Friday, 22 January 2010

Wandre Roby Gold - for collectors only, apparently
Isn't it crazy that certain guitars, which 10 or 20 years ago would have been considered junk, these days command such ridiculously high prices? In the past most "collectors" wouldn't have looked twice at some of these kooky old pieces. Some of them, it turns out, are in fact good players with a fantastic tone that can't be replicated using modern gear. Others might still play like a dog, but their eccentric design (by modern day standards) makes them desireable, if only to hang on the wall.

This Wandre Roby Gold from 1963 is quite a stunning-looking piece of vintage Italiana. The plastic control module set into the lower bout of the body is a particularly eccentric touch. Wandres are known for their peculiarities of design such as metal necks with bolted on headstocks and unusual body materials such as fibreglass. This example is quite conservative compared to some models.

However, it hasn't gone un-noticed that artists like Buddy Miller and T-Bone Burnett were playing Wandre guitars and getting an amazing sound, and the price of these instruments has sky-rocketed.

The seller of this particular guitar is asking $14,500 for it! He says that:
This auction is reserved for COLLECTORS ONLY simply because they will truly
appreciate its unique position in the ART and MUSIC MARKETPLACES.

What is he talking about? Would players not appreciate a guitar like this more than someone who simply has enough cash to fling about and buy something like this on a whim? Who are these "collectors" he is referring to? I myself have a "collection" but something at this price is way out of my league.

G L Wilson

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