*No, it’s not her original straightening comb, but the very first hair styling and fashion book published for African American women, written by the entrepreneur who invented the straightening comb, shows up on Monday’s episode of PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow.” (8 p.m. EST)
Loretta L. of Independence, Missouri, ironically a hair stylist herself, brought in a book she received from a friend as a gift. Titled “Text Book of the Madam C.J. Walker Schools of Beauty Culture, the pages were filled with home remedies – a few of which she tried out herself.
“It was his mother’s book,” recalls Loretta. “And I am a licensed hairdresser, and he said, ‘Take the book. Maybe you’ll learn something.’”
Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove in 1867, and went on to build a beauty empire that made her America’s first female self-made millionaire.
When “Antiques Roadshow” came to the Toy and Miniature Museum in nearby Kanas City, she decided to try her luck and see what the book is worth today. Appraiser Ken Sanders took a look at it, found it was a first-edition copy published in 1928, and valued it at $10,000.
“I did sell my book to a dealer in Boston,” Loretta said. “I just decided that I needed the money. So I did sell my book.”
And did she pocket at least 10Gs?
“I really don’t want to tell you what I got for the book,” she said with a laugh, “but I sold it.”
Below, Loretta gives EURweb more details about her experience: