Is vintage really worth the price tag?

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As I write, there is a hurdy-gurdy listed on eBay for $65000.  It is described as being at least six hundred years old, and by far the oldest hurdy-gurdy in existence.  Looking at the photographs, this is a real museum piece.  I am glad that it survives, but it does not look playable.  Also, it has only ten keys, whereas for less than a thousand pounds I could buy a new or nearly new hurdy-gurdy with far more keys.

If we're talking mandolins, I could buy an original Mandocaster - with four strings - for around $4000, but of course I could buy one brand new with eight strings for maybe £150.

Earlier this year I sold an Alden mandocaster online, and described it as a vintage mandolin, which is kind of true.  It sold for over a ton, which is good going considering the price of a new one.

So my question is, why would anyone want to pay a fortune for a musical instrument merely because it is old?  Surely it makes more sense to buy quality at a fair price.

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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 3095
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 18276
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  • I take it that you are a dealer then @Alnmouth ;
    Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
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  • No, I am not a dealer.  I used to own a mandocaster, but I sold it.

    I am the owner of four guitars, and do not currently aspire to own any more.
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  • Alnmouth said:
    I am the owner of four guitars and do not, currently, aspire to own any more.
    tFB will soon fix that for you. :)
    Be seeing you.
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  • I understand what your asking. But I suppose guitars are like cars more than any other vintage or antique item but reasons for actually owning one differ greatly 
    I have a 35 year old camper van , I drive it as my main car currently it takes maintenance money and love and is hard to drive, compared to having a new van. Which is slick and easy
    folks love it and many dream about owning one but would never get one.
    But vintage cars really need to be driven in order for them not to rot away 

    where as I’m not sure I understand vintage guitars that a bought to actually play , especially those who want it completely stock not mods repairs etc unless your buying it to love it as an item due to being a collector  it must take a fine pair of ears to pick up any sonic differences in the mix , never mind any of the age related issues guitars can have that renders them unplayable unless repaired  

    yes a a nice way to store some surplus cash one might have hanging around, but after years of looking at guitars unless you find somthing in the loft of a house you’ve just bought or have owned it since new  ive rarely spoke to anyone who have made serious cash investing in an antique guitar or instrument and most who own a £6000 vintage tele let’s say , prob also have a custom shop one built a couple of years ago hiding in the vintage case
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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 567
    On a slight tangent, I am experiencing severe gear lust for a hurdy-gurdy, but have no idea how to choose one, and they are kind of expensive at the best of times.
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  • Stuckfast said:
    On a slight tangent, I am experiencing severe gear lust for a hurdy-gurdy, but have no idea how to choose one, and they are kind of expensive at the best of times.
    They are available to buy online for around £900 - maybe less on occasions.  As for choosing one, the number of keys indicates the range.  If I am right that the strings can be tuned in more than one way, then presumably more than one key is possible.

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