Antiques and Collectibles—How to Value and Sell Your Old Things
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!
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.
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. 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 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. In addition, changing markets would decrease the value.
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. This holds true for high end, very old, or significant pieces by master craftsmen. A damaged, ordinary piece of old furniture may benefit from a restoration or refinishing.
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.
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. You can find an appraiser in your area by checking out the American or the International Society of Appraisers.
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.
There are collectors clubs for almost anything you can imagine. Find one appropriate to your item and check out the group's website. They can be a valuable source of information.
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.
Sterling Silver Forks
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.
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 mid 20th century furniture and dishware so they can be quite expensive.
Design trends change the demand for antiques and collectibles. Modern buyers often look for the cleaner lines of minimalism. Overly ornate Victorian furniture does not fit that look. That means Victorian furniture, dishware, and decorative items may be cheaper than it was twenty years ago which is good news for buyers but bad news for sellers.
Modern trends favor Arts and Crafts styles with clean lines and simple forms in furniture, dishware, home decor, metalwork, and pottery.
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. No one can see into the future so promises of an increase in value are meaningless.
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.
The Antique Liquidators Association can provide you with information on reputable firms in your area. Liquidators will help you sell large quantities of items. If you have an entire house full of goods from an inheritance or if you are downsizing, these are the people for you. As they get a percentage of each sale, it behooves them to sell at the best price.
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.
Questions & Answers
Does a 12 piece complete set of Princess Elizabeth Red by Myott Staffordshire 2849BU have any value?
This pretty dishware can be found at online sales and auction sites, usually offered as single pieces, or limited sets. I have seen individual plates offered at ten dollars, and a group of four dessert plates for $35.00. But that is just the asking price. My own single plate in that pattern (I have an odd collection of mismatched pieces of all types) was picked up at a thrift store.
The demand for floral, lacy patterns is low right now while lots of people are selling. That means that you may find a buyer if you keep your price low.Helpful 7
I have cookie jar that is over 100 years old. Where online I could get it valued?
What makes you think that your cookie jar is over 100 years old? Ceramic cookie jars were produced in the USA in the 1930s. If you are trying to learn about your item, you need to use clear terms in your description. Include the material it's made of, the size, color, and decorative features.
Look for the maker's mark on the bottom of the piece.
Before you can learn the value, you need to identify the cookie jar, who made it, and its age. The value will depend on the condition. Cracks and chips will devalue any older item.
You may find it difficult to get someone else to do this work for free. But you can do this yourself by looking at a book. Older books will not reflect current values but will help you identify your cookie jar. Look in these books to see if your piece is included:
"The Complete Cookie Jar Book" Schiffer Book for Collectors
"Ultimate Collector's Encyclopedia of Cookie Jars Identification and Values" by Fred Voring and Joyce Roering.
There are many books on cookie jars, and you may find one used or you can look in your library. Then, sign up on a site like Replacements, Kovels, or Worthpoint for help in finding the value. You can also look for online sales and check out the sold prices.Helpful 12
I inherited two Clay Sketches heron vases. I remember them being on my grandparent's mantel forever. I did some research and saw they are from around the 1950s, and they are still in perfect condition. I am considering selling them. However, I can not find any information on their worth. What do you suggest?
Cy and Edna Peterson began production of Clay Sketches figurines and vases in 1943 and operated until 1957. California potteries produced many items for commercial, industrial, and home use from the 1930s until the 1960s. The greatest time of production was during and just after the war years as the USA was not importing ceramics or other decorative items due to World War II. Once Japan re-entered the market producing inexpensive knick-knacks, vases, figurines, and kitchenware, US production of these kinds of items declined.
Clay Sketches often featured birds. To sell these cute vintage bird figurines and vases, they need to be in perfect shape. While I have seen one such item on Etsy for $119.00, that is a high asking price. Look around online for similar sales, and you will see that comparable objects sell for between $10.00 and $40.00. Remember that many of the prices are the asking price, not what the Clay Sketches actually sold for. Sites like Worthpoint will show the selling price if you are signed into the site.
I have an Italian marble soap/jewelry/ashtray dish. Who can I trust to value it correctly and where do I locate someone dealing in Italian marble?
How do you know that it is Italian marble? Take your stone dish to someone who deals in stone. There are lots of stone businesses these days with the popularity of marble and granite for counters, tables, etc. A knowledgeable dealer will be able to tell you if it is marble and, if so, what kind. Visit two different dealers to see if you get the same answer. Most will not charge you for this. If it is very valuable, the dealer may not be able to give you any actual value, but may be able to suggest that it is or is not valuable. (A friend of mine has a counter top business and he is quite knowledgeable and just loves stone.)
Is the piece newer or old? If it looks dull and has some scratching (look very closely for these) it may be old. Search around online for similar items. Once you learn the material for sure, describe the material in the search bar. Include the item's size, color (both primary and secondary), shape, and any details. A detail would include a wide or thick rim, or indentations for cigarettes. Obviously, if there are indentations for cigarettes, it is not ancient.
If you begin to suspect that your stone tray is very old or valuable, you should take it to an appraiser. You don't want to do this a first because the appraiser's charge may be more than the item is worth. Find an appraiser in your area by checking out the American Society of Appraisers, by calling your insurance agent, or asking the trust manager at your bank.
I have a small clear glass top hat with a red, white, and blue band on it from a political campaign. How would I go about finding out which campaign this glass tophat is from?
How do you know that the glass is from a political campaign? Most such souvenirs feature the name of a candidate, an image of a candidate, or are made in the shape of a donkey or an elephant.
Find a book on souvenirs of campaigns. Here are a few suggestions:
"200 Years of Political Campaign Collectibles" by Mark Warda
"Hake's Guide to Presidential Campaign Collectibles: An Illustrated Price Guide to Artifacts from 1789-1988" by Theodore L. Hake
"Warman's Political Collectibles: Identification and Price Guide (Warmans)" by Dr.Enoch L. Nappen
Remember that older books that include price guides will not reflect current values.
I have a 1915 Mazart process oil painting which looks like it is signed is it worth anything?
Mazart process paintings are reproductions on canvas made to look like real oil paintings. I have one myself! I recently saw one sell at an online auction for $50.00.
My mother has a collection of at least 30 pieces of China brass. She would like to sell this collection and I have not found much info except what some pieces sell for on eBay which is surprisingly high amounts. Would this collection be better sold as a whole? How would I find the value?
Can you tell me where to look to get a Woodard table appraised in Indiana?
Woodward has been in business since 1866 when they made wood furniture and caskets. They began to manufacture outdoor metal furniture in the 1930s. Fires, storms, and wars have interrupted production. During World War II the company produced truck and tank parts for the war effort. They resumed production of outdoor metal furniture in 1946.
The best way to find an appraiser is to contact either the American Society of Appraisers or the Appraisers Society of America. Their online site can help you locate a professional in your area. Be aware that the service is not cheap and can run upwards of $100.00.
If there isn't a stamp on my piece, does it mean it isn't of any value?
A piece of china or porcelain without a mark does not mean that it is not valuable. The McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 mandated marks on all imported dishware. However many producers of fine china used back stamps before that era. Older American pieces often have no mark. Parisian porcelain produced in Paris between 1815 and 1871 are not marked on the bottom.
Some dishware was marked with a label that may have fallen off over the years.
