Thursday, June 11, 2009

How Much is My Pince-Nez Worth?


We receive this kind of question in various forms. One would assume that since this eyewear usually qualifies as an antique, there is considerable value for these glasses. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We are not antique experts but the majority of pince-nez sell on eBay for under $50. Gold mountings, usually 10k or 14k, sell in the $100 range or less on eBay if they are in good condition. Pince-nez marked 1/12k are gold-filled and have no gold value. You may have seen pince-nez listed in antique stores for a considerably higher price. This is most likely due to a higher profit margin for the stores.

One possibility for a rare, valuable pince-nez would be if the glasses were worn by a famous person at one time. Naturally this is difficult claim to prove and it must be supported by photos and/or other documentation showing provenance. To be truly valuable, the eyeglasses need to have been worn by the person and not merely an item in his/her collection.

Antique pince-nez may not have much of a monetary value. Nevertheless, please keep in mind that most of these eyeglasses were made with a precision, materials and workmanship which cannot be duplicated today. For purposes of actual usage, an antique mounting is highly desirable.

The Renaissance is not a collector's website. We focus on assisting those who want to wear pince-nez. If you have an interest in the history of pince-nez, I strongly suggest you look at Antique Spectacles as they are experts in the field. If you want to wear the glasses, then you found the right place here at the Renaissance!

This is general advice only. Before selling your pince-nez, you should consult several sources so you know the true market value of the item. If you believe your pince-nez was worn by a famous person and you have proof of this claim, then you should contact a major auction house such as Sotheby's or Christie's.

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