Party GamesPuzzlesCard GamesPerforming ArtsLawn GamesBoard GamesCollectingTabletop Gaming

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

Updated on July 31, 2017
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.

This lovely lamp may appear to be old or antique to some people, but was purchases 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 11 days 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.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 11 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Tina - not sure what you mean. Do you mean that you looked at the book by Clive Orton? The Orton company is a contemporary company that produces pottery supplies. If you think that you have something very special you should contact an appraiser by searching for the appropriate local authority at the American Society of Appraisers or the Appraisers Association of America.

    • profile image

      Tina 11 days ago

      We worked hard to translate what is on the Orton of e pottery.Please help. We are not sure it it is a real piece from the Qing Dynasty or just a really good imposter. Thank you

    • profile image

      Deborah 11 days 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 12 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Molly - check with the Lenox site or with Replacements online.

    • profile image

      MollyR 2 weeks ago

      Any idea the value of a set of Lenox plates and associated serving pieces all in excellent condition? Not sure on the age, they are likely dating back to the 70's or earlier. Also how about old crystal fruit bowls and/or platters?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Elena - do you know the age of the statue? Some people call all old things antique. Christie's has a wonderful site detailing how to identify old Buddha statues. If the piece is very old, you should take it to an appraiser who specializes in Asian art.

      Dates on the bottom of dishware may indicate when the pattern was created and not necessarily the year it was made. Look up the manufacturer online or check out a relevant book on the topic. There are lots of price guides out there, it just takes some time and patience!

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Carla - there are tens of thousands of Haviland patterns. They have an excellent site with tons of information on their history, patterns, and values. I would check there.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Donna - since you have so much information it should be easy to learn the value of your dishware. There are many price guides online and many books on old dishware and glassware. How you sell them is up to you and what you feel comfortable doing. Read the article for suggestions. If you sell through a dealer or consignment shop you must accept about 2/3 of the selling price.

    • profile image

      Elena 3 weeks ago

      Dear Dolores,

      Thank you very much for your article. It is of great interest to me. The fact is that I have got a small antique statue of Buddha which was presented to my Granddad in Mongolia in 1966. Besides I have a cup and a soccer dated of the year 1934 from Germany. Could you, please, advise how I can value these items?

      Thanks in advance.

      Sincerely yours

      Elena

      Russia, Moscow

    • profile image

      Donna 3 weeks ago

      Not sure mine posted. I have approximately 15 glass plate cups with original boxes & authenticity papers. First are they worth anything & second how do I sell them?

    • profile image

      carla 3 weeks ago

      Ihave a huge 12 piece set of Havilland china.Can take picture if interested.Was wondering what it is worth?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Lorraine - it's only a waste of energy if you feel like it is. Researching your old items can be a fun hunt. You can describe the items and look for images on Google. Or, you could go to your local library and find books on old dishware to locate and identify your bowls. Of course it would be easier to do this if there were markings on the bottom. Better dishware is marked. - Dolores

    • profile image

      Lorraine 3 weeks ago

      I have a set of 4 blue bowls that are approximately 90 years old. I see no markings on them so I'm curious is there a way to begin looking for information on them or is this a waste of energy to even try. Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thank you

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Dawn - the value of old love seats and sofas run the gamut from $250.00 to much more, depending on rarity, demand, condition, and other factors. Is it Victorian, Edwardian, or from the 1920s? And when you say that your grandmother tried to fix on of the pieces I am not sure what you mean. I can not tell you what this piece is worth. Research old furniture in a book. Many can be found online or at your local library. With a book, you can get some kind of idea of your love seat's age and style. My insurance agent told me that many of my old pieces of furniture are not worth purchasing extra insurance. For instance, if your piece is worth $250.00, that is less than a new love seat. Extra insurance for specific items is meant for more valuable objects. I love the old furniture, it's so lovely. I had an Eastlake sofa that I gave to a friend because I could not afford the cost of fixing it up. The sentimental value of this piece will probably exceed the monetary value.

    • profile image

      Dawn 5 weeks ago

      Hi I have an antique love seat that I know is over 100 yrs old I used to sit on it when i was a little girl. I asked my grandmother if she would leave it to me which she did. It has straight legs, a curvy top & has wood that was carved out like a flower & leaf pattern that was glued to the back of the love seat that you lean against. My grandmother did try to fix one of the pieces that came to match the other side it was also reapolstered which I know will decrease the value I did not see a stamp of who made this piece. I would like to know apoxiamately what it's worth for insurance reasons. I would never sell the piece it took me a while to get it after she passed because of other family members and it is very sentimental to me. Thanks if you can give me any info.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Katherine - Blue Danube is so pretty. I am a fool for blue and white china. Of course I don't know how old your pieces are but they are usually very affordable and can be found on ebay and replacements. With a set like that you'll never get sick of them.

