Prices are rising for African combs

On September 15, 2009, a comb from the Ivory Coast made from Hippopotamus bone sold for $1200 at Sotheby’s. It featured a bird on top of a woman’s head, a symbol of fertility.

Last Friday, May 13, another comb of the same design and material sold for $4062.

Sotheby’s also tried to sell this comb with an estimated price in the thousands, however, it did not sell.

The Creative Museum has a similar comb in perfect condition.

2 thoughts on “Prices are rising for African combs

  1. bem02

    I love the stand on the comb from The Creative Museum. Maybe no one wanted to buy the similar one from Sotheby‚Äôs because it was missing a tine? I’ve heard collectors of other things say you might was well pay a bit more for stuff in better condition, rather than less for something damaged.

    1. BarbaraAnne Post author

      The Creative Museum is one of the best buyers of combs I have ever seen. They did not pay anywhere near what Sotheby’s was asking for those African combs. I was shocked that in two years, the same Ivory Coast comb went from $1200 to $4062. In addition, the Creative Museum’s African collection is much more comprehensive than the combs bidders paid thousands for at Sotheby’s. It is the scholarship that allows you to buy intelligently, not the name of the auction house. I don’t buy like the CM. I wish I did. I wanted that silver Ashanti comb that was listed for 900 euros. One of three in the world. Made by a museum. Signed. I had never seen an African comb in silver. The president of Ghana has one of them. If I had had the money, I would have just bought it without thinking. I am a lousy buyer. :-)


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