If you want to identify your dishware and there are no marks it may be a bit harder but not impossible. Do some Google image searching first. Describe your piece in the simplest manner possible. Describe what it is (say a plate), the size (platter, dinner, dessert), rim decoration (scalloped, gold, blue), and the pattern. Patterns can be described in as few words as possible. If it's floral pattern, mention the type of flower. Are the flowers tiny or large? Mention the color of the flower.
Other images may include landscapes, animals (mention the kind of animal), a portrait, windmills, sailboats, or anything else. If you don't find what you have, keep altering your description to make it as concise as you can.
Once you identify your dishware, you can find replacement values online at Kovels, Replacements, or Worthpoint. The replacement value does not mean that you will get that stated amount if you try to sell it.Helpful 10
I have china that is stamped "Hawthorn." It also has Franconia from Bavaria Germany and the number 40 on it. Do you have any information on this?
The Hawthorn pattern is very pretty with its delicate green leaves and white flowers. Researching the backstamps on older china can be quite time-consuming. You may want to check out the site Porcelain Marks and More to find more information.
The book "A Pictorial Guide to Pottery and Porcelain Marks" by Chad Lage may come in handy as well.Helpful 7
I have Vintage Lorain clear dishes. How can I sell them?
Lorian Depression Glass was produced by the Indiana Glass Company from 1928 - 1932. The relatively short production time means that less Lorian was produced than many other popular patterns. Before you decide to sell, check carefully for chips and cracks. Understand that during the mid-20th-century love affair with Depression Glass lots of reproductions were made and sold as the real thing.
I can't tell you where to sell your items. If you sell directly to a collector, you will realize more money than if you sell through a dealer or at a consignment shop. If someone else sells for you, they need to reap a percentage of the sales price. Many dealers will lower prices on items if they are not sold after a certain amount of time.
You can try to sell them yourself on eBay, Etsy or another online sales site. If you decide to do that remember that you have to check the site often and package and mail the dishware.
You may want to check out the National Depression Glass Association for more information. They feature a dealer directory as well as lots of information on Depression Glass.
I ended up with a lot of things from my Grandmother's estate sale, a sterling silver serving platter with a red type of lion on the bottom, and I did find a very small stamp into the metal. To this day I have not cleaned it. It's been wrapped and put up; I was told that it belonged to my Great Grandmother. Do you have advice?
If I were you, I would use and display this beautiful and sentimental silver platter. The lion is the British mark that indicates your piece is sterling. Look at the other symbols on the bottom of your platter to learn more about it. You will see several marks which will indicate who made the platter, and where it was from. As marks change over the years, you may also learn the age.
Check out a site - Hallmarks of English Silver Makers' Marks and Identification to learn more about the history of your silver.
Tarnish may damage sterling. Polish it slowly and gently with a gentle silver polish like Wright's which is available in many stores. Do not use one of those chemical dips or one of those homemade dips like the one with boiling water and salt. Sometimes it looks nice when you leave a bit of tarnish in the detail work as it gives a depth to the piece.
If you chose not to display your platter, keep it away from dampness. Wrap it in a cloth made specifically for silver storage.
There is something special about keeping the old things that belonged to long-gone relatives. I have some things that belonged to great grandmothers who I never met, who died before I was born. I can handle or treasure some of the things they held dear. It's a kind of connection that can mean a lot.
Is there any value in old blue glass?
Old cobalt glass is so pretty and can be quite collectible. Of course, that depends on what kind of glass you have. Cobalt blue Depression glass like Aurora or Royal Lace is very desirable so can command a high price. The most expensive pieces would be the rare ones like mixing bowls or refrigerator dishes. Small vintage cobalt blue vases can be found at thrift shops for next to nothing. So it depends on what you have.
There are many modern pieces of cobalt blue glassware as well as reproductions. You must first learn to identify what it is that you have before you can access the value. Find a helpful book on Depression Glassware to learn what you have.
If you mean that you have blue bottles (I love those cobalt blue medicine bottles, they are so pretty) here is a book that may help you:
"Cobalt Blue Glass Edition" by Schiffer Books was printed in 2001 so will not reflect current values but can help you identify your items.
I have some old items that are worth something. So I would like them valued and sold do you know a good place to deal with?
You may want to think twice about having your items valued by the person who will sell it unless you already have a good relationship with the seller. An unscrupulous dealer could easily mislead you as to the value of your goods. A dealer can tell you that an item is worth little when it is actually worth a lot of money. Of course, most dealers are not crooks, but business is business.
An appraiser can identify and value your old pieces. There will be a fee, so you want to be pretty sure that your things have some value. You can learn a lot about your goods yourself before you commit to an appraisal that will cost well over one hundred dollars.
Then you can move on to a dealer. Of course, a dealer will need to cover his own costs and make a profit. So you can not expect to make the full value of an item if you sell it to a dealer. The same goes for consignment. Expect to part with about 1/3 of the sales prices if you sell on consignment.
You can find an appraiser by checking out the American Society of Appraisers or by contacting your insurance agent.
If you don't already have a relationship with an antique dealer, ask around. Ask your friends, relatives, and neighbors if they know someone you can trust. A dealer might not buy everything you have even if it is valuable. They will buy what they think they can sell. If your goods are fine antiques, or quite valuable, you will want to deal with someone who specializes in fine antiques. There are many kinds of dealers out there who specialize in all kinds of things - dishware, furniture, artwork, primitive, European or Asian antiques, etc.
How I go about finding out how much a hand painted set of dishes is worth?
To learn the value of your dishware, you first need to identify what you have. Check the bottom of the plates to look for a back stamp. Marks on the bottoms of plates, bowls, cups, etc. can help you learn who manufactured the pieces. As companies often made slight changes to their marks, these differences can help you date the dishware. There are many informative books on the subject. It's best to narrow down your search. If you look at older price guides, remember that values change over time. So the stated value in an older book will not reflect current prices.
Once you get an idea of who made your dishware, you can find values online at Kovels, Replacements, or Worthpoint. You need to establish an account for specific values.
Are Occupied Japan china figurines worth anything?
Figurines and dishware marked Occupied Japan were produced in Japan during the American occupation following World War II from 1945 - 1952. Check to make sure that the mark is underneath the glaze.
In order to find the value of your items, you first need to identify what the item is. There are books that can help you with that. "Occupied Japan for Collectors" from Schiffer Publishing and "The Collector's Encyclopedia of Occupied Japan Collectibles" by Collectors Books can help you identify your items. They can not be counted on for value as they are years out of date.
Once you identify your pieces, then you can look for a current, online price guide for each individual item. Value, of course, depends on condition as well as current interest.
I have a sterling silver sauce boat no markings what's it value?
How do you know that it is sterling silver? Most sterling is marked. Check your piece closely for hallmarks on the bottom. You may need a magnifying glass as marks can be quite small. Most sterling silver is marked. Look for the Lion Passat, or left facing lion on British sterling. Sterling made in the U.S. after 1850 will show the word "sterling," or "ster," or ".925." Other countries have different hallmarks.
Learn the manufacturer and the pattern. Some silver products are in higher demand than others so command a higher price. You can do this by checking out a book on silver or consulting an online site like the online encyclopedia of silver hallmarks.
You can also run some tests at home to see if it is sterling. A magnet will not be attracted to sterling silver. Try the hot water test. Fill the boat with hot tap water. If it stays hot for some time, it may be sterling. If it cools quickly, it is probably not sterling. There are other tests you can find online.
The condition of your piece will affect the value. So will the price of silver in the commodity market.
You can check with an online silver matching service online like Replacements. Check out online auctions and look at sold listings. Disregard the asking price for a similar piece as anyone can ask anything for their wares in hopes of earning a high price.