    • profile image

      Katherine Waldron 6 weeks ago

      I was just given a few pieces of Blue Danube and salt and pepper shaker, sm. gravy boat with base, sugar and creamer set, cup and saucer. What I think is a sm. vegetable oblong bowl, and hoping to get the rest of the set, plates bowls etc. On the underside it say's Blue Danube Reg. U.S. Pat. Off, what does that mean, and is there any worth in the pieces I got

      ?

    • profile image

      christy Pedersen 6 weeks ago

      I have a 5-post Sheffield silver candelabra. I don't know if it's sterling silver or silver plate. It's about 100 years old.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 7 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      This kind of china with the image on the bottom is called lithophane. There are many different types of these pretty cups produced in a wide variety of designs. Black dragonware, for example, can sell for as little as $5.00 for a cup and saucer. If there is a Shimazu crest, a red circle with a gold cross, it would be much more valuable. When researching your old items, you need to be more specific in your description. Look for images of similar products online. Value depends on the age, the producer, the condition, and whether you have a whole set or just a cup. Happy research!

    • profile image

      alan dunbar 7 weeks ago

      in the set we have the cup ? when you hold it up to the light there is a head of a Japanese woman is it any good,,,,

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 7 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Kath Smith - many companies produced Edward Vii and Queen Alexandria memorabilia. In order to identify your particular plates, you need to refine your search. Look on the underside of the plate for more information. Compare your pieces with similar items offered on online auctions. You can also research by checking out replacement sites. British Royal Commemoratives by Geoffrey Warren is a good reference book you can probably find for sale online.

    • profile image

      kath smith 8 weeks ago

      i have 2 plates king Edward 7th and queen Alexandria could you let me know how much they are worth please thank you xx

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 8 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Zane - I, personally, love old photographs and like many people have lots of them. I've seen beautiful old photos from the Civil War era selling for as little as $6.00. An antique photo becomes valuable if it depicts a well known person, a historic subject, or was taken by a well known photographer. Asking for someone to tell you the value of any item is impossible with such a vague description. You should date the picture, easy enough to tell by the person's clothing, but then you need to research costume. Unless the lady is in costume. Attempt to locate photographs produced by Kubey in order to see if his particular work is of interest to collectors.

    • profile image

      Zane St. Juste 8 weeks ago

      Hi I purchased an antique photograph at an estate sale in a nearby town from where I live. It's a framed portrait of a lady and on the Matte has a branding of the name Jr Kubey. The wooden framed looks antique too. Nails are pressed down in the pack to keep the print inside the frame. How much would this sell for?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 2 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 2 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 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Becky - brass figurines were popular decorative items in the 1970s. In the grand scheme of things, that's not so old. Value is best for antique brass statues, Art Deco pieces, and unique antique items. If the larger piece indicates an artist, you may have something. Check the underside for information. Many brass items were mass produced for home decor.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Brooke - is the flatware in good condition? How do you know that it's over 100 years old? Check the underside for the manufacturer and look up the items on a flatware replacements site online. You could also visit an antiques dealer who specializes in that sort of thing, just to get an idea of what the stuff sells for. The gold itself has little value as it costs more to remove than it's worth.

    • profile image

      Becky 2 months ago

      Dolores,

      We have numerous solid brass figures we have inherited. The smallest is approximately 1x2, the largest is a horse that stands a good 2 feet tall and about 3 or so feet long. How do we find out what these are worth? They are all at least 30-40 years old, if not older.

    • profile image

      Brooke moore 2 months ago

      How much is gold plated silverware worth that's over a hundred years old

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Vincent - just look for values online. As there were tons made, they hold little value. - Dolores

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Jason - the thing about antiques is that you can be shocked at how little one thing is worth (the beautiful item that everyone loves) as well as how valuable on item can be (why did Mom keep that ugly old thing?). Find a reputable appraiser in your area by checking in with a professional appraiser's society like http://www.appraisers.org/ or http://www.appraisersassociation.org/index.cfm. They can suggest reputable professionals in your area. Make sure that you find out how much they charge before you make an appointment. - Dolores

    • profile image

      Jason 2 months ago

      Hi Dolores,

      Thank you for all of your very helpful advice, and for taking the time to follow up with everyone.

      My mom has a great deal of antiques that she is asking that I help her sell... I honestly don't even know where to get started! I know that I want to do as much research as possible, but it's hard when I am not exactly sure what type/category of antique(s) I am looking at. She has a decent variety of items.

