Antiques and Collectibles—How to Value and Sell Your Old Things

Updated on January 3, 2018
Dolores Monet profile image

After inheriting her grandmother's collection of antiques, Dolores has maintained an interest in the care and sale of vintage items.

Source

What is an Antique

Many people have valuable antiques in their homes. Whether purchased or inherited, objects 100 years old or older are considered to be antiques. Of course, plenty of people call that 1940s dining room set antique but it is not. Interesting, desirable, older objects less than 100 years old are collectibles.

When we talk about the value of an antique, we can mean several things. I greatly value the things passed down to me from loved ones and would never part with most of them as the sentimental value is too great.

Maybe I never met my great grandmother, but I look at her beautiful Flow Blue china and can touch something that she touched. The family came to the United States during the Irish Potato Famine in the mid 19th century. My great great grandfather was a laborer. So, I know that this lovely dishware meant a lot to the family. It meant that they had arrived into the middle class, that the family was established enough to spend money on a few fine things.

I remember seeing the Flow Blue at Auntie's house, how it was rarely used, but treasured, set in a bow front cabinet to be looked upon - not touched. This is the most valuable antique of all. It's priceless!

Depression Glass - Vintage Collectible but not an antique
Depression Glass - Vintage Collectible but not an antique | Source

Price Guides

We can look at antique books and price guides that document various types of antiques and their values with a grain of salt.

One day while looking at Depression Glass at a lovely little shop, the proprietor and I checked out a price guide to Depression Glass values. The dealer said that she would never be able to get the stated price because the value of each piece is actually determined by how much money people are willing to pay for it. She said that she could never get the suggested prices, and this was during good economic times.

So, the value depends on the economy, the region where you are attempting to buy or sell the piece, and whether or not someone will actually want to purchase the item and whether a similar items is available in the shop right down the street. Or on EBay.

If you have antiques or collectibles (remember that Depression Glass is a collectible as it is not over 100 years old) and want to sell them to a dealer, remember that the dealer will need to make a profit. The dealer must take into account overhead costs as well.

You may decide to sell an antique or collectible on EBay. If so, first you must establish yourself as a reliable dealer on that popular site so that people have confidence in the items you have for sale as well as confidence in your shipping practices. Don't forget that on EBay, there is a huge group of available buyers, but there may be stiff competition too.

Gebruder Heubach Figurine - Girl in a Pleated Dress
Gebruder Heubach Figurine - Girl in a Pleated Dress | Source

Value and Conditon of Antiques and Collectibles

I have a beautiful porcelain figurine of a young girl holding up the skirt of a pleated dress. Fifteen years ago, I found some information about the figure that was made in the late 1800's or early 1900s by the Gebruder Heubach Company of Thuringia, Germany (Gebruder being German for brothers). The figure can be identified by the look of it ,and the mark on the bottom, as with most valuable china and porcelain pieces. The mark is a divided circle with a sunburst on top and two over-lapped letters below.

The article suggested that the figure might sell for $500.00 in good condition. And that was 15 years ago.

Unfortunately, someone very close to me (who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are) knocked the figurine's head off some 40 years ago. The head was neatly glued back on but the damage was done. No way I would ever get anywhere near the suggested price because it is damaged.

Which brings me to:

Antique Textiles - A 200 + Year Old Sampler
Antique Textiles - A 200 + Year Old Sampler | Source

The Condition of Antiques and Collectibles - Take Care of Your Old Things

Take proper care of your antiques and collectibles. Keep them out of harm's way.

Do not attempt to refinish a piece of old or antique furniture. Part of the value of an old piece is determined by it's patina, the changes that occur in the aging process. If you remove old paint or finish, you may destroy both the charm and value of the piece.

Antique Textiles, Prints, Paintings, and Photographs

Antique paintings, photographs, prints, and textiles can be destroyed by moisture, heat, and lighting conditions. Also, body oils transferred by handling can damage old things, particularly textiles and paper.

Never attempt to frame or remove an old photograph, print, painting, or textile from its frame. This is best done by a professional or an expert who knows how to handle such a fragile piece.

