How much are they worth?

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Values. It is always risky to assess the value of any collectible. The true value is always dependent upon supply and demand. What may be a highly desirable item to one collector may be junk to another. Never-the-less an attempt is made to give rough values for the handcuffs and restraints discussed in the articles found on this website. These values are very approximate and are presented as a guide to the reader only. They do not represent an offer to buy or an offer to sell.

When trying to price an item, one should remember that condition is extraordinarily important. A common vintage handcuff may be worth fifty dollars in average condition, but the same cuff in mint condition might be worth several hundred dollars. To achieve a higher value any restraint must be in working condition with a proper key.

Copies, Reproductions and Fakes. Many popular handcuffs were imitated by other manufacturers as soon or even before their original patents ran out. These vintage copies can be quite old themselves, they are highly collectable and sometimes might be worth more than the original item.

Contemporary reproductions also exist. High quality reproductions of rare restraints are made for the magicians' and collectors' market. Some of these reproductions are of extraordinarily high quality and they give the collector a way of obtaining an item that would be otherwise unobtainable. Many of today's best reproductions are made by Ian McColl in Australia.

Fakes are another matter. Thousands of cheap fake cuffs, particularly those of the Darby style, are made every year in various countries around the world, particularly in South Asia. Sometimes these items are marketed honestly as reproductions, but many dealers present them to unknowing customers as genuine old items. Many are marked with enticing names, such as Wells Fargo, Alcatraz or Yuma. In reality such items are worth no more than a few dollars. Unfortunately they can be found on the Internet auction listings every day.

Questions about a particular handcuff? If you have questions about the value of a particular handcuff post a query in the forum. Someone will know the answer.


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