Michael Grinter flute value?


Michael Grinter flute value?

Hello Everyone,

I have a Grinter 8 keyed flute with sterling silver lined head and slide. It has sterling silver forged keys and is made of coccus wood. I received it from the maker around 9 years ago after a two plus year wait.

Because of current financial pressures, I am unfortunately having to consider selling it, though I don’t really want to!

It is in an as new condition having been played in at around 100 hours and carefully kept. It is a beautiful instrument and plays wonderfully. It is modern pitched. The wood was a lot lighter in colour when I received it, but now has mellowed to a lovely colour, much deeper brown.

I was wondering if anyone had any idea of what this flute would realistically be worth?

I have searched the internet to try and find out and have not managed to value it adequately to sell it, if I wanted to. I know the maker has tragically passed on, and this will probably affect the value.

Any informed ideas of value would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,

Paul

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Hi Paul - welcome to “thesession.org”. You will get some replies here, I’m sure, but it would also be worth posting this on the “Chiff & Fipple” website. I found the following posted there on a similar discussion from 2019 :
“A six key lancewood Grinter was for sale, in England, for £3000 ($3865) in March 2018”.
Different woods, 6 keys instead of 8, 4 years ago, but that should give you some indication of a ballpark figure to seek. Best of luck with your sale. Anybody not familiar with Grinter flutes should have a listen to Steph Geremia, but of course, the player has a lot of impact as well on the musical results.
Regards, Kenny

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

I’m guessing about what you paid for it. No reason for the value to have appreciated, unless someone wants that specific flute, since yours is now a rarity. On the other hand, Grinter has a good reputation, so its value should never diminish.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Actually, from the seller’s point of view, a flute (or just about anything else really) isn’t worth “what you paid for it” but whatever someone else will pay you for it.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

I almost said that, but the OP is seeking an asking price, so I provided one.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Hmmm. Given Mr. Grinter’s untimely demise and the stellar reputation of his flutes, and that this is an 8 key (paid for while Mr. Grinter was still making flutes), with no wait time to take possession, whatever the OP paid is likely on the low end of what the market will bear.

I like tradlad’s idea of looking for comparable flute sales. In fact, I’d encourage the OP to email the Irish Flute Store, with photos and a detailed description of the flute. Having sold a number of Grinters (and many others), they should be able to give a fair sense of the flute’s value.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Twenty years ago, that might have been the case; not today. If the OP thinks otherwise, put it up on ebay and let us know. Irish Flute Store won’t help. They buy flutes to sell.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Huh, that’s funny. Right there on the IFS masthead it says “New & Consigned Instruments.”
https://www.irishflutestore.com/
😏

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Yes. That’s what I said. Consigned means they take a cut. Whether they buy it outright or let it sit until someone pays their price, the seller does not get the entire purchase price.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

“I almost said that, but the OP is seeking an asking price, so I provided one”. I don’t see any number above, which would be my interpretation of the word “value”.
As “gimpy” says, it is only worth “whatever someone else will pay you for it”.
I see a sheet with the hand-written lyrics of “Starman”, by David Bowie sold for £200,000 the other day. QED.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

It’s worth at least double what he paid for it.

Grinter
8-key
Cocus
Silver lined head
Available today

My guess 6-8K (€$£ all the same) and it could be significantly more.

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Thank you all very much for your input. The truth is that I don’t really want to sell it, but may really have to! I ordered it just before I met and married my wife. Then the flute arrived after we’d settled down a bit. Before this time I had been playing my other flutes at least 2 hours most days after work and sometimes longer when time allowed and I was very much enjoying the playing.

However when we had our first little boy born and then a second, and then they grow fast and run around and play with wooden swords etc. it isn’t at all conducive to peace and playing a very valuable flute! I bought a polymer one and used that for a while so nothing could get damaged. But I haven’t been playing much at all recently. I guess life has completely changed, and that is that.

One day I would love to press into playing again, for sure, but I am not sure when this will be a realisable reality.

Part of the reason I bought such a lovely instrument from one of the best and most popular makers in the world at the time was that I knew it would be a good investment and brilliant to play. I would love to keep it really, just for as and when I can get back to it.

However these are more difficult times we are living in than what I would call normal, so I may need to sell at some point and hence asking the value questions.

You all have been most helpful indeed.

Thank you,

Paul

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Don’t sell it if you can possibly avoid doing so. You are bound to regret it later. And it’s irreplaceable.

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

I think that is how I feel! We will see. Many thanks

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Paul, the most valuable thing you can give your children is your time, but a close second is a happy home filled with music. You may not be able to play two hours every day, but even 30 or 40 minutes will keep you going *and* perhaps inspire your boys to make their own music now or later.

If it were me, I’d keep the flute, play it, put it in a case in a safe place when not being played, and enjoy music and fatherhood both. Your life will gain in value, as will the flute. When you’ve passed on, the boys will inherit a fine flute. Perhaps one of them will be thrilled to play it themselves. At the very least, they’ll have had a life enriched by hearing their dad’s music, and then have an esteemed vintage flute to sell.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

“Irish Flute Store won’t help. They buy flutes to sell.”