Do not allow someone who claims to be an expert to handle old textiles or such delicate antiques unless they are wearing gloves. If they do not wear gloves, they are not expert in the care and handling of valuable antiques.


Antique landscape painting

Source
This lamp may look old but it is not.
This lamp may look old but it is not. | Source

Do Not Assume

Just because something looks old, or someone else thinks that it is old does not mean that the item is actually old.

The lovely lamp shown above may appear to be old or antique to some people, but was purchased at TJ Maxx in the 1980s. Not old.

Often older pieces, or antiques are copied and sold just because they are so darn pretty. These reproductions can be fun to buy and use but they do not have the value of a genuine antique. Reproductions of old dishes are better to use than the real thing. Today's regulations prevent the addition of toxic elements in the production of dishware. That was not true in the past.

Why Have An Antique Professionally Appraised

Maybe you love your old stuff. I do. Maybe you have no desire to sell it. But it is a good idea to have it appraised for insurance purposes.

If you plan to keep your valuable antiques til the day you die, you want to ensure their safekeeping for posterity. You are treasuring history here. You do not want your dim witted son-in-law to throw the Victorian Renaissance Revival table in a dumpster or ship it off to Goodwill. If the kids are not interested in keeping your antiques, they may earn some cash by selling them, something made easier for them with your written appraisal.

Do not have an object appraised by the person you want to sell it to, unless you know and absolutely trust them. An unknown or unscrupulous antique dealer may offer you $150.00 for something which sounds just fine to you. But if they turn around and sell it for $5,000.00, you might not be so happy. And there is nothing that you can do about it.

When selling your antiques through a dealer, it behooves you to establish a relationship with a trustworthy and reputable person.

Antique Flow Blue cup and saucer
Antique Flow Blue cup and saucer | Source

Identify Your Antique

Before you learn the value of a piece, you must first identify the item. If you want to identify an old item yourself be prepared to do some research. If you love antiques, this process can be a lot of fun as there is a lot to learn. Your local library will have a section of antique and collectible guides for everything from old furniture to hardware. These can be a valuable resource. Of course these kinds of books are available to purchase at a bookstore or online.

Online sites like Kovels and Replacements are an excellent resource for the identification of dishware.

Search ebay with a description of your item to see if something very similar appears for sale.

When trying to locate similar items make sure that you use a thorough description. The more information you have will increase your ability to learn about your antique. Go from the general to the specific.

Look for maker's marks on the item. Dishware, for example, should have an image on the bottom called a back stamp. You can then look up that stamp. There are many types of, say, dishware that appear similar. My Blue Fjord plates may look a lot like the highly collectible Royal Copenhagen but a quick check of the back stamp (shown below) tells me the truth.

Many products have marks that change slightly over the years which can help you learn when the item was produced. Some furniture will show identifying marks as well. An authentic Stickley Morris type chair should have a decal on the bottom.


Backstamp

Source

More on the Value of Antiques

Certain types of antiques hold their value even in a recession or in hard economic times. Metal such as bronze statues, silverware or other antique metal items can earn you a tidy sum of money. Of course sterling silver is worth much more than silver plate. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver. Silver plated flatware, trays, coffee pots, sugar bowls, creamers, and trays can be picked up at thrift shops for very low prices.

Religious items may not get you what you want. Old things are often valued due to scarcity. People keep religious items and pass them down for years. Also, may religious people feel uncomfortable selling a religious painting or statue, especially if it has been blessed.

Face it, people don't throw Jesus in the trash can. So there are a lot of old religious items around.

Just because an object is attractive does not mean that it is valuable. A friend of mine was selling off some pieces and found that a very ugly old lamp sold for an impressive amount of money. The fact was the piece was rare and in demand by collectors.

The popularity of various items vary over time. Something that may have been a hot commodity in 1999 may have fallen out of fashion. Demand sets value. If lots of people are hunting for a particular item, the value will rise. Today, people like 20th century furniture and dishware so they can be quite expensive.

If you bought an item because a company promised that it would eventually become valuable that does not mean that it has actually increased in value. Think about it - if everyone and their brother ran out and bought, then hoarded tons of say, Franklin Mint plates, then all decide at the same time to sell them, they will not be worth much.


