The Great Ivory Comb Debate

Recently, some of us saw a gorgeous ivory comb go on Ruby Lane for $60. It was sold to neatstuffdave, who put it on ebay. I wrote to the original dealer in horror, and told her I thought it was a $600 comb. Dave thought it was worth about $200. It sold to jcollect (a serious collector) for $192, and she knew it was worth more. I was shocked. Here it is:

On April 16, a beautiful Chinese ivory comb, probably made for the export market, went for $262.77. It mirrors with peigne Josephine style with the decorative balls on top and combines it with a Chinese theme of two people sitting under a tree. A beautiful comb.

Finally, today, a beautiful peigne Josephine-style ivory comb, drop-dead gorgeous, flawless condition, sold for $743 — the correct valuation in my probably way-too-snobby, obsessed opinion. ;-)

So I have a few questions for the collectors: Was the first one c. 1890, and the one that went for $743 earlier, like c. 1850? Why did the first one go for $192, and this one go for $743? Absolutely no discoloration in the peigne Josephine? Luck of the draw? I’m lost here. Opinions? :-)

3 thoughts on “The Great Ivory Comb Debate

  1. Kelly Hitchcock

    I have that first comb! I purchased it a while ago and have been searching and searching for information on it. Did you ever find out a date on it? Thanks in advanced for any info you might have!


  2. BarbaraAnne Post author

    Kelly, how nice to meet you. Ah haaaaaa, so YOU got that once-in-a-life-time comb bargain. :-) I think it’s French, c. 1890, and I wouldn’t sell it for anything less than $1000. In fact, never sell it. It’s an heirloom. Congratulations!

  3. Cam


    If you are still monitoring this blog … I live in Deep River, CT. This town and neighboring Ivoryton were home to the largest ivory goods factories in the US back in the 1800s. The Pratt, Read & Co. here in Deep River made ivory combs at the “West Factory” on the outskirts and piano keys at the “Main Factory” downtown. Would you have any examples of the companies combs?

    Thank you in advance


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