10 Most Valuable Antique Hair Brush Worth Money

hair brush
(CommunityeBay)

To the untrained eye, the antique hair brush is nothing but a tool for hair grooming and personal aesthetics. However, these everyday objects can be more valuable than you’d expect. Their shapes and evolution over the years have earned them a top spot in the history of special antiques.

On average, antique hair brushes range between $20-$50. However, limited edition brushes or those made with rare materials can cost hundreds of dollars.

Let us guide you through the history, styles and times of these bathroom tools and their journey into the modern beauty world.

Hair Brush History

Hair Brushes existed in many forms in the past. However, their first recognized manufacturer William Kent established the Kent Brushes company in Hertfordshire, England, in 1777. The brushes were plain, simple and made out of wood with their bristles- soft, supple and natural which laid the blueprint for later designs (19th and 20th centuries).

You should however know that “simple” as implied above had nothing to do with the production technique, which demanded serious attention- it took as many as 12 artisans to produce a piece of hairbrush. But light shone at the end of the tunnel 100 years later during the industrial revolution, which promoted mass production and introduced the brush boring machine for effective bristle making.

Way before the invention of hair shampoos, soaps and lathers in the early 20th century, antique hair brushes helped to remove built-up oils from the ends of hair follicles to their tips with their natural fibers, which helped to strengthen the hair and add luminous shine.

Due to William Kent’s positive initiative, antique hair brushes became affordable and accessible to the elites. In the mid-18th century, brush production commenced in full force in the United States- of course, for a selected few.

10 Most Valuable Antique Hair Brushes Around Today

The items below are compiled from verified sources- auctions, antique stores and sales outlets and any similar list are purely coincidental.

S/N
Name
Release Date
Price
1
Antique Birmingham Silver Pair of Hair Brushes
1899
$117.03
2
Antique Victorian Silverplate Horsehair Vanity
1850-1899
$107.99
3
Victorian Porcelain Top Hair Brush
1890
$100
4
Antique Silver Plate Mirror and Matching Hair Brush
1905
$69
5
Antique Birningham Silver Ornate Cherub Decorated Hair Brush
1900
$64.37
6
Antique London Ebony Hair Brush
1917
$58.51
7
Antique Enamel Brushes
1900
$30
8
Antique Art Nouveau Silver Plate Hairbrush
1890-1910
$30
9
Antique Ebony Wood and Sterling Hairbrush
1908-1935
£25
10
Silver Mounted Hairbrush
1927
£17.99

10. Silver Mounted Hairbrush

Release Date: 1927

Price: £17.99

Silver Mounted Hairbrush
(Source: eBay)

Trademarked in Birmingham in 1927, the silver metallic hairbrush has an interesting celluloid panel right at the top with a Japanese scenery of characters dressed in bright hues.

9. Antique Ebony Wood and Sterling Hair Brush

Release Date: 1908-1935

Price: £25

Antique Ebony Wood and Sterling Hair Brush
(Source: eBay)

This antique ebony wooden and sterling silver brush from the art deco period right after the first world war is an absolute beauty. The black hair brush has the MH trademark written in silver, adding extra detail to the plain brush.

8. Antique Art Nouveau Silver Plate Hair Brush

Release Date: 1890-1910

Price: $30

Antique Art Nouveau Silver Plate Hair Brush
(Source: eBay)

The art nouveau period saw the use of long, organic and curved lines in objects and art produced during that time. This silver plate hair brush has shimmery details of a figural lady and blooms of flowers. It was made in the military style (no handles in sight).

7. Antique Enamel Brushes

Release Date: 1900

Price: $30

Antique Enamel Brushes
(Source: Liveauctioneers)

The beauty of antique hair brushes can never be hidden; it may seem as though they get better as they age- like this set of antique hair brushes made of gilt brass and decorated with heavy beige enamel covered in a series of floral banners.

6. Antique London Ebony Hair Brush

Release Date: 1917

Price: $58.51

Antique London Ebony Hair Brush

This antique ebony hair brush was manufactured in 1917 and consists of a dark rich ebony finish and etched tastefully with sterling silver decoration.

5. Antique Birmingham Silver Ornate Cherub Decorated Hair Brush

Release Date: 1900

Price: $64.37

Antique Birmingham Silver Ornate Cherub Decorated Hair Brush
(Source: Etsy)

This rare wooden hair brush with the trademark ‘Hallmark’ 1900 is embellished in sterling silver cherub details. When you hold the brush, its raised details are felt in the grip, and its bristles are strong and in a light brown shade from boar hair.

4. Antique Silver Plate Mirror and Matching Hair Brush

Release Date: 1905

Price: $69

Antique Silver Plate Mirror and Matching Hair BrushAntique Silver Plate Mirror and Matching Hair Brush
(Source: Rubylane)

Most antique hair brush sets include a matching mirror which makes the beauty box complete as the women practiced it back in the day. This vanity mirror and hair brush set come with flawless, ornate foliate details and traces of the owner’s initials.

