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Friday, May 6, 2011

A little knowledge

A little knowledge can be more than a dangerous thing. Sometimes it's fuel for imaginative pricing of vintage items, if not downright ridiculous and "you gotta be kidding" pricing.

A few years ago, my daughter and SIL were at an estate sale, and they got a vintage trash can free. They use it in their bathroom. Don't get me wrong, it's a really cute trash can. I'd love to have one exactly like it in my own bathroom. Yesterday I was trolling eBay, and I found a picture of the same trash can. It was listed as "Mid Century Atomic Mategot Style Tin Wire Trash Can Bin" and priced at $159.

I did a little research and found lots of pictures of designs by Mathieu Matégot, but I didn't find a thing that resembled my daughter's and SIL's bathroom trash can...unless being made of metal counts as a significance resemblance.

Trash can attributed to Mathieu Matégot

Another trash can attributed to Matégot

Matégot planter...made of perforated metal, 
like most of his designs...(which my D&SIL's isn't)

Matégot table...hairpin legs, but a different shape

A collection of Matégot designs

Mathieu Matégot designed some very cool metal items, but I don't think he designed the bathroom trash can in question. I may be wrong, but I think it's wishful thinking on the part of the eBay seller. And while I'm still jealous that my daughter and SIL got theirs free, that was probably closer to a realistic price than $159. 

Like I was saying the other day, that's why I don't use eBay...and a few other a pricing guide.


  1. Love the designs. Yes, it's fun to suddenly find something you picked up for a song (or free) is listed at a huge price. It's the one reason hubby doesn't grumble about thrift shopping... we've had a couple unwitting nice scores.

  2. I think the sellers are hoping you won't notice the word "style" artfully wedged into the auction title. "Mategot Style" and an actual Mategot item are two different things.

  3. It makes me crazy when "thrift" stores price their items according to what "similar items" are listed for on ebay...especially when everything is donated and volunteers are running the place... THRIFT is the key word people....price accordingly!

    I like the trash can, and what a great, my favorite!

  4. I can understand describing an item as "in the style of" if it's very similar to the real thing, but I think it's wrong to do so if your items bears no real resemblance to the designer item. Throwing around a designer name to try to sell something at an inflated price is very dishonest.

  5. I agree that if you say you're operating a thrift store, you should offer items at thrift prices. That goes back to our discussion the other day about choosing an identity for your store and pricing accordingly for the clientele you've chosen.

  6. cool post...i bought a magazine /book shelf today and was looking for establishing its identity..i found some weird names and understandable

  7. BTW Dana, the second trashcan in this post is actually a Richard Galef Ravenware design, not Matégot. Architonic got it wrong yet again...