Barbershop items have a dedicated following, mostly centered on shaving mugs and barbershop bottles. However this category includes antique and vintage items associated with shaving, haircutting and personal grooming. While the idea of the traditional barbershop is receiving a bit of a revival in some high-end men’s boutiques the practice of a professional shave with a straight razor is virtually extinct today. Collecting these items for many people helps connect them with their heritage whether it is a shaving mug handed down through the family or the feel of personal service associated with an old barber’s pole.
This category includes not just the barbershop items themselves, but we’ve also including advertising for those barbershops and items, and later advertising and objects that wasn’t directly associated with the barbershop per se, but was the descendant of that, such as disposable Gillette razors and advertising.
Certainly shaving mugs are the most desirable type of collectible in this category and deservedly so, there are so many types and variations but each one is a personal expression of the man who purchased it to sit in the shop for everyone else to see. Shaving mugs are subdivided even further into categories like Occupationals, Fraternals, Decoratives, Florals, Figurals and more and more obscure types you can learn about in reference books like “The Best of Shaving Mugs” and “The Shaving Mug & Barber Bottle Book” both by Keith Estep. These reference guides are invaluable to a collector just starting out, they can teach you the terminology and how to spot fakes, repairs, and what you should expect to pay a lot for. Common mugs like Gold Names can be quite common and easy to collect but rarer mugs with desirable occupations, rare variations, or multi-fraternals can also bring over $1000 in some cases. If you have a mug you’re researching feel free to contact us for an appraisal.
Other barbershop collecting items include the Barber’s Pole trade sign, early authentic painted wood barber poles in good condition can bring thousands, barbershop fixtures like chairs, mug racks, or myriad other objects. Items not from actual barbershops like more modern advertising and signs can be collectible but generally not as valuable.
As with anything on the site if you have a question about a Barbershop antique or vintage item, send a picture or two to our email and we’ll be happy to help you out.