3. Victorian Porcelain Top Hair Brush

Release Date: 1890

Price: $100

Victorian Porcelain Top Hair Brush
(Source: Rubylane)

This is an antique hair brush with porcelain back covers with bright flower transfer prints. It’s likely part of a vanity set from the 1890s with a gold ormolu finish on the brass handle and frame of the brush.

2. Antique Victorian Silverplate Horse Hair Vanity Comb

Release Date: 1850-1899

Price: $107.99

Antique Victorian Silverplate Horse Hair Vanity Comb
(Source: eBay)

A 19th-century Victorian silver plated beauty is carefully ridden with intricate details all over the back and handle of the brush and done in high relief Victorian era designs and strictly handmade with lettering at the center.

The bristles are made from natural horse hair and measure 9 inches in length. The thick silver-plated material contributes to the longevity of the brush.

1. Antique Birmingham Silver Pair of Hair Brushes

Release Date: 1899

Price: $117.03

Antique Birmingham Silver Pair of Hair Brushes
(Source: Etsy)

This pair of hair brushes are made from sterling silver wood with natural bristles from either horse or boar hair. They have a glossy finish with tye dye details, giving them that old aesthetic.

How to Identify Valuable Antique Hair Brush

Read on for the most effective ways to identify valuable Antique hair brushes and become a well-informed collector.

Ask Who the Maker Is?

A few companies were particularly famous for producing tasteful hair brushes and vanity sets with excellent marketing strategies, which further helped to bolster the hairbrush market.

These companies were exceptional in their dealings, and we’ll give you some of their activities below.

Fuller Brush Company- Mr. Alfred C. Fuller created the Fuller Brush Company as far back as 1906 and instantly became popular for his brilliant door-to-door salesman style. This led him to sell his brushes to Franklin Roosevelt and John Rockefeller in their very homes.

Mason Pearson- Their brushes have emerged on the market since 1905, and you can still find their pneumatic cushioned boar hair brushes of peak quality today- they have this reputation among buyers and lovers of hair brushes.

Kent brushes- Kent brushes are no stranger in the history of hair brushes as they were the first company to manufacture hair brushes in England. During those early production days, one hair brush required the effort of twelve men.

The production technique back in the day was crude and tedious, which made production very slow and circulation very scarce, it also only made hair brushes available to a certain sect in the society – the high and mighty.

Study the Bristles

A close study of your antique hair brush bristle can help determine whether it’s antique or modern. For old hair brushes, the bristles are natural- made from boar bristle or horse hair with delicate artistry.

However, as time passed, people started introducing synthetic and fiber hair from chemical sources and factory products.

Boar and horsehair were very soft and strong even after prolonged use, which may explain why you’re likely to find an impressive number of old hair brushes around today.

Below are some other bristles you can likely find on antique hair brush

Study the Bristles
(Source: Takealot)

Plastic Hair Bristle

Plastic Hair Bristle
(Source: Worthpoint)

Whalebone Hair Brush Bristle

Check the Material

Generally, an antique hairbrush is made from two materials- one for the handle or base and another for the bristle.

From rubber to wood to celluloid, antique hair brushes have these interesting handles that are very durable and strong compared to the fancy plastic handles that have dominated the modern market and break easily.

Brass is also another material that was useful in producing antique hair brushes; they instantly add a sense of elegance to this item but lack the needed longevity as they dull over time and lose their initial shine.

Last, but not the least, there were also hair brushes made from whalebone material. This was a popular choice among antique brush makers. They’re incredibly strong and have an excellent grip with a flawless finish, which means less energy is exerted on designing them.

Wooden Hair Brush 

Wooden Hair Brush 
(Source: Pinterest)

Celluloid Hair Brush

Celluloid Hair Brush

Brass Hair Brush

Brass Hair Brush
(Source: eBay)

By Their Styles

Antique hair brushes exist in various styles. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular styles

By Their Styles
(Source: iglamour)

The vent brush aids the easy passage of air between bristles and is perfect for working through wet hair; after you’re done, the vented chambers make it easy to remove stray hairs from the bristles. This is also widely regarded as Lyda Newman’s brainchild.

The vent brush
(Source: Pinterest)

The detangler brush with widely spaced nylon bristles is excellent at removing stubborn tangles in the hair.

The detangler brush
(Source: Pinterest)

Animal hair brushes are still a preferred choice among users today due to their increased tension which smoothes out hair faster with every work. Talk about time management and smart work!

The combination brush craftily combines the features of wire teeth and natural bristles to create an intense smoothening effect when used for the hair. Samuel Firey dropped the patent for this hair brush style in 1870.

The combination brush
(Source: Etsy)

Round brush helps add much-needed volume to hair and has either a metal base which makes it unbreakable, or a ceramic base with great heat resistance.