      What would you recommend as our best game plan? Hire a quality appraiser in our area? Start with photos on the Tom's Treasure Forum you mentioned to try and figure out what some of these items are? What's the best way to find a quality appraiser and make sure you are getting the most genuine and accurate information?

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Vincent DeBarba 2 months ago

      I have a 1935 D $1.00 Silver Certificate bill in good shape/ condition. What is the value/amount of it's worth?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 2 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 2 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 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Tim - that's quite a collection. Selling depends on your time and how you would like to go about it. Plenty people sell antique dishware on ebay and etsy. If you don't want the commitment, contact a dealer who sells on consignment. You will earn depending on what sells. If you want to sell the whole kit and kaboodle at once, find a dealer who will offer you a fair price for the whole collection. You should research what you have in order to understand how to value the collection. Remember that if you sell to a dealer you can not expect the full value of each item - the dealer needs to cover expenses and profit.

    • profile image

      Tim 2 months ago

      I have a large collection set of old Flow Blue China. My dad passed away, but was a big collector of it. I probably have 50-70 pieces of it. Do you know the best way for me to sell?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 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 3 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 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Nancy - search for your back stamps online. Certain higher quality products are very valuable. You may not want to pay for an appraisal for low end tea cups as appraisals can be quite expensive. You can find an appraiser online in your area by checking out a professional appraisers association.

    • profile image

      Nancy 3 months ago

      I have a collection of tea cups, some going back 200 years, some have mfg name some do not, any idea how I could get them appraised.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Ivan - you can find a reputable appraiser by searching online for a local member of a professional organization like the Appraiser Association of America, the American Association of Appraisers, or the International Association of Appraisers. Members of professional associations like these have been in the business for at least five years and must follow ethical rules. An ethical appraiser will not be the person who will buy or sell your antique. Before you go to a professional, research a bit online. Lots of people think they have something that's super old and fabulous when they do not. Appraisers can be quite expensive so you'll want to be pretty sure you have something that's worth the money you spend on the appraisal.

    • profile image

      Ivan 3 months ago

      How do I find a reputable antique appraiser?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Karen - for something that old, I would email my local art museum. Or you could call or email the Sudanese embassy. Attach a photograph of your item. Ask them where you could take it for identification. Remember that not everyone knows what they have (obviously). Some people just assume something is very old. In the case of old wooden items, people may pass a piece around and the item increases age and value in the telling. An item that old is very special!

    • profile image

      Karen 4 months ago

      I am asking where to post a picture of a wood carved item that was given to me by a Sudanese family several years ago, they said it is 300 years old. I have no idea what it was used for...has a top that comes off and a deep area hat could be used for like spices or something.....no idea where to start looking on this.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Sonya - well that's a biggie! An appraiser will not take advantage of you. Their job is to tell you the value of your item, not to sell it. The desk would have to be authenticated and provenance established. Provenance means an authentic record of the timeline of ownership in order to prove that the desk was actually owned by George Washington as well as the chain of ownership throughout the years.

    • profile image

      Sonya 4 months ago

      Hi Dolores, I actually have a desk that was in the George Washington house with letters dating back to late 1800's as well as a picture in the home. Where can I go to have it appraised and all without feeling I could possibly be taken advantage of

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 4 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 4 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 5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Valeria - that sounds interesting! Why don't you look for any clubs or organizations built around WW2 history? You could also check out sites like the Ruptured Duck which specialized in WW2 memorabilia. Kovels also has lists for military collectibles.

    • profile image

      Valerie 5 months ago

      Hi Delores

      While moving house I came upon some very interesting German war memorabilia. I am not sure where and how I can determine if there is any value to the pieces. It contains 27 maps indicating troop movements (Frankfurt, Prag, Stuttgart, Posen, Berlin, Bromberg etc.). It also contains photos of soldiers and a letter dated 1943 to Frau Heumann indicating the death of her husband during military duty.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 5 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 5 months ago

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

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 6 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Anita - I imagine that selling them on an online auction site would be a pain - can't imagine having to pack and ship and entire set. Why don't you check out prices for your particular Mitterteich pattern at Replacements or Kovels to get an idea of value then call around to antique stores or consignment stores. You won't get the quoted price as any shop needs to account for overhead and profit so may want one third of the final sale.

    • profile image

      Anita 6 months ago

      I have a full set of Bavaria Mitterteich (90+pieces) dishes. Where would I sell them? Should I just take them to an antique store?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
      Author

      Dolores Monet 6 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Lloyd - that's wonderful! You have a piece of history there. Maritime souvenirs have quite a following. You might want to contact an auction house that specializes in maritime antiques. There's lots of info online. You may also check collectors clubs or a museum like the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to help find a value for the cup.