How much is my 18-19th Century Barber & Genn dovetail saw worth?
April 8, 2008 10:45 AM   Subscribe

How much is my Barber & Genn dovetail saw worth?

I recently purchased a 14" dovetail saw at a local antique tool store. It's a perfectly straight Barber & Genn "Cast Steel" saw with no rust or pitting, no missing teeth, and no cracks in the handle. The only defect is where a previous owner stamp/burned his name into the handle. Aside from that, the thing is in great shape.

I did a bit of research and found out that Barber & Genn produced tools in Sheffield England between 1781-1817. I bought the thing for 55 bucks. I know I got a deal, but I'm wondering, how much is this thing worth?

If need be, I can post some pictures tomorrow.
posted by Glendale to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
I would not think it's worth more than what you paid for it. Here's an auction, eight years ago, where one of the lots was "assorted tools" that included a 16-inch Barber & Genn mitre saw and other 19th-century stuff, and it went for $11.50. I assume by dovetail saw you mean a small back saw like a mitre saw. Though internet mentions are sparse, Barber & Genn were apparently a good sized operation for some time, so these saws are not particularly rare.

The stamped name should not detract from the value, in any case -- names or initials are found on many antique tools and are part of their history.
posted by beagle at 12:13 PM on April 8, 2008

Collectible hand tools prices have went crazy in the last decade, a single auction from eight years ago is not a good indicator of current value. And with tools the devil is in the details. If your 14" is rare is some way the value can be several orders of magnitude greater than a common item. (eg. a Bedrock #2, a plane that is of little use will go for 50-100 times it's more essential #4 equivalent. That's because 75 years ago every craftsman and wannabe had a #4; only the rich or those with specific needs had a #2. Guess which is more common now.). That's not to say yours is collectible, I don't know.

However, Patrick Leach at SuperTool is knowledgeable and honest and will give you at least a ball park figure. Contact him at the email address on his site. Unfortunately because the serious value in tools is in what they look like rather than how they work the initials stamped in will lower the value at least a little unless the previous ownership itself is note worthy.
posted by Mitheral at 2:15 PM on April 8, 2008

« Older Open Source Shopping Cart   |   Examples of great opinion/editorial writing? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.