Round brush 
(Source: Martinato)

The military oval hairbrush is very common among men, and they have one striking feature-lack of handles.

Rarity

Antique hair brushes were made for a section of society in the early days. So artists made ornate vanity sets containing brush, comb, and a hand mirror gifted to rich families of brides and pregnant wives.

It’s highly likely that these brushes no longer exist or have only a few in circulation; they’re, however, very expensive if found.

Where To Get Antique Hair Brush

Below is a list of places to get yourself a piece of antique hair brush for your collection.

Online Sources

eBay, Etsy, and Rubylane are great spots for you to check and buy your antique hair brush. You don’t have to go to a physical store or exert physical energy; you only need to place an order for your preferred item and have it delivered to your location.

Antique Shops

Antique shops are scattered all over the united states, and they may have few or lots of antique hair brushes depending on their availability. One advantage of going to antique shops is that they usually come with in-house appraisers who can answer questions about your item before you purchase them.

Auctions

Like every antique item that has ever been found at auctions, you can get antique hair brushes too. Whether physical or online auctions, we advise that you carry out the needed background test and confirm if the auction is legit and confirmed to sell verified antiques.

Estate Sales

Estate sales are usually operated by relatives, children and certified agents of dead individuals with many kinds of stuff that are sellable. Since an antique hair brush is a common household beauty tool, we’re sure you’ll find a pair or larger quantity.

Thrift Shop

Thrift shops are filled with pre-owned goods, and what better place to shop for antique hair brushes than the nearest thrift shops? The clause of provenance is even applicable to items in thrift shops as you may be lucky to purchase a comb used by a very famous personality.

How to Value Antique Hair Brush

Check out the following guidelines we’ve set for you to easily evaluate your antique hair brush.

Material

Antique hair brushes made from valuable materials like ivory, gold, sterling silver and polished wood are highly collectible and priced, too, as they make for great decorative pieces even well after they go out of use.

Ivory comes from elephant tusks and makes excellent, luxurious handles for antique hair brushes. Hair brushes with ivory handles are rare, expensive, and boast rich artistry.

Gold plated hair brushes were also a thing back in the day; they helped add glitz and glamor to dressers and beauty sets while staying affordable. You can be lucky to find a gold-plated antique hairbrush in your grandmother’s chest.

Enamel-covered hair brushes are also very valuable; they always include intricate patterns and details on them, usually telling stories or depicting interesting scenes and times in history. The most common details you’ll find are flowery prints and animal habitats.

Hair brushes with heavy details and designs also carry a higher price than plain-looking brushes- so if you want to get as much value as possible from your antique hairbrush, ensure that they’re made from valuable materials and are heavily decorated.

Condition

An antique hair brush with zero lost parts and complete bristles strong enough to work through the thickest hair, even with their age, is instantly valued at high prices. If you have an antique hairbrush in your care, take extra care of them and keep them away from human reach to avoid losing important parts.

Whether to use or sell them is entirely up to you, but we advise that you clean them by dissolving washing soda in hot water and immersing your brush with them. Washing soda also helps soften your old brush bristles for modern use.

Here’s a video on how to care for your brush.

Craft

During the Victorian era, antique hair brushes became a huge status symbol. Companies made quite an impressive number from luxurious materials like silver, ivory, brass, and even plastic, considered rare then.

Age

Age is a huge factor in determining the value of an antique hair brush. Do the needed background checks and close study features of your item to confirm the age they emerged from, and then proceed to tag the value you prefer.

Condition

Ensure to keep your brush in a state of cleanliness and completeness. This is one of the most important factors any buyer would consider before dropping money to purchase an item.

Protect your brush bristles from harsh weather conditions or any situation that might make you lose a reasonable amount; Owners must always safeguard the handle to prevent peeling, breaking, or losing any important part.

Provenance

If your antique hair brush belonged to a very influential family or individual from the last century, chances are very high that the market value will increase exponentially. Provenance has a huge way of affecting antique stuff. Therefore collectors always look forward to discovering the origin of their items.

Online Guides & Catalog

Check existing online guides on the world wide web to discover previous prices for your antique hair brush. These guides will help you come to a reasonable price for your item.

Appraise Your Brush

To further discover the value of your antique brush, we strongly recommend that you have it appraised. Appraisers are qualified personnel with in-depth knowledge of the history and styles of antique items; therefore, determining values should be easy for them.

Parting Words

Consider this guide the clarion call you need to search through your great-grandmother’s chest. Who knows, you might find a couple of antique hair brushes in excellent condition. As you do this, do remember these points

  • Look out for sterling silver and gold plates and enamel detailing on your antique hair brush, as they hold the most value.
  • You can identify the status of your antique hair brush by studying the bristles.
  • Ensure to always keep your hairbrush in good condition to maximize profit.
  • Keep antique appraisers close, as you’ll need them.

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