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

Updated on June 24, 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.

Antique Flow Blue cup and saucer
Antique Flow Blue cup and saucer | 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
Antique Landscape
Antique Landscape | 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.


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.

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.

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    • profile image

      Shannon 5 months ago

      I recently came across a old punch bowl of my mother's that has been packed away since my father passed away 25 years ago, just curious of its worth. It's a bowl and 6 cups, it's Tom E Jerry.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Shannon - Tom and Jerry does not refer to the cat and mouse cartoon but to a warm, eggnog type drink popular in England, later in the US, in the late 1800s. Tom and Jerry punch bowl sets were also popular in the US in the 1940s. Obviously, a set from the 19th century will be worth more than a set from the mid 20th century. I've seen a wild variety of prices for the mid 20th century ones, from $25.00 to $125.00. I saw one recently on ebay for over $300.00, but they are not going to get that. On auction sites always check for the sold price, not the suggested price.

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      Jackie Schmidt 4 months ago

      Hi, I have my great-grandparents dining room set, complete with the two arm chairs, they have leather seats otherwise all wood, my mom restained them a few years ago, then she passed them on to me, what i was wondering is if the chairs would be worth something? or if not would it hurt just to make something out of the chairs to give away to family members as a memory thing with the wood from the chairs. I am keeping the buffet and dining room table intact.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Jackie Schmidt - if you are looking for information on specific furniture, you will need more detail. If the chairs are very old, it was probably not a good idea to redo them as the patina of age adds to the value of antiques. If you are looking to find the age of furniture, you also need to be more detailed. If you are 80 years old your grandparents could have been born in the 19th century. However, if you are 20, your grandparents could have bought their furniture in the 1960s. It all relative you see! There is nothing like sentimental value. I'm glad you kept the buffet and table!

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      Charles Banks 4 months ago

      I have some Big and small beautifully carved 5ft. Wood pieces by slave owner, Dr., planter, historian, political Democrat JGM Ramsey. Also with his name carved in each one of them from the late 1700s, 1800s. You can tell these were used by the slaves he owned and perhaps maybe his self. Sure he tried them out. In perfect condition. Was wondering if I have anything worth something?

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      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Charles Banks - old farm implements are popular collectibles and often used as decorative pieces for people looking for a rustic feeling in and around their homes. However, the fact that these pieces were owned by an historic person would add to their value. I wonder if the EastTennessee Historical Society would be interested. Maybe you should give them a call.

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      Dolores Monet 4 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.

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      Anita 4 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?

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      Dolores Monet 4 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.

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      Shirley Boulier 4 months ago

      I have a desk three drawers on bottom, fold down door with solid top. Different size deviders inside. Appraised for 1600.00. Would like to sell live in Northern Maine. Who could I contact?

    • Diane Marie Henry profile image

      Diane Marie Henry 4 months ago from California Bar, Oregon

      I'm wanting to sell a couple of antiques but not sure of there true value .or where to take them.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Shirley Boulier - why don't you check your local antique dealers and see who would be interested. You will not get the appraised value though as a business needs to cover their overhead and profit. Good luck!

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Diane Marie Henry - first you need to identify what it is that you have. You may know someone who has some experience with antiques, who may be able to tell you if you do actually have something that is at least 100 years old. Many people call old stuff antiques when they are not. Or you could describe each item into a Google image search and see what comes up. Don't forget details. Take a photograph of each item. Then you can contact a dealer. You don't want to be hauling stuff around without a plan. Good luck!

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      Claire 4 months ago

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

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 4 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!

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      Valerie 3 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.

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      Dolores Monet 3 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.

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      George 3 months ago

      I have an antique Quran more than 100 years old from Pakistan of size 2.5 cm x 1.5 cm x 0.9cm making it one of the smallest, which was inherited by my family. Was wondering what will it be worth now ?

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      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi George - I have no idea! But an old family heirloom, and a religious book to boot, I'd just keep or give to someone who would appreciate it. Older books may not have the value we like to think. People rarely throw away religious items so there are plenty around.

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      Irene 3 months ago

      I have an antique I'll try to describe. It looks like a white bisque open chariot with a woman inside and angels surrounding the chariot. It measures 15" wide and 12" in height. it has a sticker underneath that reads "original armart creation" from Japan. It also has the number 6294. unfortunately, my grandmother reglued some broken pieces on it which I realize devalues the piece. Do you have any idea what it would be worth?

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      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Irene - Original Armart Creations are priced from $5.00 to $30.00 on ebay. A broken and glued piece is probably not worth anything. Think about it, would you buy a broken figurine? The value of your lady in a chariot is sentimental in nature. Your grandmother cared about it enough to repair it. Keep it to remember your grandmother.

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      Julia Ramsden 2 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.

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      Dolores Monet 2 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!

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      Sonya 2 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
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      Dolores Monet 2 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.

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      Mario 2 months ago

      I got a big mirror (about 2meters hight , 80cm-1meterwide) it pretty old, older than 150 years,its not in a good shape nor in a bad one .i wonder how much it would cost.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Mario - the best value for an antique depends on its condition. Something that is not in good shape will have little value.

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      Karen 2 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
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      Dolores Monet 2 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!