I have a large picture of the Twin Towers before 9/11. Is it worth anything?
Photographs of the Twin Towers abound. After all, it was not that long ago they stood as landmarks in New York City. There are millions of prints and postcards in existence.
Your photograph may have value if it is an original taken by a well-known photographer. If it is, then research the name of the photographer online.Helpful 5
I have a small blue glass medicine bottle with the glass dropper still workable. Where would I go to find out the price to sell it for?
Before you try to sell your old bottle, you should identify it. Bottles, like many old things, command a variety of prices depending on the market, the condition, and rarity of the piece.
Begin your search by looking at your bottle. You say that it is blue - but is it an aqua blue or cobalt? Take note of the size, the neck, any embossing, and the mold seams. A mold seam, for instance, can help age the bottle depending on how high it goes (to the shoulder, to the neck, etc.). Once you can describe your bottle, then you can begin to hunt for information,
Embossed bottles make it easy to identify. Companies and local druggists produced bottles with raised lettering containing information like the druggist's name or the city in which it was made.
Look for books on antique bottles such as:
The Bottle Book - A Comprehensive Guide to Historic, Embossed Medicine Bottles by Richard F. Fike.
Antique Trader Bottle Identification Guide by Michael Polak
Picker's Pocket Guide to Bottles How to Pick Antiques Like a Pro by Michael Polak
There are also many informative websites like:
Antique Bottle Depot
Historic Glass Bottle Indentification and Information Website
Society for Historical Archaeology- Bottle Dating
Once you identify your bottle, then you can decide on pricing. Older books will not reflect current markets. Look online to see if your specific bottle appears on an auction site or antique bottle site. Check out prices especially sold prices.
You can also learn more about old bottles, collectors, dealers, and shows by joining the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.
I live in Middletown, Ct and I have some rare Barbie dolls still in the box that are worth a lot. So who should I bring them to, to get looked at?
The United Federation of Doll Collectors is a font of information about dolls so you may want to check out their site to learn of doll conventions and dealers. You could sell them yourself at an online auction site. If you have a local dealer who specializes in dolls or toys you may want to talk to them. A dealer will generally want 1/4 to 1/3 of the selling price.
Before you attempt to sell your Barbies, learn their values. Good Housekeeping and Marl & B have an online list of the most valuable Barbies. A handy book with identification and price guide that is up to date is: "The Complete & Unauthorized Guide to Vintage Barbie Dolls: With Barbie, Ken, Francie, and Skipper Fashions and the Whole Family " by Hillary James Schilkitus.
I have some blue glass, but I’m not sure how much they’re worth. Where would I be able to find someone to help with that?
If you mean that beautiful cobalt blue, a very deep blue, your glass has a huge following. You can identify what you have with a little investigation. Are there any marks on the bottom? Is the glass dishware, drinking glasses, or bottles?
If you have bottles, there is a ton of information out there. If you mean glassware for home use, and if it is old there are books out there for you to peruse. "Cobalt Blue Glass Edition" by Monica Clements. If you think that it's Depression Glass try " Depression Glass: A Collector's Guide" by Doris Yeske; or " Warman's Depression Glass Handbook - Identification, Values, Pattern Guide" by Ellen Schroy.
I have a large collection of postcards from the early 1900s. Most still even have the stamp on them. I also know the history of them, the family's info and to whom these postcards were sent to. Where would I be able to find out the value of each individual postcard?
Since you have the postmarks, you know that the postcards are not reproductions. You will have to research each individual card by checking out the sold prices at online auction sites. Vintage postcards sell for a wide variety of prices depending on demand. Some themes are more popular than others. Certain companies like International Art Publihsing made cards that are in high demand today. Cards created by particular artists like Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle are desirable. Old Art Nouveaux style cards by artists like Mucha are valuable.
Like most older things, condition effects value.
I have a collectible metal sign. How do I find out worth?
As old metal signs are very popular now, many sites offer to identify and value them. Look for a site that has information on your particular sign. Include the size of the sign in your description. Collectors Weekly features some information on the topic.
The value will depend on demand, rarity, and the condition of your piece. Many old metal signs were lost to World War II scrap drives, and many deteriorated due to weather or sloppy storage. Remember that during the collectible craze of the late 20th century, many reproductions were created as decorative pieces and were popular wall hangings in restaurants.
Is a price listed on the sign? If so, it is probably not authentic. As prices change and a sign is an expense and not easily altered, stamped or painted on prices may mean your sign is a repro. Hold a magnet to the sign. An older sign has a greater chance of actually being old if it attracts the magnet.
An old sign will probably show some damage including small dents, rust marks, fading, scratches, or chips. A tiny hole or small dent will show some rust around it.
"Vintage Signs of America" by Debra Jane Seltzer is a new book published in 2018. Older books will not reflect current value.
If you have the sign of a product produced by a company that is still in business, you may learn some information on their website. For instance, Coca-Cola has a page on memorabilia, trays, and signage.
I have my grandparent's wedding picture. Faces are an actual photo, but the rest of the body is painted. They were born in 1890, so the pic was probably taken in 1910. Is this valuable, where should I take it to be appraised?
A hand painted photographic portrait of a relative from 1910 sounds like a treasure! The sentimental value will probably be greater than monetary value. In those days, black and white photographs were often tinted by hand with water color, dyes, pastel, even oil paint. Some of these photos were partially painted while others were completely tinted.
The best monetary value will be in examples created by well known artists in that field, or in tinted photographs of famous people or significant subjects. To learn about the technique and the artists who excelled in hand painted photos, read "Early 20th Century Hand Painted Photography" by Michael Ivankovich.
You can find values by searching online auctions for similar items and checking the "sold" prices, not the offered prices. When you look around, you will notice that some examples are stunning while there are many examples of some rather ugly work, badly done.
Take care of your old picture. Keep away from sunshine and bright light. Avoid temperature extremes and humidity. If stored as just the photograph, wrap loosely in acid free tissue paper. For framing, find a professional who will use archival techniques and the proper materials to ensure the safety of the picture.
If you want to have the picture appraised, realize that the appraisal may cost more than the image is worth.
I have a large lead cut crystal candy jar with a lid. It's over seventy-years-old. Where can I get an appraisal?
Before you get your candy jar appraised you may want to learn more about it by doing some research. An appraisal will cost over one hundred dollars. If your candy jar is worth $25.00 that would be a waste of money. That being said, you can find an appraiser by contacting your insurance agent or by checking out the American Society of Appraisers. Always look for an appraiser in your area who specializes in what you want to be appraised.
But before you spend your money, take a look at some books that may help you including:
Identifying American Brilliant Cut Glass by Bill Boggess
American Cut and Engraved Glass - The Brilliant Period in Historical Prospective by M.L. Swan
The Brilliant period ended around the time of World War I.
Or, you can try to find something similar on eBay Scan for crystal candy jar with lid, add any significant details into your description. This may take some time, but it can help you narrow down your search. You can also see what kind of prices dealers are asking for each piece.
Also check out online - Glass Lovers Database.
I have 15 stamps from Slovenia, 1945 that show the face of Adolph Hitler. How much are they worth?
Stamps in general, are worth more if they are in mint condition than if they are cancelled. I have seen similar stamps for sale on eBay. One seller offered two 1945 Slovenian Hitler stamps (a one pfennig and a 3 pfennig) for $7.50. Another offered one for one Euro, that's $1.17.
