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The Hotel Barber Chair That Sold For $1,600

Where: 1000 Cold Springs Rd [map], Dixville Notch, NH, United States, 03576
May 14, 2012 at 9:22 AM | by | ()

Not being accustomed to buying antique barber chairs, we can't say for sure whether $1,600 (about the cost of 50 haircuts) is actually a deal or not. But at an auction, which took place on Saturday at Balsams Grand Resort in New Hampshire, the century-and-a-half-old hotel certainly succeeded in cleaning itself out to make way for a major renovation project.

Set to re-open in mid-2013, the new Balsams first had to get rid of its ties to the past. Plates, towels, sheets, a ski lift—pretty much the entire contents of guest rooms and other public spaces—were put on the block. And the buyers didn't disappoint!

Reports state that over 2,500 people showed up at the auction, and that bidding added up to total sales of over $200,000. We don't doubt it.

We recently spoke with a hotel-obsessed flea market owner who explained that historic old resorts dumping their goods can be pure gold mines for antique collectors. Of course, to us, the contents of a hotel are always more interesting when we're actually using them during our stay (hello, DVD players! oh hey, tricked-out shower doors!).

After all, as guests, are you looking for a functional, design-forward experience, or a museum?

But, we admit, the relics have their appeal too. Guess those New Hampshire folks just happened to be in the right place at the right time this weekend.

In addition to the barber chair, other items of note included: an $850 copper water-cooling machine, chairs from the hotel's ski lift, and even a biomass plant. The latter wasn't even expected to sell at all, but auctioneers kept the goods moving for a reported 12 hours.

What about you? Have you ever picked up a storied piece of hotel ephemera? Do you keep a collection? Is there one hotel you'd just love to raid? We want to hear about it!

[Photo: AP / Jim Cole]

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