Sterling Silver Forks

Source

Selling Your Antique or Collectible Item


Selling Your Antique or Collectible to a Dealer Do not have an object appraised by the person you want to sell it to, unless you know and absolutely trust them. An unknown or unscrupulous antique dealer may offer you $150.00 for something which sounds just fine to you. But when they turn around and sell it for $5,000.00, you might not be so happy. And there is nothing that you can do about it.

When selling your antiques through a dealer, it behooves you to establish a relationship with a trustworthy and reputable person. Talk to people you know who can recommend an antiques or collectibles dealer that they have done business with in the past.

Selling Your Antiques and Collectibles on EBay - If you plan to sell your antique or collectible on EBay, you better know what you are doing. You can't just show up one day hoping for a bonanza, but need to establish your own reputation as an honest and trustworthy seller, especially if you do not have a bona fide appraisal to go along with the object that you are trying to sell. Learn the ins and outs of Ebay auctions and always use Paypal.

Create a buzz for the antique that you wish to sell by hawking on other sites including social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Draw interest in your product by advertising, or writing articles about antiques, featuring the types of antiques or collectibles that you wish to sell.

Selling Your Antique or Collectible on Craigslist I know plenty of people who have arranged successful deal s on Craiglist both buying and selling. But there are horror stories too. If you must ,arrange to meet the buyer in a public place for your own safety. Only accept cash. Of course, you can't sell a Victorian armoire and meet the buyer in the parking lot at Denny's. Well, maybe you can, but it may be a bit cumbersome and kind of ridiculous.

Selling Your Antique or Collectible at a Consignment Shop Most consignment shops will arrange to pick up and item at your home. They generally charge 1/3 of the selling price. Pay attention to the contract and their sales practices. Some consignment shops lower the price drastically if the item does not sell in a specified amount of time. You want to be sure that you are comfortable with the lowered price.

Selling Antiques at Auction can be a good resource if you have a large collection of smaller items or one real good item. Auction can be good for you if you want to move a piece quickly, but you might not always be happy with the price.

That's my chair!
That's my chair! | Source

Provenance

In the case of a very valuable antique, significant art, or a historically significant antique, you may want to establish provenance. If you want to sell the piece as an important artifact, you will have to do so. Provenance means that a paper trial has followed the item throughout the years. Receipts, letters, and other documents that have been handed down along with that item will serve that purpose.

Face it, anyone can say that George Washington ate off a particular plate. Someone's say-so is not proof. Some sites claim that a photograph can show provenance. A photograph may help but to say that just because you own the same chair shown in one of Mathew Brady's Abraham Lincoln portraits does not mean that your chair is the exact one shown in the picture.

Dear Readers - please do not put your name, phone number, or any personal information in the comments section. If you do so, the comment will not be seen as it will not be published. Remember that any kook could pester you by finding your personal info in a public forum. Also, I am not here to help you sell your items. You can do that on ebay, craigslist, or another site.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi KS - I am sorry that you lost pictures of your mother. I know that my own family photos mean a lot to me. I don't think the photos are very valuable as lots of people have family photos from that time. The value is personal and sentimental. Whoever took your mom's pictures is a real stinker. If a family member took the pictures and they will admit to it, you can always get copies.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Loretta - check out online auction sales. Look for autographed photos of Jayne Mansfield. Is it a real autograph or a reprint? Make sure that you store the photo in acid free plastic sheeting. Keep it in an area that doesn't have large temperature changes. Don't store in attic or basement or humid areas.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Sheila - doll collecting is quite popular and there are a number of organizations that may help you learn about your doll. You can check out NADDA or National Antique Doll Dealers Association, or the United Federation of Doll Clubs for information. Also there are books available to help you learn about dolls, too many to list here. First look for one at your local library, then search for a book online if you can't find one locally.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Karen - take a close look at your mirror. Describe the mirror in a Google search listing specific terms. Is the frame wood or metal? Does the frame have decorative motifs such as leaves, flowers, shells, etc? Is the mirror back paper or wood? It will take some time to identify your mirror. Once you do then you can move on to finding its value.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Leo - contact the American Appraisers Association online to find a qualified appraiser in your area. You could also contact the Kentucky Historical Society.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Austin - why don't you check out R.Lalique.com. They have tons of information on their products.