Frankly, I was surprised to see them there. Many sellers, dealers, and auction houses will not touch any kind of Hitler memorabilia. The sellers used the word "liberation" in the description, but I am having trouble seeing how a liberated people would issue a stamp that features the face of the monster that ate them. People just don't want to buy stuff that honors the most hated man in history. In other words, you won't get rich selling these stamps.
I have come crystal stemware that was my grandmother's. It does not have any markings on it to identify it. All pieces have a gold band around the top. Would they be of any value if they are unmarked?
First of all, do you know for sure that it is crystal? Crystal stemware is often, but not always, heavier than glass. When gently tapped with your fingernail, crystal emits a melodious ringing sound. Glass does not.
Crystal contains lead, added for strength and creating the sparkle associated with it. Old pieces that feature elaborate detail can be quite valuable.
Look closely at the bottom of the glass as some marks are difficult to see. Use a magnifying glass. Many manufacturers marked their stemware with labels. Labels can fall off over the years.
Research your stemware on Replacements which features a huge inventory. You can sign up to help you identify your pieces. Glass Lovers Glass Database may be helpful as well. You can also check your local library which should have several books on antique and vintage crystal.
I have a large amount of old silver coins. I want to sell them. How do I determine their value?
The value of old coins depends on the condition, age, demand, materials used and many other factors. Before you attempt to sell, learn about what you have.
Some websites may help you identify your coin, its condition, and values. Try Coin Today, Numistra, or the Professional Numismatics Guild. Also take a look at an appropriate book like: Standard Catalog Pf World Coins.
You can also join a coin collectors club. Visit trade shows and dealers to see what they have and how they price their coins. Look around online at the kinds of prices various sites offer. There can be a wide variety of asking prices for old coins, so you need to shop around.
Once you gather all your information, you can determine the value. Then you can attempt to sell them yourself online, contact a collectors group, or find a dealer who will give you a reasonable price.
I have a 96-piece set of Mikado China (Japan). It is white with a raised gold glitter leaf pattern. The set includes 12 place settings consisting of three different sized plates, a sauce dish, soup bowl, saucer, and teacup. There are two different sizes of oval platters, an oval serving bowl, a round serving bowl, a gravy boat with an attached platter base, a sugar bowl with lid, and a creamer. This set has never been used. What might this be worth?
You can learn the value of your china by going to a site that offers price guides. Searching out values can take some time. Go to Kovels, Replacements, or Worthpoint online to determine value.
Of course the condition of dishware is very important. As your set was never used and if it is in the original container, the value will be more.
I have a cake plate that says Dresden Bead on the back. I can’t identify it. It’s blue and white. Can you help?
There were many porcelain producers in Dresden, Germany that made fine and valuable china. Look for a mark that features a blue crown with five points and three stars, or three points and a central cross. Of course, there are many other marks. You can enter the mark into Google images and see if your particular piece appears. Also, you can sign into Kovels, Replacements, or Worthpoint for information.
Locate a book that can help you identify your plate; "Dresden Porcelain Studios: Identification and Value Guide" by Jim Harren is one. There are other books out there. Check online or at your local library. Remember that older books do not reflect current prices but can help you identify your specific plate.
I inherited several pieces of Gildea & Walker Melbourne china. I know there's some value to the china, but are the more vibrantly colored patterns more valuable than just the plain brown-on-ivory patterns? My china has an owl aesthetic pattern on the platters and soup tureens. Where can I find more information on the history of Gildea & Walker?
Gildea & Walker produced china in Stoke-on-Trent England from 1881 - 1885. Their name changed through the years as the company changed ownership. Some books that may be informative is "Stoke-on-Trent A History" by David Taylor and "Stoke-on-Trent a Journey Through the Potteries" by Steve Ainsworth and Tony Lax. These are about the area known for pottery production.
I have seen the vibrantly colored and the brown and white china similarly priced with only a few dollars in difference. The value is in the piece. There were more plates and bowls produced than soup tureens. A tureen, sugar bowl, teapot, or anything with a lid and handles are more valuable than a plate or bowl. Also, lids and handles can easily break so that effects rarity and can increase value.
I saw a set of three Gildea & Walker bowls that sold for four dollars on an estate sale page and the same three appearing on eBay for much much more.
I have crocks and several older items. Some are from Germany. How do I sell them?
Although many antiques have lost some value due to modern tastes and the downsizing trend, older European country items are quite popular. The simplicity of rustic and provincial European kitchenware is beloved by the minimalist and the shabby chic lover.
You might want to contact a local dealer who specializes in European antiques. Also consider a boutique that sells rustic, farmhouse, and painted furniture. These types of shops often include things like old European crocks, antique linens, and antique kitchenware. Older European stuff is hot!
I have a John B. Welty coverlet with his name, Boonsboro County, Washington, Maryland 1840 shown into the corner. How do I find out if it's an original and what it's worth?
Before you try to learn the value of your quilt, you need to find out if it is an old one. There are clues to the age of a quilt in the stitching. Sewing machines were not invented until 1856, so if it was made in 1840, it was hand sewn. Look closely at the stitching. Any hint of irregularity suggests that it was hand stitched.
Also look at the fabric. If it contains any synthetic fabric, the quilt is newer.
If it is a fluffy quilt, chances are that it is a newer one made with polyester batting.
You can learn more about dating your quilt by checking out some books including:
Clues in the Calico - a Guide to Identifying and Dating Antique Quilts by Barbara Brackman
Dating Fabrics 1800 - 1960 by Eileen Trestain.
You can also look at some online sites for more information. Check out:
Quilt History - dating quilts,
A Facebook group of quilt enthusiasts called Quilts Antique and Vintage,
Quilt Guild Directory.
I have a two-hundred-year-old wooden chair. I'm not sure if it has any value other then sentimental. Where should I start?
How do you know that your chair is 200 years old? Do you have any documentation such as a bill of sale? Gather any information that you have.
Examine the chair. Look for clues. If there are details like scrollwork, see if everything matches perfectly. An old handmade chair should show some irregularities. Are there saw marks? If it looks like a circular saw was used, remember that circular saws were not in use until 1800.
The presence of Phillips head nails could mean that the chair was made in the 1930s or later; or could just mean that the chair was repaired.
Look for any tags, labels, or stamps on the underside of the chair. Then check out that information online.
Please do not paint or attempt to restore a chair that may be 200 years old.
Identify the style of your chair and learn how to find out the age of it by consulting some books:
The Handbook of Antique Chairs by Carl Drepperd
How to be a Furniture Detective by Fred Taylor
Field Guide to Antique Furniture by Peter Philp & Gillian Walkling
Kovel's Antiques and Collectables by Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel (2018)
Warmen's Antiques and Collectables by Noah Fleisher
Antique Hunter's Guide to American Furniture, Tables, Chairs, Sofas, and Beds by William Ketchum.
Once you can identify your chair, then you may begin the quest to find its value. Newer books better reflect current values than older books.
If your chair appears very valuable, you may want to have it appraised by someone who specializes in antique furniture.
I have a woodland, Enoch Wedgewood dinner set that was founded in 1835 and I wanted to know its worth? Who can I contact with regards to selling if my dinner set is an antique?
Enoch Wedgewood was a cousin of the famous Josiah Wedgewood. The cousins formed separate companies From 1860 - 1965 Enoch's company was called Wedgewood & Company. from 1965 it was called Enoch Wedgewood Turnstall Ltd. In 1980, the company was named Unicorn Pottery.
Your woodland pattern is very pretty whether it is the blue and white or red and white. I have seen the woodland pattern on etsy and ebay. Prices range from $8.00 to $10.00 for a lunch or dessert plate and $18.00 for a platter.
The date 1835 just refers to the fact that the original company was founded in 1835. Dates on plates can also indicate when a pattern was introduced and does not reflect the date it was made.
How you want to sell your dinner ware is up to you. You can go the onine route or contact a local dealer. Make sure that you have a general idea of the value first. Remember that a dealer must make overhead and profit so will take about 1/3 of the sale price. Find a reputable dealer by asking around to see if anyone has a trusted source. An unscrupulous dealer can easily offer you much less than is fair.
The examples of the Woodland pattern that I have seen were made in the 1960s so were not antique. Just because it is not an antique does not mean that it is not valuable.
You can also try to sell at a consignment shop. There too you will have to part with about 1/3 of the selling price.
I have a tea set, although some of the paint seems to have faded. The number at the back of the cup is 8099, and named Colclough China, made in Longton (not stamped very clearly) England. Is the set worth anything? The other is more clear and name is Longton but number is not clear. Could be X021. Again, are they of any financial worth? I did read an answer in which you stated that China tea sets are not wanted because the youth doesn't drink out of teacups anymore.
Colclough China opened operations in 1890 and continued production until 1996 creating some very pretty patterns. In the early 1950s, Colclough merged with Ridgeway. Products from this company appear in many online auction and dealer sites offered for a wide variety of prices. Your tea set is in a pale blue decorated with filigree.
When you wonder if there is value in any item, it depends on what you mean by value. I recently saw a teacup and saucer in your pattern offered for about $10.00 on one site. That was not a sold price, so it depends on whether someone is willing to pay that price. In general, a complete set would be more valuable than odds and ends. Sets are often incomplete due to breakage after years of use. Teacups are often lost to the breakage of handles. Pieces with handles and lids are less widely available than plates and saucers.
Look around online checking out Colcough backstamps. See what similar sets are going for and price your set accordingly. If you want to move your product, you may want to price it a bit lower than others being offered.
I don't recall if I said that young people don't want teacups but that sounds right. So many people are downsizing or trying to sell their stuff online that there is a glut of pretty, vintage china, especially with delicate or flowery patterns.
I live in Ohio and was wondering where to begin in terms of valuing and selling my old things? I have a box of items that I think may be worth something, but I can't afford to pay an attorney at this time. What should I do?
You don't want to pay a lawyer to identify antiques. Read the article and decide on a game plan. Try to find out exactly what it is that you have. This may take some time, but research can be fun. There are many books available on a wild range of items, whether it's dishware, jewelry or whatever.
What does it mean when there is a seam or join in old or antique glassware? Is it rubbish or valuable? I bought an eight-piece set at an Auction about 25/30 years ago.
A seam in old glassware means that the piece was made with a mold. Molten glass was injected into a mold to solidify. Molds came in pieces and were clamped together to make the glass, bottle, or whatever. When the mold was removed, a trace was left where the pieces of the mold met. Some manufacturers polished the seams off so that you could not see them. Lower quality products still have the seams. But just because there is a seam does not mean the product is not valuable today. Many types of older glassware produced for the lower classes can be highly collectible and very popular.
I bought an Indian door or table 18 years ago for $400. I'm not sure if it is an antique. How would one value such an item? I have seen similar items on eBay for sale for approximately $2,500. I want to market this item on Etsy or maybe sell it abroad.
If you think that your tabletop or door is very old or valuable, you can take it to an appraiser who specializes in Asian furniture. If you think you know the value of your item, visit a local dealer who specializes in Asian antiques. Take several photographs of the piece to see if they are interested in it. If they are and seem to want to strike a deal that sounds fair to you, go for it. Of course, they will want to see the piece in person before they make a decision.
Selling a big, heavy hunk of wood on eBay or Etsy sounds difficult. Shipping would be very expensive.
What would an antique silver Caster estimated to be over 100-years-old be worth?
Sterling silver sugar casters were introduced to Europe in the 17th century. By the late 1600s, other casters were used for mustard and pepper. Usually, the older casters are in the lighthouse style, a simple cylinder with piercings on the top. Being rare, these would be the most valuable and can sell for thousands of dollars. Later versions include Queen Anne, a stouter style with elaborate piercings and acorn, ball, or pineapple shaped finial. Vase-shaped obviously resembled a vase. Baluster style was wide at the bottom third, then slimming above.
When casters were mass produced, the silver that made up the body became thinner so needed a wider or weighted bottom for balance.
Look around online at sugar casters for sale at antique sites. You can check out a book such as "The Book of Old Silver: English, American, and Foreign" by Seymour B Wyler, or "Pocket Editions Jackson's Hallmarks" by Ian Pickford.
Check the bottom of your caster to see if there are any identifying marks.
You can also call your insurance broker who can recommend an appraiser.
I have a serving bowl given by an ancestor which is marked 1427 England. How can I find the value and a buyer?
The McKinley Tariff Act of 1891 mandated that companies inscribe the name of the country of origin on the bottom of a piece of China if it was to be imported to the United States of America. A number indicated the pattern. You should see the name of the company that produced the bowl as well. The company may be represented by an image such as a boat, wavy lines, an animal, a crown, circle, or a mix of shapes. You can Google image that shape to find the name of the company.
The images that manufacturers use often change slightly over the years so that can help you learn the approximate age of your bowl. Those words and images are inscribed beneath the glaze.
Once you can identify the company and the pattern, then you can find out the current value. Do not expect to find current values in older value guides as values change over the years. Look for similar items offered for sale online. Make sure that you learn the actual sale price, not the asking price.
This will be a bit of a project and take some time and patience.
I cleaned out the attic of a recently deceased relative, and she had lived in the home all of her 90+ years. She was always a snazzy dresser and would only wear the finest clothes, shoes etc. Well, I found several hats still brand new in their boxes, tied up with tags on them. Can you tell me how to determine their value? One hat is a tall fuzzy and round, made in Italy, and says "My Hat's From LadyByrd."
A vintage hat in mint or excellent condition will be worth more than a worn or damaged hat. Tags and labels can help you to identify any older product, so having these will help you learn more about the hats and assist you when you attempt to sell them. A hat made by a well-known designer will increase the value as well. Hats by Dior, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, Mr. John, Lilly Dache, Graham Smith (as well as many other quality milliners) are in demand by collectors.
Of course, I can't tell you about your particular hat, but a company called Lady Byrd Hat Company produced hats in the 1960s in Richmond Virginia. Today, Lady Bird is an online hatter who produced vintage styles. The name Lady Bird was also used by a mid-20th-century company that made cotton shirt dresses.
Keep your old hats away from temperature extremes. Avoid moisture and sunlight. Wrap each hat in acid-free tissue for storage.
Before you decide to sell, identify each hat. Clean it carefully. Photograph each hat. Take several photos. Look out for holes, fading, discoloration, stains, shape (older hats often get squashed), and musty odors. Then take a look around online to see what your hats are going for. Visit online auctions or sites like Collector's Weekly, Rubyland, or Viva. Make sure you view the sold price. Check often as inventories can change quickly.
You can learn about older hats by checking out a book. Remember, price guides offered by older books will not reflect current values.
"Vintage Hats and Bonnets 1770 - 1970 Identification and Values" by Susan Langley
"The Century of Hats Head-turning Style of the 20th Century" by Susie Hopkins
"Women's Hats of the 20th Century for Designers and Collectors" by Maureen Reilly
"Hats A Stylish History and Collectors' Guide" by Jodie Shields.
