Reply by summerfi

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Posted on Antique saw - Gray & Sons

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4336 posts in 2252 days

#1 posted 10-25-2018 05:03 PM

The picture below shows a Thomas Ibbotson (also British) saw that I sold awhile back. The date AD 1845 was clearly carved into the handle by a previous owner. The date is consistent with the age of the saw based on its characteristics and comparison with other known-age saws. I own several tools that I inherited from my dad that are inscribed with his name and the date 1939. Why do people put their names and/or dates on their tools? Names are easy—it’s to identify ownership and prevent theft. Dates are rarer and a little harder to identify the reason, so I can only speculate. These tools came from a time when people earned their living with their tools. Tools were a significant monetary investment, and people both took pride in them and took good care of them. Some of these people probably inherited tools from their ancestors, much like I have, and they expected to hand their tools down one day to their offspring. Dating the tools added to the tools’ provenance and cultural value within the family. When a worker showed his tools to a co-worker, he could proudly say, “Look at this, this tool has been in my family for over 100 years and it’s still going strong. It’s obviously a quality tool.” Most of us who have vintage tools value their history if we are fortunate to know it. Dating the tools helped pass that history down from one generation to the next.

I mentioned previously that I own a Charles Gray & Sons 14” backsaw. I thought you all might enjoy seeing pictures of it. The first picture is of the saw as I bought it on ebay for under $20. The other pictures are after I restored the saw. I obviously had to replace the plate because the original plate was broken and unusable. I’ve sold many similarly restored saws for around $125, so I’m sure this saw would bring at least that. So, an increase in value from <$20 to ~$125 is due to the restoration. Again, unless it is a really rare or unusual saw, restoration back to a usable condition does not reduce the value.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works -- ~Non multa sed multum~

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