    • profile image

      KS 7 days ago

      Hi,

      Our mother recently passed and some pictures were taken out of her album. There were 4 8x10 size and several smaller pictures of family members dating from 1930s to the 1960s. Is there a way to determine a value? I have not yet found any negatives in the house to replace them. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Loretta church 7 days ago

      I have a old picture of Jane Mansfield. Signed an all how much is it worth I keep in plastic bag

    • profile image

      SHEILA L EVERETT 9 days ago

      I have a doll baby that is 100 years old i was wondering how much she is worth. Is there a website or should take it to someone.

      Sheila

    • profile image

      Karen 10 days ago

      I have a beautiful beveled glass buffet mirror that hung in my grandmothers bedroom for years. I would like to sell it, but don't know where to start. Not even sure if it has value, where do I start?

    • profile image

      Austin 10 days ago

      Hi Dolores! I was wondering, I happen to have about 18 Argos Lalique Crystal Goblets and was wondering if you happened to know anything about them! Thank you Dolores!

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 11 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Linda - that sounds like quite a job. You may want to check out the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors or the Militaria Collector's Network for help with items related to the military. As for the doilies, I see piles of them at antique shops offered for very little. There are so many of them. For the dolls why don't you check out the Unified Federation of Doll Clubs or the site Dollreference.com as they have tons of images of old and antique dolls.

    • profile image

      Linda Strang 11 days ago

      My 95-year aunt went into a nursing home and I had the pleasure of emptying her home. She didn't throw anything away. A couple things I was wondering the value and maybe you can point me in the correct direction to find out value. I have a lot of military stuff, uniform, pins, plaques and such, are they worth much. Also, she crocheted a lot and I have doilies and doilies, and dolls. I'm not sure of the best way to sell them, I figured eBay would be the easiest, but since I really haven't sold vintage items would it be hard to sell them. I have purchased stuff from eBay for years and sold some stuff. I really could use your advice. Your article was very informative, thank you.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 2 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Jen - people collect all sorts of things including paper mache clowns. Desirable items are signed by an artist such as Jose Torres or Jeanne Valentine. You may find more information by visiting the online site of the Museum of International Folk Art, New Mexico.

    • profile image

      Jen 2 weeks ago

      Hi there. I have a few paper mache clowns that were owned by my grandma and was wondering if you know anything about them or if clowns are a commodity?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Mitzi - the best place to find information on an older piece of jewelry is by taking it to a jeweler.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      This is a vague question and impossible to answer. You should look for written information on the bottom of your piece. The value of figurines can go up and down over the years depending on demand. Hummels, for instance, can be valued high or low depending on if they were a limited edition or not, if they are rare, or much sought after.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi John - I wrote this article in hopes that it would help you to identify your own items, or find the right source to do so. Not to sound selfish or anything, but why would I spend hours researching other peoples stuff for them for free? It sounds like you have many items to investigate. You may want to hire an appraiser.

    • profile image

      Jeanine 4 weeks ago

      Does a figurine dated between 1943 and 1963 have any value?

    • profile image

      John 5 weeks ago

      Hi I found your article very informative and a fun read if I were to send you some photos of some old wood carvings needlework, textiles paintings, prints from China several hundred years old would you be able to tell me if they are of any high-value I',m having a hard time finding these items on Ebay and I would like to just sell all at once and not have to fuss with the packing and shipping and hassle of Craigslist or Ebay Style situations thanks

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Linda - research! Of course the easiest way is to ask the person who put it there. Is this a family piece? Is it in good condition? When trying to learn about a piece one must be specific. Is this a chest of drawers, a steamer trunk, or a storage chest. Google a more specific description of your item to see images of similar items. Look for a book on the item at your local library. Even if it's not worth anything, it might provide storage for you. Do not attempt to paint or restore the item until you learn its age. A very old item can be rendered valueless if you destroy its patina.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Melvin - when you want to find that kind of information, you need to be specific. Are you talking about photographs, postcards, sketches, etc. ? If you want to sell the whole lot at once, contact a dealer in your area. Perhaps you want to research each specific photo. In that case remember what buyers want. Images that portray historic events, significant people, specific historic places, unusual images all in good condition are of interest to collectors. If you want to sell them one at a time in an online auction, just think, even if you get one dollar a piece for each, that adds up to $1500.00. Good luck!