I have 3 don Quixote books from the 1700s. Are they worth anything?
Usually, the Don Quixote story by Miguel Cervantes came in four volumes so the best set would be all four volumes. Book values, like anything else, depends on condition, scarcity, and demand. An old book in excellent condition is the most valuable. Problems like cracked bindings, missing pages, stains, foxing, and tears will effect the value. Foxing is a type of stain that is associated with older printed materials. The reddish-brown spotting may be Ferris oxide.
Check out a site that specializes in older books. Look for other, similar editions and check out the condition of the book and the price. People who sell old books describe the condition, usually in minute detail. You may find one in a similar condition to your own.
Single volumes of Don Quixote in poor condition from the 1770s go for between $50.00 and $60.00. I saw one set of four volumes in very good condition from 1782 selling for $400.00.
I have lots of antique pendants from a collectible store in 1940. How do I get them appraised?
Take jewelry to a jeweler for an appraisal. You may want to investigate the pendants yourself before you commit to what may be a hefty appraisal fee. If you have a lot of items, this fee may be expensive. Research the value of your things online or use a book to learn what it is that you have.
If the pendants are made of gold or silver or if the pendants include precious or semiprecious stones, or if they are high quality and made by a well-known designer then a professional appraisal will be worth your money.
I have four books of Walt Disney World tickets in mint condition from the beginning, when the books were worth $6.25. What is the today value?
Old tickets hold little value in the collectors market unless they are significant, for instance, if they are very old or are from a famous or special event. That being said, Disney World may honor old tickets that have no expiration date. That is where you would find value.
Check out the Disney World site online for more information. You can contact customer service to see if they would still be honored for admittance.
I have several collectible and antique frames. How do I go about selling these?
Before you try to sell your old frames, you should attempt to identify them. Antique frames can be quite valuable but make sure that you don't have reproductions. In the 1980s there were many frames made to look old, and I saw one on eBay that I know is a reproduction because I had the very same one.
Collectors want Victorian (or earlier) ornate handmade frames, especially if they are signed by the craftsman who made it. Certain artists created their frames as well as rendering value. Collectors also want frames made that reflected the style of the day, say Eastlake or Art Deco.
Frames should be in perfect condition. Features like gold or silver leaf or iconic decorations are highly desirable. Before you try to sell any item, you should find out what it is. Check out some books to help you:
"Collecting Picture and Photo Frames" from Schiffer Books for Collectors
"Antique American Frames - Identification and Price Guide" by Eli Wilner
"Looking at European Frames - Guide to Terms, Styles, and Techniques" by D. Karraker.
Some of these books are older and information will not reflect current value but will help you learn about old frames. You can then look for more specific values online. Selling them is up to you. You can contact a local dealer who may buy them outright or sell them on consignment. Of course, you will not earn top value as the dealer must make a profit and cover overhead. You can sell them on an online auction site that specializes in antiques and collectibles.
I have an old looking, wooden carousel goat, no saddle, face faces forward. How much is it worth?
I certainly can not tell you how much your old goat is worth. There are many considerations pertaining to value. First you need to find out more information on carousel animals. The introduction of steam power in the mid 1800s created the ability for manufacturers to make merry-go-rounds that moved easily. Earlier types had been used in Europe to train horsemen. Between 1860 - 1930, the USA saw a boom in carousels which were popular amusements. The carved animals could be relatively simple or complicated, highly ornamental designs. Higher value would be in the creations of master designers like Gustav Dentzel, Charles I. D. Looff, and Marcus Illions.
Antique carousel animals had hallow interiors. One side (the side that would face the public) was more highly decorated than the side that faced the interior of the ride. By the 1930s, amusement parks suffered economically due to the Great Depression. Fires, storms, and demolition destroyed many of these beautiful carved animals. Later, when the economy improved, newer animals were made of aluminum, resin, and fiberglass. The collecting craze that began in the 1970s created a demand and values skyrocketed. Reproductions were made to fill the demand and to fool uneducated buyers.
As most carousel animals were horses, other animals, such as your goat, are more valuable. The vast majority of carousel animals have been repaired and repainted.
In order to identify your goat, check out a book which will teach you how to recognize the work of various carvers, artists, and the carving studios that made them. Most carousel animals do not feature marks or labels for easy identification. You can find a helpful book used, online.
"The Art of the Carousel" by Charlotte Dinger
"The Great American Carousel" by Tobin Fraley
"The Carousel Animal" by Tobin Fraley
"Introduction to the Carousel" by Maurice Fraley
You might want to check out the National Carousel Association. Also, there are many carousel museums around the country including The Hershell Carousel Factory Museum of Tonowanda New York. Goggle for other museums. Once you learn about your particular animal, check out the museums or the association for more information on appraisals, dealers, and rehab specialists.
l have some 1847 roger brothers silverware. It is XS Triple grape pattern. How much is it worth? I have silverware and serving ware.
1847 Roger Brothers XS Triple grape pattern silverware was produced between 1902 to 1918. This high quality, heavily silver plated flatware is still popular with collectors. As it is plated, it is not as valuable as sterling, so I would not take it to an appraiser. That would not be cost effective.
Value depends on condition and availability of each piece. Teaspoons, serving forks, berry spoons and other special products are more valuable than typical forks, spoons, and knives.
To see what your pieces are currently selling for, check out an online site that sells antique silverware. I have seen teaspoons forks, and knives offered for between $1.50 and $7.00. The specialty utensils are worth much more.
I have a Royal Doulton balloon seller collection. How much is this worth?
The value of Royal Doulton's balloon sellers are all over the place as the company produced a wide variety of balloon sellers over the years. Best value remains in old, classic examples with handwritten titles on the bottom of the figurine.
Learn about your figurines by investigating each piece. Research dates and number codes at The Royal Doulton site. You can also learn more from a book - Kevin Pearson's "Doulton Figure Collectors Handbook." Once you identify each figurine, then you can learn the values for each.
Just some examples that I found on sale or sold prices online. Remember that sold prices tell the truth. Sellers may overstate value in the asking price.
HN1315 for $19.99 as well as $45.00
HN2129 for $98.00
I inherited an ancestor's civil war desk. It was reported to me that he was Ulysses Grant's physician. My family may have documentation validating these reports. Can you tell me anything about the best way to approach possibly selling this, especially if I can get documentation, and possibly pictures of him with the desk?
When you think that there is a historical tie-in to a piece of furniture, you must be able to provide documentation to back up your claim. Otherwise, anyone can say anything! Gather the documents. A photograph may not be enough. I may see a historic photograph with a piece of furniture that looks exactly like mine (as I once did) but that does not mean that the piece in the photograph is the same one that you own. But it may help if you have documents.
You may then want to hire an antique appraiser. Call your insurance agent or visit the site of the Appraiser"s Association of America. Make sure that you hire an appraiser who specializes in your field in interest. An appraiser may cost a few hundred dollars. You could also contact a high-end auction business like Sotheby's or Christie's.
I have a marble top pedestal coffee table. It is very large and heavy. Is it worth anything?
Marble topped tables have been produced for years. Before you learn the value of your table you need to identify what it is that you have. Marble topped tables were popular during the Victorian era. You can look at the design of the base to help you learn if it is old. Google image Victorian marble topped pedestal tables to see if anything looks familiar. However, the Victorians were not big on coffee tables so this may be just made in the Victorian style.
