Know your vintage stag grips
The price of vintage stag grips is
either too little or too much. Too little if Iím not
the lucky buyer, and too much if I am,
Thatís a joke, with one larger point
being that old stags are tricky to buy or sell because thereís
some common perception of value problems that afflict niche
market this narrow however Iíd say the pricing problem can be
defined even more acutely.
Thing is, thereís not a lot of
information out there describing whatís great antique stag and
whatís not. With
no buyers guide, retail prices for antique sets end up being
set by todayís prices for the underlying commodity (Sambar
antler) as experienced by some prominent players in the
industry (Eagle GripsÖ).
Thatís not without a certain
rationale, particularly in the absence of a better pricing
what you then encounter is retailers asking top dollar prices
of say $350 for what are otherwise mediocre grip sets.
I wonít be going out on a limb here
by saying people should pay for quality. I just donít think
quality has been very properly defined as it pertains to old
stag grips. So
here some thoughts on that:
Best Grade, Exhibition
Sambar Stag, probably of 50ís or
This set shows full coverage of knurly, popcorn
Exquisite bookmatch. Grips have a natural
yellow cream color.
A set like this canít be very easily provided by
They are worth every penny of whatever it is thatís the
prevailing MSRP for new Sambar stag grips. Probably a little bit
This set is somewhat like the set
above, but perhaps a bit newer and not as mellow. Nice set with some
knurly beading. A
lot of times you pay for bark.
This is a very nice set of grips,
but represents the change weíve seen as the old world antler
supply was used up.
Note that panels are somewhat smooth. This probably
represents the typical cut of Indian Sambar stag now, as for
one reason or another we donít often see new single action
panels with popcorn beading.
Also smooth and imported relatively
recently (say, since 1990). In my mind this is a
set thatís not all that remarkable, and Iíd dismiss a top
With this example we can note, some advanced stag
lovers have resisted Elk antler because it lacks yellow
hue. My sense is
this is the predominant color of most Sambar coming from India
these days. Itís
a muted white/grey/light tea, but not all that