Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Market Value of a Pince-Nez Fitting Set


The other day an auction ended on eBay for an American Optical fitting set. It was a well-worded ad and this auction received fifteen bids from six bidders for the twelve piece set. While the mountings appeared to be in very good condition, the case and insert had some condition issues. Nevertheless, fitting sets appear only once every few months or so on eBay. The winning bid for this set was $177.50.

As a collectible, the fitting set does not appear to generate much collector interest in terms of monetary value.

The winning bidder did manage a good deal as the fingerpieces alone were well worth the final price, averaging $14.79 per mounting. If you peruse the eBay listings, final prices for fingerpieces usually range from $15 to $30 for mountings in very good condition or better.

In terms of historical value, the fitting set is a priceless item for the pince-nez enthusiast. It harks back to a time when the optical patient received individual attention from a trained optician.

Collectibles are subject to the old law of supply and demand in relation to price. While the fitting sets are very scarce, there does not seem to be a big money demand for them. I think that is great! It allows pince-nez enthusiasts to acquire them at a reasonable price. If you are a true collector, the monetary value shouldn't be a consideration. It is a historical item which needs to be preserved.

If you are a lover of pince-nez, I hope you can acquire one of these sets. You'll be glad you did.

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