Hair Combs & Hatpins Collection
I got most of them from antique shows in the Atlanta area. I've been collecting for about 25 years.
And what did you normally pay for them?
Anywhere between, like, $15 and $50.
Okay. Well, you have a very interesting collection of hair combs. Starting with the earliest, it's more of a hatpin. And it's from the 1860s. It's robin's egg blue beads, which were so popular-- that was the most popular color at that time. This one is about 1880. It's French, gold-filled with French enamel work and mother-of-pearl. Then about 1900, we have this one which is made to look like tortoise, but it's actually a form of celluloid and done in a Spanish colonial motif. And this would have been for a geisha girl, probably in the 1920s. It's Japanese. It came in pairs. You only have the one. And then these are hairpins from about 1920, and they are gold. You have rose gold and regular gold pins here. Most of these went out of fashion around the 1920s, when women started to wear their hair in a bob. So that ended this. This one would sell for about $125. This is about $250, about $150. If you had a pair of these, it would be $200, but it's $65. And depending on the price of gold, these are probably about $150 to $200 each. Most of these average about $65, so overall, your entire collection at an antique shop would sell for about $2,000.
Oh, my God.
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Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
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Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
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