Asking for medical antiques in most general antique shops usually meets with a blank stare. However, these elusive treasures will eventually yield to perseverance.
When a desirable piece comes up on the more frequented lists a number of prospectors can be goaded into progressively higher bids when they sense that others are interested.
The idea that “it must be worth more than this or other people would not be bidding” does not hold water and can lead to prices rocketing well above market value. In full flight this process can resemble a shark feeding frenzy.
The other consideration with eBay is that there is no opportunity to inspect before hand and perhaps 30% of items turn out not to be right. These may prove difficult to return if they have not been properly described.
The more reliable methods of purchasing are from auction houses, antique dealers and antique fairs but the reassurance that you buying the real McCoy comes at a cost. Car boot sales and bric-a-brac shops also allow hands on inspection before purchase but a relatively low find rate makes them heavy on shoe leather.