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ObjectsConservator1, Restorer
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 90
Experience:  30+ years of conserving and restoring museum and private-owned objects.
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I have 2 boxes circa late 1800's that house a bird egg

Customer Question

I have 2 boxes circa late 1800's that house a bird egg collection. Several bird species are represented (i.e. robins, warbler, guinea hen, hummingbirds, etc.) There are about 100 eggs, most intact but some broken. A few of the eggs are written on from that time period. One egg has an inscription that says it was laid around 1884. In addition there are 14 Singer Sewing cards that show pictures and descriptions of birds. The boxes are written on to indicate some of the bird species represented by the actual collector of that time.
I bought these boxes at a Langley, WA antique store about 15 years ago for $350.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Antiques
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I can also text a photo of the collection since I do not have a way to email digital photo at this time.
Expert:  ObjectsConservator1 replied 2 years ago.

I would agree that your best course is to get an assessment of the collection by a natural history curator. Are there any clues on the boxes or anywhere else in the collection pieces that might give an idea of who collected them and why? Any documentation from the antique store? That would certainly increase the scientific value, and possibly the monetary value as well. It's basically a curiosity antique, and I would say the resale value would be around what you paid for it. A museum will give you formal paperwork that you can use for tax deduction purposes upon donation so you can claim market value.

I would also suggest not to attempt any repair of the broken eggs, especially if pieces of the shells are missing.