Dating craftsman planes
When properly marked with a documented and desirable maker's names like Chelor or Nicholson, who are documented 18th century wooden molding plane makers, a plane like this can bring from several hundred to several thousand dollars in the antique tool marketplace.
The bad news here is that this example, even though it is made of yellow birch, is in good condition, has a proper looking wedge, and the characteristic heavy chamfers of a 18th century plane, is unmarked and thus worth about or less if you can find a buyer.
It was designed by Leonard Bailey and its value can run from a couple of hundred dollars to about 00 depending on condition, finish, and other subtle differences.
Again, they may all look the same to the casual observer, but when it comes time to sell yours, you better know which is which. The antique tool market and the values for a given tool change over time, often leaving a trail of short-lived wildly high prices and sharply spiked price swings in its wake that some people never seem to figure out.
The following pictures of vintage and antique woodworking planes present graphic view of some of the subtle differences that occur in antique tools that affect values and create a price range from a few dollars to many hundreds of dollars for a given antique tool or plane.
They may all look the same upon first glance or to the casual observer but that is not what antique collectible tools and their values are all about.
Then folding rules were hot, or plumb bobs, then marking gauges, levels, then wrenches, and next year it will be ??? In other words, the demand for specific categories of antique tools ebbs and flows, and sometimes the prices for specific groups go through the roof, while other categories go right in the tank.
It is a science that does not take a degree in rocketry to figure out, just a knowledge of the market, some insight, and a feel or sense for current market trends to understand.