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Charlee - your best bet would be to take the item to a reputable jeweler.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Karen - try the methods described in the above article. Start with the easiest which would be to Google image your plates. Check the bottom of the plates for information. Check books on antique dishware at your local library. This may take some time or you may quickly find your dishware. The quest can be fun and you can learn a lot. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Linda rowles 5 weeks ago

      I have found this chest in my loft how do I no if it's rubbish or worth something

    • profile image

      Melvin East 5 weeks ago

      I have aabout 1500 old pictures how can I find out who buys or collects them

    • profile image

      Charlene Martinez 5 weeks ago

      My grandmother passed away before i was born, my mother passed down some vintage jewelry to me before she passed away 3.5 years ago, just curious to know the value of 1 special piece

    • profile image

      Karen 6 weeks ago

      I have a side of antique dog ceramic plates. I need to know what the value of them are is there anyway of finding out

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Christoher - if you want to identify your items before you try to sell them, check out some books including "The Picker's Pocket Guide to Bottles" or "Antique Trader Bottles, Identification and Price Guide." That way you can get an idea of the value of your bottles. You can also contact a collector's club in your area. Bottle groups often have shows where you can get a list of dealers. Online check out the Federation of Historic Bottle Collectors for more information. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Christoher 2 months ago

      Hi, I had a question but antique and vintage bottles. I came across about 100 ranging from the 1880'S TO THE 1930's while on a construction site. They vary in sizes and shapes. Some from local farms and other from surrounding states. I don't collect them and would like to sell them but am unsure how or where. Located in New Hampshire. Any advice?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Edna - First, you need to identify what it is that you have. There are several antique toy collectors group you can find online. Look for something similar on antique toy auction sites. Several books are available on the topic including the "Collectors Encylopedia Toys, Banks, Tion Wind-ups and More With Prices" and "Antique and Collectibles Toys

      1870 - 1950." Good luck!

    • profile image

      Edna M. Johnson 2 months ago

      I have very old little metal wind-up man on a 3 wheel bike and he has cloth pants on....it still runs....it is about 5 inches tall and wide....just wondering how much it may be worth....thank you

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Shaan - how do you know that the plates are that old? You can find a price guide on antique dishware at your local library or online. The date on the back of a plate may indicate when the design was first introduced.

    • profile image

      Shaan snyman 3 months ago

      Hi i got some beautiful and very neat plates wich date back to 1835 nd much more can anyone tell me what they might be worth i mean its almost 200 years old

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Traci - there are several books on the market you could use for research including:

      "Collectors Encyclopedia of Limoges Porcelain" by Mary Franklin Gaston; and "Living With Limoges" by Debby Dubay.

    • profile image

      Traci 3 months ago

      I have a dragon handle lomage water pitcher. It has a stamp on the bottom up L France . Any idea value or where I can find out?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Gayle - this sounds like a wedding souvenir for Richard Hayward Owen Lane Poole an officer of the Royal Navy who was promoted to commander in 1916. I don't imagine that many were produced so this sounds unique.

    • profile image

      GAyle 3 months ago

      A friend has a oval dish with a lid on it is has enscription commodor rholane poole on the occasion of his marriage former mates of the HMS Commonwealth

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Ashutosh - check out the value of your coin in The Standard Catalog of World Coins, a book available online or perhaps at your local library. Value depends on condition of the coin. If you look online you will see a ridiculously wide range of values. There are people who list very high prices for things online in hopes of finding that one person who believes their hyperbole.

