Alright now: Larry Miller is retiring from building accordions.... Right?
I like Larry, and, I also know Larry to a pretty good business man. Reminds me of my Ozark born millionaire cousin (Delmar), a shrewd white socks salesman/horse trader that does not miss an opportunity and comes out on the big end of the stick more than he will ever divulge. Not stirring any mess, just courious as to what you think.
So let me take a survey of you folks.
a.) Will accordions that Larry has built increase in value (because he has stopped building)?
b.) Do you think a resurection of building (later on) by Larry (or the grandson) could become an end result?
c.) Who is the next sweeping builder that will emerge in lower end pricing for a hand built accordion?
Larry had two brand names:
1. Bon Tee Cajun
2. Bon Cajun
Story I heard, was he changed the name of Bon Tee Cajun after some controversay over the spelling.
For what was told to be: Bon Tit Cajun
I have two Bon Tee and one Bon Cajun accordions due to the shift of name change.
So what about this Coca Cola?
Well, many will remember some years ago that rumor had it that Coca Cola was going to cease to be available. That simmered throughout the nation for a good while and ... Low and Behold, they stopped producing traditional Coca Cola. (it was a marketing scheme of all marketing schemes personified)
Folks could not get that old standard Coca Cola thing, and, those that had it was selling the snot out of it at prices that would be equal to that of fine champagne, and more! It was pretty nutty alright, and, that drink was like coors was in the South, when you could not get it east of Texas!
Could the same thing happen with hand made accordions?
What do you think??
Well that's a quandary alright, Nonc. I figure any handmade box will, no doubt, increase in value. I've heard rumors that Junior Martin and Randy Falcon are going to follow suit with Mr. Miller -- and eventually they will. But you can count on other folks stepping in their shoes and even improving on the groundwork they have laid. You can take that to the bank, fo' sho'. I'm just wondering if they will ever change the shape from square to oval. Ooooh, now that could be cool.
a} I cannot imagine how they will not. I am a newbie wannabe, but have been admirer of fine craftsmanship and handmade wood products for a very long time. Larry's instruments are fine works of craftsmanship that play wonderful music. They will only increase in
b)After talking with Larry on several occasions, I do not think he will continue commercial productions of his accordions. If his grandson continues, he will have a boost because of the name, but there will be, at least for awhile, a distinct differentiation between Larry Miller Bon Cajuns, and the offshoot.
c)I have no idea about that one, being remote, and not knowing the local builders. Like I said, Larry's accordions are a fine work of American craftsmanship, even art. I have one I completely adore. I have a second on order. It probably will one of Larry's last. A most remarkable instrument. They will be among my most prized possessions of my life. When I am gone, I hope they will have considerable value for my children.
As with all musical instruments. Those at the mid to lower end of cost usually don't increase in value much if any, ever. If you are buying as an investment forget it. It just ain't going to happen. It's going to take a while before they become classics and they still may not increase in value. IMHO!!
There is not enough data on the number of accordions being built by Cajuns to make predictions.
But I will make this prediction:
As all other accordion brands gradually rise in price, the value of used Bon Cajun accordions should increase as well. Ten years from now, when the other brands cost $2600 (or whatever, higher prices than now) new, I bet that the Bon Cajuns will command much more than they ever did when new. So, I don't think that they'll ever be worth more due to some "cult value" (as 'Acadians' will have). However, they should increase in value, as long as they are playable, as new accordions will continue to cost more and more each year.
A lot will depend on the quality of future production and the availability.
I wonder how many accordions Larry Miller made, and whether he kept records of each one. If he made dozens (or even 100) or more per year, and demand remains constant, there sure will be a gap to fill!
I've been a follower of prices on used and new boxes for some years now.. I predict that new boxes will top the $2,000 mark within the next 5 years... used boxes will ( like Andy mentioned ) follow closely behind .. maybe $100 or $200 less. The make will be critical. Martins, Falcons, Millers, Acadians ( and many others we all know of ) will hold value and others only a hundred or two hundred bucks behind the price of a new box. Reed quality and wear will count heavily on value.. .. eBay is not a good judge of value..as it is a global pawn shop of sorts. Bargains can be found, but rarely is an instrument sold at its actual worth.
Older, minty, well played boxes are going to be sought after.. not necessarily brand new ones or beat up vintage brand name ones, and they will command nearly the same price as new ones.
We will all get pickier.. and wood,detailing, buttons will figure more in establishing value of used accordions than just brand name.
Just my perspective.. G.