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      Ryan 2 months ago

      I just emailed you but it seems you are amazing at replying to these comments which is great. I received 6 brass upholstered dining chairs from my parents but the tags are cut off and I'm having trouble identifying them. If I emailed you some photos do you think you could point me in the right direction?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Ryan - even if you email me pictures of the chairs I am not sure that I can help you. I wrote this article to help you learn how to identify your old things. The simple thing to do would be to ask your parents where and when they got the chairs. Are they really brass or painted? How long have they been in your family? If they are mid 20th century, you are in luck as modern type furniture from that time is very hot these days. You probably need someone to take an in person look at them to get the best information.

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      Stephanie Miller 2 months ago

      I recently came across and old paintin. I'm trying to find out how or where to take it to appraise it. Can anyone give me information on that?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Stephanie - Is the painting signed? If so, Google the artist to learn more. Look online for appraisers in your area. Check to see if they specialize in art. Of course, this will not be cheap.

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      D.Blair 8 weeks ago

      I have a large wood curved glass crystal cabinet( i was given by my mom that she bought at an antique store in New Orleans )with lion feet,four shelves. It has a carved decorative piece that attaches at top back in two areas. That piece is carved with vine like scrolls on the outer edges curving upward in the middle on each side. In the middle of attached piece is a half circle(sunlike),with an oval above with flower like petals surrounded by vine

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 7 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi D. Blair - I love those things and remember my Auntie had one filled with beautiful china back in the day. It sounds like your piece is from the late 19th century. Those bow front china cabinets were also produced into the early 20th century but usually had less detail. The Victorians loved their detail. It sounds beautiful.

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      Allan Helsby 7 weeks ago

      I have lots of blue and white some willow pattern and lots of others some stamped and some not, where can i go to find out value x

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      Ivan 7 weeks ago

      How do I find a reputable antique appraiser?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 7 weeks 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.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 7 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Allan - blue and white dishes have been popular for hundreds of years and have been produced by high end firms. Low quality copies abound as people love but can not afford the high end brands. Look for your dishware on Kovels or Replacements. If you do not know the company, check out back stamp images in order to identify the producer.

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      Cathy 7 weeks ago

      I inherited 2 red velvet parlor type chairs that are over 100 years old. They are both hand carved with hammered nails holding the velvet onto the chairs. One is a rocking chair. They do have signs of wear on the arms. Do you think they are worth anything? Need to get rid of them as soon as possible as we are moving at the end of the month. Thank you for any info.

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      Nancy 7 weeks 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
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      Dolores Monet 6 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Cathy - if you have an older Victorian parlor chair, expect to sell them for between one and two hundred dollars. It does not sound like you have a Morris or Stickley chair, Arts and Crafts styles that are simpler and in demand and very expensive. Look for chairs similar to your own on Google images or online auction sites to get an idea of what you have. Victorian chairs are more ornate but in less demand.

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 6 weeks 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.

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      Amanda 5 weeks ago

      I have a Chinese or Japanese Buddha with authentic writing were can I find out what it's made of if it's ivory or not it's extremely old?

    • Dolores Monet profile image
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      Dolores Monet 5 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Amanda - what is authentic writing? Your statue could be ivory, bone, plastic, or resin. There are several tests that you can make to see if your Buddha is ivory. You can find these all over the place online. One clue is that real ivory shows an irregular grain while fake will show even, regular lines. You could also take it to a certified appraiser which could be quite expensive. Remember that the import, trade, or sale of ivory is subject to strict government regulations.

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      Janice 5 weeks 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
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      Dolores Monet 5 weeks 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!

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      Tim 4 weeks 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?

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      Dolores Monet 4 weeks 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.

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      Denise poauty 4 weeks 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?

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      Dolores Monet 4 weeks 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.

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      Linda 3 weeks ago

      Good evening, I have a brass (?) Egyptian cup thing, it has Egyptian markings on it. It was dug up about 35 years ago on my father's property. How would I find out if 1. It is antique and 2. What it would be worth 3. What it is and what it was used for.

      Just don't know where to start looking for help

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      Dolores Monet 3 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Linda - there is a site called Tom's Treasure Forum where people send in pictures of found items for identification. I could look at that site all day, it's so interesting what people find.

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      Janeene 3 weeks ago

      Do you have any suggestions on reading material and/or websites in order to research better. Thanks for any help.

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      Dolores Monet 3 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Janeene - look for books or websites on the particular item you wish to research. There are countless publications tied to specific antiques and collectibles, too many to list in the article. Hone down your topic (ie, Depression Glass, Victorian Furniture, Vintage Textiles, German Porcelain, etc) and google books on the topic. You can also look for organizations like collectors clubs online. It can be a fun project.

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      Vincent DeBarba 3 weeks ago

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

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      Jason 3 weeks 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!

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      Dolores Monet 2 weeks 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

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      Dolores Monet 2 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

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

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      Joan Marie Fransen 2 weeks ago

      I have a large wooden scale the top is free floating it has cabinets, paper holder mounted on the outside, some sort of a ruler to measure, 3 drawers, a metal weight on top where you move individual weights. To me it looks very old

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      Dolores Monet 2 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Joan - vintage medical equipment is popular with folks who like industrial stuff. Check out images on urban remains and Kovels.

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      Brooke moore 11 days ago

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

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      Becky 10 days 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.

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      Dolores Monet 9 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi

      Hi Jad - you really need to take a good long look at your book and look for something similar online. I seriously doubt that you have a book that's over one thousand years old.

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      Dolores Monet 9 days 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.

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      Dolores Monet 9 days 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.

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      Mary 7 days 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

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      Dolores Monet 5 days 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.

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      Zane St. Juste 3 days 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?

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      Dolores Monet 2 days 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.

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