    • profile image

      Ashutosh Kumar Singh 3 months ago

      What is estimated value of a coin of one rupee that is made in 1840 and Queen Victoria is printed at the back side.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Thanks Sherry!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Hi, I would just like to say to Joy, lots of things that appear to be cut glass are actually Early American Pattern Glass. The glass is not cut, but made in molds to mimic cut glass. It was a cheaper manufacturing process. You can usually tell because EAPG has more rounded edges on the cuts, not as sharp as real cut glass. EAPG is still very collectible, but not as valuable.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Joy - there are lots of books on collectible glass. Try your local library first. There are so many books on cut glass, you may want to look at several.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Livia - as the Maling Estonia pottery was closed in 1963, your vase will be older than that! Look for a Maling Estonia collector's group to help identify the age of your piece. It is popular so there will be lots of info available for you.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Emily - as glassware is such a popular collectible, there are many books out there on the topic. Visit your local library or check out used books online to help identify and value your goblet. If the design on the bottom is unique, that will make your search easier.

    • profile image

      Joy 3 months ago

      Delores, I have what looks like a cut glass bowl. Can't find anything even close. Could you maybe lead me to someone that could help. I have photo. Very old Thanks.

    • profile image

      Livia 4 months ago

      Hi, I have an old vase, on the bottom it's saying Maling Estonia 1762, Newcastle on Tyne England and also on the top of this is the number 158

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Emily cain 4 months ago

      I have an old very thick small amber goblet. I would like to see what it might be worth. I have never seen one like this. It has a beautiful design on the bottom of it.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Deborah - check out ebay. There are lots of vintage blow torches posted there and you may find something similar to yours. Prices seems to range from $12.00 to $30.00 with a very few asking for higher prices. As to who would buy this - how can I know that? People collect all kinds of things. I know a guy with a collection of old fire plugs!

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Trish - now that's unusual. Why don't you check out Old Bed Guy online. You may need to look at several books on American antique furniture such as "The Antique Hunters Guide to American Furniture Tables Chairs Sofas and Beds" by William Ketchum and Marvin Schwartz or "The Dictionary of Furniture" by Charles Boyce and Joseph T Butler. This one sounds like a tough search! Good luck!

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Meafa - there are plenty of books and price guides on vintage Christmas ornaments. Value depends on rarity and condition, and if they are actually old items. If they still have the little metal cap on them makes a difference too. Many old ornaments are very thin and fragile so be careful when handling!

    • profile image

      Deborah Rholetter 4 months ago

      I have a turner blow torch its brass and made in 1817 i wanted to know the value of it and who would buy it

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Mary - if your furniture is from the 1920s, is in good shape, and/or made by a well known manufacturer you may want to get it appraised. Authentic old Art Deco pieces are very popular and can command impressive prices. Plus it's just so darn attractive. Once you get it appraised, locate a dealer in your area who specializes in Art Deco or mid century furniture. While the 20s is not exactly mid century, the mid century crowd really likes this stuff. It looks sleek and modern but those curves add a delightful soft edge.

    • profile image

      Trish J 4 months ago

      I just bought a four post bed frame. I am curious about its age. The most interesting thing about it is the way the side rails fit to the headboard and foot board. There is a small wooden wheel with chinks in it to turn on each leg of the bed. When you turn it, it either tightens or loosens a bolt and 2 dowels in the end of the side rails. That's how the side rails attach to the bed.

    • profile image

      Mary Comerford 5 months ago

      I have an Art Deco living room set it is called a kidney set any ideas

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Andrea - as we have spoken on email, I am wondering if you learned about your items. Are they craftsman made, very old, or modern reproductions? If they are valuable, you may want to engage the services of a professional who deals in those specific goods. If they are new factory made reproductions why don't you have a yard sale or sell them on Craigslist?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Paula - information about Rozet & Fischmeister is available online as the company still exists.

    • profile image

      Paula pierce 5 months ago

      I have a lovely silver bowl made. By rozet&fischmeister,it's stamped with three stamps is it worth anything?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Jennifer - with your time constraints it would be impossible to do this yourself. Hire a local estate sale liquidation company. They will charge a percentage so the more you make, the more they make. Check local firms with the Better Business Bureau. When a friend of mine sold the contents of a deceased relative's home, he found that a piece the family considered an ugly, ridiculous lamp was worth quite a lot. A pro will understand what you have and price accordingly. Good luck! (Sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Remember to keep a few items for yourself as a reminder of your mom and the things she loved.)

