Q I honestly have no idea whom to turn to and have been searching the web high and low to find some useful information on this 1965 Barbie’s Hostess Set 1034 I discovered at my mother’s estate. Then I found your site and thought you might be able to give me some advice on how to estimate the value and places to find a genuine collector that might be interested in purchasing this gift set. The Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2013 is the ONLY reference I have found to list a complete set that was sold.
I have found two prices listed, ranging from $600 (from 2006) to $9,000, so I am rather confused on how much this set could be worth.
The box is in rather good condition for its age – one corner is broken at the seam, some minor scuffing, a few small spots, two small strips of clear tape on the middle front, minor bulging and some scratches (more like indentions) in the cardboard but not through the print. The set is complete, only the card from the top left corner with the six faces is missing – all is still in its original covering and sewn in place. There are a few small spots in the cardboard (from age?), slight yellowing on the cake pieces, silverware looks a little tarnished and one small brown stain on the white doily. The doily is still crisp and white. One string holding the cook book also has some brown discoloration. Everything else still looks new. Nothing is really faded. Box has a musty smell from age and storage.
I would really appreciate any help you could offer.
— M.M., via email
A Nineteen sixty-five was a big year for Barbie. She received 33 new outfits, a new gift set, a page boy hairstyle and bendable legs.
Your 1965 Barbie’s Hostess Set 1034 appears complete, which certainly increases the value. Chances were that once these sets were opened, the contents did not find their way back into the package but were mixed with other accessories or stored in one of the many carrying cases offered for these dolls.
Complete sets are difficult to find. I have seen individual components of the set, such as the teapot, a place setting, a cup and saucer or cookware sell in the $25 to $48 price range with the complete set bringing close to $2,000.
There are many Barbie price guides available at the larger online book vendors, and there are also a number of Barbie clubs online as well. It may be worthwhile to send an inquiry to one of these clubs to locate a collector for your set.
About our A.I.A. appraiser: Dr. Anthony J. Cavo is an honors graduate of the Asheford Institute Of Antiques and a graduate of Reisch College of Auctioneering. He has extensive experience in the field of buying and selling antiques and collectibles; at age 18, he became one of the youngest purchasers and consigners of antiques and art for a New York auction house. Mr. Cavo is an active dealer in the antiques and collectibles marketplace in the U.S. and abroad.