Ebay Dealer Valuations

So often we see antique dealers on Ebay value a masterpiece for almost nothing. The prime example this year was the 17th Century whale-bone Paikea comb. However, sometimes dealers price items astronomically. Currently, there is a Buy It Now for $1950 on a coin-silver American comb, which is a lovely piece. It has an eagle, the American flag, and the carving is set off by two tulips. Beautifully themed, but $1950? The theme does not supersede the material and the comb’s lack of provenance.

If documentation could prove a First Lady of the United States wore that particular comb at an historical event, it would attract American history collectors. A bigger market might find a buyer at that price. But without such a once-in-a-lifetime connection, I’d pay around $200 for the patriotic theme, even though it was on coin silver. I’m interested in other opinions on value. What would you pay?

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For more scholarly research, please examine

The Dazzle of the US a multimedia presentation by The Creative Museum

The Comb, by Jen Cruse

Hair Combs: Identification and Values by Mary Bachman

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