    • profile image

      Jennifer 5 months ago

      Thank you for the info. My mother recently passed away and her house is full of primitive antiques, dolls, bears & nick nacks. My sister & I both live out of state and we will only be in town for about a week to get the house emptied out. I would like to try to sell the antiques ahead of time if possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated. She lives in South Florida which does not seem to be a popular antique area...

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 6 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Deborah - first you need to learn the difference between actual etchings and reprints. You can find a lot of information online. An etched image will feature slightly raised lines. Looking through a magnifying glass you will see no dots. An etching should be hand signed by the artist. Research etching, lithographs, and other forms of printing to make sure that you have what you think you have.

    • profile image

      Deborah 6 months ago

      Hello, I have an Etched picture, that Claims to be over 100 years old. How can I verify this ?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 8 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Mary - when you search for this type of information, you need to be specific in your search. Saying "picture" is too general. Look for information on whatever it is - a painting, a print, a drawing, a photograph, tintype, etc. If you own works of art, look for the artist's signature. If they are photographs, pictures that document a historic event or person will be more valuable than a photo of just anyone. I have an interesting hand painted tintype that I thought might be worth something. A bonafide appraiser told me it was worth $8.00.

    • profile image

      Mary 8 months ago

      I have 8 old pictures from the 1800s would love to know if they are worth anything. They are in fair condition meaning a few have damage from moisture but other then that they are fine

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 8 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Denise - old records are valued by individual items. Only items in like new condition with original sleeves have any value. EPs (records with only 4 songs) can be quite valuable. Original releases that were later changed are very valuable. Best value is for R & R, R & B, and jazz of the 1950s and 1960s. Price guides show top prices and not necessarily what you will get if you want to sell them. I hope that you have a record player. That old vinyl produces such wonderful sound. You'll hear stuff that you just don't hear on CDs.

    • profile image

      Denise poauty 8 months ago

      I have some old records how do I find if they value? And have round gold with handle in middle made in Italy dish, where do I find if that's valuable?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 9 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Janice - you could Google image vintage S & P shakers online. Be sure to specify what they look like - be they novelty, animals, elves, Depression glass, etc. Or you could buy an informative book on the subject. Here are a few to look for ( all are available used, online) :

      "The Collector's Encyclopedia of S & P Shakers - Figural and Novelty"

      "Collecting S & P Shakers"

      "The Complete S & P Shaker Book"

      This sounds like a fun and engaging project!

    • profile image

      Janice 9 months ago

      I have a lot of salt and pepper shakers they were given to me by a friend who's mother passed away she collected them. Hos would I go about to see what they they are worth

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 10 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Julia Ramsden - woo woo! That iridescent Favrile glass is so beautiful! You may want to take these to an appraiser to get them valued. Then, contact your local dealer in high quality antiques, not just a shop where they sell old stuff. Take some photographs to email the dealer. But do not rely on the dealer for the appraisal. Remember that a dealer will need to cover overhead and profit so expect him/her to take 1/3 of the selling price. I would be afraid to sell these online, unless it's something you do all the time. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Julia Ramsden 10 months ago

      Hello. I have a pair of Tiffany Iridescent Favrile Glass Finger Bowls with Underplates, signed L.C.T. and each etched with the number 8919. I'm interested in knowing what they are worth and how best to go about selling them. I'm in Glendale, AZ.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 11 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Claire - the value of an old musical instrument depends on so many things - when and how it was made, the materials, conditions, etc. You could locate a price guide but that might not be enough help. First, you probably need more information on your actual piece. Why don't you call your local music store. They may be able to put you in touch with an appraiser. You don't want just an antique appraiser but someone who specializes in violins. Also if there is a violin shop or violin maker in your area, they should be able to advise you. Remember that not every old violin is worth $50,000 like on that Antiques Roadshow segment. Old is not always valuable. I hope you have a treasure!

    • profile image

      Claire 11 months ago

      I have an antique violin and I didn't read any advice on selling instruments.

    working