Collecting antiques is both a fun and fulfilling experience. You don't just learn about the rich history of the piece, you get the chance to preserve its essence too.
Antique barber chairs are huge, heavy and delicate collectibles. Special care must be taken in order to maintain their condition. However, a fully restored piece can sell for thousands of dollars. It's definitely worth keeping and maintaining one.
As with any antique piece, condition is everything with antique barber chairs. It doesn't necessarily have to be very pristine. However, it needs to be working. It's kinda pointless to own without having to even sit on it.
There is not so much information available on antique barber chairs online. Owner's manuals are also hard to come by. In most cases, you're on your own if you want to restore a piece that's not in good condition. There are also a handful of antique restorers that will do it for you for a fee.
One step that's always a must when restoring any antique item is taking photos before and during disassembly. Since there is no owner's manual for this kind of work, the photos will serve as a reference guide as to where the parts go. Without the photos, it will be like assembling a puzzle without even knowing how it will look like in the end. It doesn't just wastes your time, it's stressful as well. So once again, have a point and shoot camera ready prior to dismantling the piece.
Valuing these antique heavyweights depends on several factors. Aside from the condition, the brand or manufacturer is also significant. Koken, Kochs, Emil J. Paidar, Belmont and Louis Hanson each have their own distinctive qualities. Kokens in particular, are the first to incorporate hydraulic lifts. Because of this, they are very popular among collectors and are pricey as well. Early models of Kochs barber chairs were made of wood, so very few survived the test of time. The one's that are in good condition are mostly displayed in museums. The remaining models being sold in auction houses can command a higher price.
There are several online discussion forums and blogs dedicated to antique barber chairs. All these can give you information about the collection you already possess or are trying to acquire. Sometimes, you'll find individuals who share the same interests. Exchanging ideas with them can prove to be a worthwhile activity.