Contemporary furniture makers have produced coffee tables that resemble various Victorian styles. Companies like Restoration hardware today produce beautiful coffee tables with marble tops. They aren't cheap.
The table is heavy because marble is very heavy. Weight does not have anything to do with value. Chances are that if it is good condition, there may be some value but I certainly can not give you any information on this. No one can help you with something like this unless you provide more information. In general, it may be difficult to get someone else to value your furniture for free. But you can search for the information yourself online.
I am serching for the value of "Bridal Lace" by Towne (Bavaria Germany). Any ideas?
Bridal Lace by Towne is white dishware with an intricate white lacey edge and silver rim and is very pretty. The pattern has been discontinued but is not very old.
The value of dishware can fluctuate dramatically from year to year. You may find a helpful new book "Kovel's Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide" by Terry and Kim Kovel. Published in 2018, it is a rare new book on the topic. Many of the books that I see at the library and offered online are older.
You can also check out online auction sites. Look for the sold price. Offered prices may not accurately reflect true value as some sellers over value their products in hopes on making a better profit.
Ebay had a plate sold for $10.00. Another site offered four plates for $23.00, and two for $6.99 on another.
I have a piece of linen that was created by my great, great grandmother. She grew and processed the road herself, using two different methods to create two different colors of threads before weaving it into a pattern. How would I go about discovering its value?
The value of a piece of old hand made linen can vary depending on who is looking and can change quickly. A sudden market can be created by a celebrity, a popular TV show, or magazine article.
Educate yourself with books on antique textiles. Look for similar items at online auctions. Notice the sold price not the asking price. Look for vintage textile shows, on websites, at at dealers who specialize in antique textiles. You may also want to check out museums or universities that maintain a textile collection.
The greatest value of your gg grandmother's linen is sentimental. What a wonderful piece of family history! Be careful how you store or display it. Old linen should be stored in an area with low humidity (between 40 - 50%) and in temperatures between 65 - 70 degrees F.
Keep away from bright sunlight.
You can display your linen in frame. Make sure the fabric does not touch the glass. Use acid free matting. Your best bet for display is to take the old linen to a framer who has knowlege of the unique requirements of old textiles.
I have letters to and from Martha Berry and have no idea if they are worth anything or how to find out. Do you know?
Martha Berry founded Berry College in Rome, Georgia. It began as a boys industrial school in 1902. A girls school was added in 1909. It became a college in the 1920s and was granted full accreditation in the 1950s.
Please do not store your old letters in the attic or basement but in a closet in the living section of your home. Place each letter in an acid free paper or plastic envelope, acid free file folder, or archival acid free document box.
While I can not tell you the exact value of your letters, you could find some information, or consider donating the letters to the Martha Berry Digital Collection. You can find them online.
If you want to have them appraised, locate a local professional through the American Society of Appraisers. Expect to pay $50.00 - $60.00 for the service.
I am looking for an estimated value of pink depression glass. Can you give me an idea if I send you pictures?
While I cannot quickly identify your glass, there are simple ways for you to do so. Pink was a popular color produced by many manufacturers.
Find a book about Depression glass, there are many, and your local library will probably have some.
Many guides break down into color, shapes, etc. Find companies that made pink Depression glass, then look at your piece. Is it a plate, bowl, saucer, or whatever?
Find a similar shape design on a chart. You can also find these charts online. You may be surprised at how unique the shapes are. Look for squared, rolled, beaded, or rounded edges. Look for indentations on the rims for one similar to your piece.
Then look closely at the pattern motif which may include geometric designs, florals, birds, blocks, bows, diamonds, fruit, or whatever detail is similar to your item.
You should quickly identify who made your glass as well as the pattern. Then you can look at online auctions or online shops, at local antique shops, to see what your items are selling for. Older books will not reflect current values but will help you learn about what you have.
I have an old antique Jewish wooden chest from Morocco with engraved silver and bronze coins from the 13th century. How can I determine the date of conception and price value?
If you have any object that you are pretty sure is old or valuable the best thing would be to contact a professional. What makes you think that your wooden chest is from the 13th century? That is quite old and very special.
Find an antique appraiser in your area by checking out the Antique Appraiser Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers. If you are not in the USA, you will find information on the International Society of Appraisers.
You will need to locate someone who specializes in the field of medieval antiques. An appraiser will charge a fee, but for something as old as your chest, the appraisal will be worth it.
I have an very extensive collection of Rosepoint. What would be the best way to find someone to buy this collection?
Check out the National American Glass Club. You can find it online. The site includes tons of information on a variety of glass clubs and associations where you can located collectors, buyers, auctions, and dealers.
I found a desk at a thrift store, with Shaw and Borden Co on it, how can I learn more about it?
Shaw and Borden Co. of Spokane Washington made stationary, printed materials, and office furniture in the early 1900s. You may want to look at a book on the subject:
"Vintage Furniture Collecting and Living With Modern Design Classics" by Fay Sweet.
I have several paper volumes from the 1920's of "The Unpardonable Sin" by Munroe Burt Harrison. They range in condition from great to poor depending on the ink dust. Can you tell me if they have any value?
Most of my antique furniture was either handed down or purchased in distressed condition. Nearly every thing needed repairs and refinishing. I have documented the history of any repairs for each piece in the event my family decides to sell them when I'm gone. Should I also have them appraised, knowing that any value is greatly diminished because of repairs?
If an old watch from the 1950's has its owner's name engraved on the back, is its value reduced? I have the same question for an antique book from the 1880's.
The value of a watch has a lot to do with its quality. Chances are that your engraved watch was a high-quality piece. People rarely engrave junk. If your watch was made by an important company like Rolex, Omega, Carrera, Patek, or another similar brand, it will be valuable.
Many watch collectors do not want engraved pieces, although there are some that do. Some collectors enjoy the sentimental value. Others may like to research the owner for a bit of history. If the name is famous or historically significant, that can add great value, providing it is authentic.
An old book is not valuable just because it is old. There are many variables in the old book business. Value can be determined by condition, writer, the importance of the book, rarity, and demand. If the name in the book is the writer's autograph, that will increase its value.
If the name is "Aunt Betty" or something, the book's value is diminished, especially if the writing or bookplate is on the title page. A name on a blank page will not devalue the book as much.
I have a Bible that is dated 1858 is it worth anything? The pages are together, but some are out of place otherwise it can be read well.
Old Bibles can be very valuable or worth very little. Remember that the Bible is the most published book in Western history. People keep them in the family for years and pass them down for generations, so there are a lot of them around. Most were printed on inexpensive paper. Many are damaged from foxing, moisture, stains, missing pages, etc.
In Bible collecting circles, a mid-19th-century publication is not very old. Victorian or more recent editions have some value if they are limited editions or beautifully illustrated. The inclusion of a family tree of a historically significant person would impact the value. Also, large Folio sized publications created for reading from the pulpit are more valuable than smaller, family Bibles.
For information on the Bible as an artifact you may want to read:
"The English Bible in America" by Margaret Thorndike"
"The Book: A History of the Bible" by Christopher de Hamel
Take a look at some sites that specialize in old books and Bibles. You can learn which kinds of Bibles are in demand. If you check out eBay, follow an auction to see the final price, not the asking price. Abe books sell a lot of old Bibles and offer information on the conditions that make a Bible valuable. Publication date does not influence the value unless it is very old.
Where can I get and appraisal of an original framed oil painting in Charleston SC?
