Now, new collectors with a lot of money are looking to create an instant collection. They come to the auction with their numbers held high and don't let cost stand in their way. This is good news for today's top carvers, who hope to one day match the masters. Others worry, though, that prices are inflated. In November 2004, Guyette and Schmidt topped the previous high bid for carver Nathan Cobb Jr. of Cobb Island, Va., when it sold a brant he carved in the early 1900s for $241,500-double the estimated value. July's auction again featured a swimming brant by Cobb. It brought in $120,000. For sellers (some of whom lucked into owning these antiques), this is like winning the lottery.