Ailin, that’s not the same as selling flutes on consignment. And of course they earn a commission on consigned flutes, that’s how it works. Here’s the relevant bit: before posting the flute for sale, IFS and the seller would discuss and settle on a reasonable asking price for the flute, in short, its value.

I suggested reaching out to IFS and Mr. Chastain because (a) he’s highly knowledgeable regarding the value of second-hand wooden flutes, (b) he’s sold a number of Grinters in particular, and (c) he’s in the business of assessing the value of such instruments. In case you missed it, *that’s a key part of the consignment transaction.* Perhaps he doesn’t do valuations unless you agree to consign with him, or maybe he charges a nominal fee for the assessment service. Those details are for him and the OP to discuss. It’s nevertheless worth reaching out to IFS and Mr. Chastain, even if the OP decides to keep the flute. At some point, he may wish to insure the flute, and it would help to have a better understanding of its value than the OP can get from a gang of punters on an online forum.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

All true, gimpy. To me, consignment selling is the last resort. You lose money and possibly waste time while your item sits in a shop. As you noted, the flute is worth what someone will pay. I agree that the OP should keep the flute. If selling it is the best option, ask the original price unless better information indicates asking more. A lot depends on how quickly it needs to be sold.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

“…unless better information indicates asking more.”

“I loved Ketil’s post.”

Well, Ketil may not understand why people ask about instrument values, but seeking “better information” is one likely reason, and that makes sense to me. I wouldn’t ask a group of strangers online what they think it’s worth, but it make sense to ask for pointers to experts/resources to get a notion of current value.

Think of autos. The typical car depreciates in value the minute you drive it off the lot. If you put a lot of miles on it and take only marginal care of it, the value declines further. But 50 or 100 years on, it may be worth far more than you paid for it, as a collector’s item, sometimes regardless of its condition. Maybe it was a limited edition. Maybe it’s renowned for its aesthetic. Maybe someone will pay top dollar because they’re not making them anymore and no other car purrs like that one.

So the value changes over time, and “it depends” on any number of factors. Hence why people ask “what’s it worth?” or better yet, “What honest expert can I ask to find out what it’s worth?”

I don’t see why it’s a mystery that this also applies to flutes.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

For the sake of other readers or those who may stumble on this thread some years down the road….

“ To me, consignment selling is the last resort. You lose money and possibly waste time while your item sits in a shop.”

I guess those are possibilities, but far from the only ones.

The Irish Flute Store is an online shop. It’s not like the flute sits in a window on some dusty lane. IFS is well known and respected in the wooden flute and quality whistle world, so it may actually be the quickest way to sell such an instrument.

As for losing money, yes the shop takes a commission. But they also deal with questions from prospective buyers, arrange for secure payment, and package the instrument so it arrives intact. Most importantly, IFS knows flute values and so is more likely to obtain top dollar. Which is likely far better than selling something on your own with no idea of its worth (such as what you paid for it a decade ago).

Some of us don’t mind supporting service providers such as IFS because we know they’re a trustworthy venue for selling—and buying—vetted instruments. We don’t have to worry that the check will bounce or the purchased flute never arrives or when it does, the box contains only a poor facsimile of a flute-like piece of wood.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

I have sold flutes on my own. I have also bought and sold via Blayne Chastain’s Irish Flute Store.

I feel that, Blayne is often able to get a higher price than I would on my own due to the shop’s reputation, the return policy, his knowledge and marketing. He polishes the flute, does minor repairs, vets or describes the instrument well, and covers the credit card “tax” and the shipping costs. Yes, in exchange I pay a consignment fee.

I figure that approximately/intuitively, he can get 10% more than I could on my own, and as a result I receive 90% of what I might have gotten. I don’t think that’s a particularly bad trade-off given the risk, hassle benefit equation.

On the other hand, I have sold and bought a flutes with individuals. This is easy or safe enough within a small community where people know and trust each other and are knowledgable about specific flute makers. Obviously, there are risks of getting a bum instrument, having a check bounce or whatever.

I have not sold flutes on eBay, which of course has it’s own fees.

I have bought flutes on eBay, and like everyone I scour the listings for really good deals, especially ones that are poorly described. On occasion I have been burned, while on other purchases I’ve done really well. (Last month, I paid $200 for a nice flute case that came with a 19th C piccolo and a Rudall & Rose in need of repairs. This doesn’t happen every day, mind you!)

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Sorry. To the Original Poster…

Grinter flutes have a great (not perfect) reputation, and AFAIK sell at a premium to the original price. I think selling at a premium to the new price is true only for a few flute makers, especially those who have long waiting times, or as in this sad situation, have died or stopped making flutes.

I believe there are some variations in the Grinter design over the years, but I’m not an expert. Again, that speaks to the value that Blayne Chastain brings to the table.

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Hello, Paul! I want you to make the right choice regarding your finances so don’t base your decision on my comment. Having said that I’m personally with Stiamh on this topic.

Cheers,
AB

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Just an additional comment Re: Grinters. Now Kevin Crawford has played various flutes, and I believe he is currently using a flute by one of the Bretagne makers. But for a fair stretch of time he had an eight keyed Grinter, and used it for several recordings. In an interview where he mentioned this Grinter he said something to the effect that ¨He liked a flute he could push against, HARD.¨ Then he went on to speculate that this might be because Grinter was one of the modern makers who got the embouchure closest to the original Rudall & Rose flutes, and he liked this embouchure coupled with a modern, well built flute in a good state of repair.

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

I’d third what Stiamh and AB suggested. Think long and hard. If flute is your thing you were lucky to get an instrument from one of the most respected makers. They are cherished. If you sell, you’re unlikely to ever replace it.

Buying a wooden flute off somebody you don’t know is fraught - it might look alright but turn out to be a minger.

WRT IrishFluteStore.. Blayne Chastain is highly reputable. He is an excellent trad flute player in his own right. If I were buying a flute - I’d be very happy to pay a premium to deal with/through IFS knowing the description/provenance is good and there is a returns policy. Disclaimer: I’m a past customer - Geoffrey Ellis F-flute.

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Recently I saw a Grinter 8-key being offered at USD $7,200. I don’t even think it was cocus.

Cocus, especially good cocuswood, is increasingly difficult & expensive to obtain. There’s always the possibility of encountering problems (internal faults) in these very costly sticks of wood, discovered only while turning the piece on the lathe.

Some flutemakers have discontinued its use, or are charging a substantial premium over the base price. As far back as Patrick Olwell’s 2018 Price List, Cocus was a $600 upcharge.

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

About 5 years ago I played an 8-key blackwood Grinter in Custy’s that was listed for 5k €, about $6k at the time. Played like a dream, I rue not getting it.
I think an $8k proposal would be found even in today’ economy. Note the Olwell birthday flute this year was a silver 8-key Pratten in cocus that went for $13k.
Irreplaceable flute you have, treasure it and keep it. But, uhhh, send me a note otherwise.

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Don’t sell it. Save your plastic flute, and sell all your other flutes and anything else you can, but not your Grinter. It’s priceless now. You don’t want to sell it because you’re right, you shouldn’t. Play it. Keep it in a safe place.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

I’ve followed this thread with great interest, and the theme that comes through most strongly is the encouragement on offer to the OP to hang on to an instrument that is considered to be of exceptional quality and value - a comment, I think, on the camaraderie of the Session community.

Simply as an example of an alternative course, I recently sold a blackwood 8-key flute in top condition on consignment with a specialist dealer: details as follow:
Date and price of purchase - £1,500 when newly-made in 2011 (Equivalent value = £1,975 in 2022). A UK maker - not well-known, but professionally trained and with a reputation for his bagpipes. I wanted to get my money back, approx. Put up at £1,795, and vetted/serviced by their expert for £100. Sold after about 18 Covid-restricted months at agreed price: I received £1,385. So my expenses in selling it this way (servicing and commission) were £510. Result: I effectively got back just over 90% of my purchase price for a second-hand flute (not allowing for 11 years’ inflation and interim maintenance costs, like re-corking). The benefit was that the firm handled all the advertising and admin in connection with the sale, so hassle-free for me.

I expect this was fairly typical for a consignment sale. What’s the verdict? Was this a reasonable way to part with an instrument, or would others recommend a privately-advertised sale, or auction, E-bay, or . . . ?

Of course, this doesn’t alter the advice above to the OP: yours looks like one to hang on to.

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

“What’s the verdict? Was this a reasonable way to part with an instrument, or would others recommend a privately-advertised sale, or auction, E-bay, or … ?”

It’s what I would have done, and have done. I sold a Windward keyless flute on consignment at the Irish Flute Store here in the USA. The consignment fee seemed fair, and in return I didn’t have to deal with buyer contacts, shipping, insurance, or a potential return if the buyer had a problem with it (the store offers a trial period).

Another big plus with selling my flute through the Irish Flute Store was international sales, which is something I wouldn’t want to do on my own. I have sold other instruments, mostly guitars on Ebay, but restricted the sales to domestic buyers. International sales opens the potential buyer market for something as specialized as an Irish flute.

That said, I’ll join the others here in recommending the OP hold on to the Grinter if at all possible.

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Thank you to everyone for the advice, knowledge, suggestions and care. Wonderful!

I have contacted the Irish flute store for a valuation and received a figure for what they thought they could get for my Grinter. I am very tempted at the moment to make a decision to sell, I have never been a seller of anything really during my life, except things I have made myself in my work as a craftsman.

However what it may be actually worth is rather a lot really, compared to the original cost I paid to the maker, who is sadly no longer with us.

This makes it a more rewarding case for me to sell, given current financial situations.

Thanks again to everyone who has posted.

All the best,

Paul

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Hello everyone,

I have now decided to offer this flute for sale. So if anyone is seriously interested then please message privately and I can send photos etc. I live near Bristol in the UK and also have a holiday property near Fishguard.

Many thanks,

Paul

Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Hope the sale goes well for you Paul. Could you hang on until after tonight’s lottery results, please ? 🙂

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Re: Michael Grinter flute value?

Carry on.

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