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?


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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