make your appraisal “official”? Do
insurance companies require any specific documentation beyond the word
of someone in the field? (I’m in Canada, in case that makes a
difference) And how the heck do you come up with a dollar figure for
something so unique, and so dependent on different markets? The selling
price for an identical instrument might be vastly different in Toronto
versus rural Nova Scotia, for example, assuming one could find a buyer
I feel like I have at least a somewhat-decent idea of the cost of
lower-end instruments - the many small kit-built ones that come up
often, for example. But professional-quality instruments are much harder
to estimate, and I really don’t know where to start with antiques,
though I guess in all cases, a starting point would be to simply look at
recent similar sales, if such a thing can be found!
I’d appreciate any insight anyone might have!