You can find an appraiser in your area by checking out the American Society of Appraisers or by contacting your insurance agent for a recommendation. An appraisal can be quite expensive so make sure you learn as much as you can before committing to one.
Remember that just because it is an original oil painting does not mean that it is valuable. You don't want to commit to an expensive appraisal if the painting is not worth much.
You can research your painting by checking out the artist's signature and looking for the name online. Also look at the back of the painting for clues. A gallery label may indicate some worth if it is a gallery that specializes in high-quality fine art. Numbers written on the back may show that the painting has been sold at auction. These clues mean that at some point in time the painting was good enough to be sold at an art marketplace. If that information is there, see if the seller is still in business. Contact them for information on the painting.
Collect any paperwork that you have about the art - receipts, bills of sale, letters, etc. If the painting is very valuable, you need to provide proof of ownership and a history of the work. This is called provenance which is documentation about a specific piece of art.
I have a 43 pc. Madrid green depression glass dinner set. I can find some individual prices but no prices for a set. Do you know how much it is worth?
The value of Depression glass is not set in stone. There are so many variables! Value reflects supply and demand. Today, the supply exceeds demand. While baby boomers went wild over Depression glass in the late 20th century, many are now downsizing and want to get rid of their collections.
The value of a set vs an individual piece depends on who is looking for what when you attempt to sell. Depression glass appears all the time in online auction and sales sites so the availability is vast and changes rapidly. I suggest that you keep searching the sites to see what people are buying.
Frequently, collectors look for individual pieces or groups of pieces they want to complete a set. Some collectors enjoy buying a variety of pattern and colors. Some look for one color in a variety of patterns - say a person likes green glass so they search for all types of green Depression glass. So the value depends on who is looking for what on any particular day.
Don't count on earning the value suggested by sites like Replacements. While that is a great site, the value reflects retail pricing and that, too, is variable.
You can shop your set to a dealer, try several dealers to see what they will offer you for the set. If you wish to sell privately you can only ask a price and hope for the best.
I have visited sites that suggest having Depression Glass appraised by a professional appraiser. You might think twice about going that route as the service is quite expensive and usually reserved for higher end products. You may wind up paying more for the appraisal than the glass is worth.
I have an old fishbowl that is in the shape of a fish. I know its very old, and I wondered how to find out if it has value?
You may have a piece of Blenko glass. Blenko is a glass making company that opened in West Virginia in the late 1800s producing sheet glass and stained glass. In the 1930s they began to produce art glass.
Blenko's mid-century art glass includes whimsical bottles, vases, and paperweights in the shapes of animals and eggs. The fishbowl you mention may have been created for use as a vase. Most pieces were not signed but had a foil label which became a paper label during World War II.
Look for a book on mid-century glass such as "Mid Century Modern Glass in America" by Dean Six and Paul Eastwood, or Blenko catalogs reproduced by Schiffer books for collectors.
I've seen fish shaped Blenko vases for sale for between $50.00 and $100.00.
I am looking to appraise a door that was at the Henry Ford House in Detroit. What is the best way to go about it?
If you own something that you think has historic significance, you will need to back up your claim. Since it is not obvious by merely looking at the door, you need a way to prove that it did, indeed, belong to Ford.
Locate any paperwork that you have to back up your claim. This would be a receipt, a bill of sale, letters, or any documents that you have to support your claim.
I have a money order that is 125 years old. Would it still be valuable?
Old money orders are not valuable. I saw a 100-year-old money order that was sold on eBay for about two dollars. But if the money order is from an issuer that still exits, like the United States Post Service, Western Union, or an existing bank, contact them to see if they will honor it. The problem would be, of course, that you are not the person named on the money order. But it would be a lot of fun to personally take it to the issuer to see what they say. You would, at the very least, cause a bit of a stir.
My friend has a historically unique valuable antique which is a unique porcelain rice bowl used daily by Chinese Qianlong Emperor. It really really special. My friend asked me for help to look for antique experts, collectors or dealer with the purpose of appraising this antique. Could you recommend me some of those?
When you have a unique item that is very old, you need to establish provenance if you wish to sell it. Provenance means that you can prove a chain of ownership through various means to back up your statement of importance. You would need, somehow, to be able to show that this particular emperor did, indeed, use this bowl. Then you need to show how it came into your hands. Receipts, bills of sale, letters, or authenticated documents will all help establish this chain of ownership. Gather all these materials before you have the bowl appraised.
You can find an appraiser in your area by contacting the American Society of Appraisers to find an appraiser in your area. Choose a professional who specializes in Chinese antiques of the Qing dynasty or Asian antiques of the 1700s. You may also locate an appraiser through your insurance agent or the trust manager at your bank.
I have a document from the Spanish War dated 1887 telling of the widow's pension. Do you think its worth anything?
Old documents are most valuable when they contain references to historic events, or are signed by famous or significant people. Check out online sites that specialize in military antiques or militaria. Remember that people save that sort of thing, so there is a lot of militaria around. I saw a Civil War death notification for sale on eBay for $5.50.
I have an antique hat looks like it may be Egyptian. How do I research it for value or history?
Begin by checking for labels inside the hat. Any writing or image can get you started. If there is some information, Google a brief description of it.
Research hat styles to see what type of hat you have. As you said, it may be Egyptian; which means it might be a fez, which looks like an inverted bucket. If it is a fez, it could be a theatrical costume, an old Shriners Masonic fez, or something else. Are there any pins or embellishments? They could be a clue.
The Hat Museum in Portland Oregon is a large hat museum who may be able to help you. Also, check out the Hatatorium website.
Who would buy 1944/1945 war memorabilia?
There are people who collect militaria or items related to the military. Check out onlne groups or auction sites that specialize in World War II items. However, many people kept things from that important era so there are a lot of items out there. As baby boomers downsize, they often wish to divest themselves of sentimental things like the stuff their fathers saved from the War.
There is little value associated with ration books, German coins and stamps, military patches, uniform buttons, letters to and from home, or damaged goods.
Items that are valuable include the uniforms or insignia from elite forces. There is a market for German flags, armbands, knives, uniforms, helmets, and Japanese swords. However many auction sites will not sell Nazi items.
Check out sites that specialize in militaria. There you can find collectors' shows and other information relating to World War II. When you look for information, make sure to be specific in the description of each item. Words like "stuff" is way too general.
I have 6 antique quilts that I would like to sell. Searching for an appraiser also. Could you offer some advice?
The value of an old quilt depends on market trends. Certain patterns and color combinations go in and out of style. Value also depends on the condition. Stains, frays, tears, and worn areas will decrease the value. Small stitches on a well made example will heighten the value of your old quilts. Learn about quilts by joining your local quilting society or reading about old quilts. Here are some books that can help you. Values change over the years so older books help most with learning about patterns, textiles, etc.
"Vintage Quilts - Identifying, Collecting, Dating, Preserving, and Valuing" by Bobbie Aug
"Miller's Antique Quilts How to Compare and Value" by Stella Rubin
"Clues in the Calico A Guide to Identifying and Dating Antique Quilts" by Barbara Brackman
"Dating Fabrics A Color Guide 1800 - 1960" by Eileen Trestain
You can also join the American Quilter's Society to learn more. The society also suggests appraisers who specialize in antique quilts. Take good care of your quilts. Do not use as this will cause wear. Store away from temperature extremes and humidity. Do not keep the quilt in a bright, sunlit area. Do not store in plastic but roll in an old cotton bed sheet. Air out the quilt once a year. If you need to clean the quilt, take it to a professional.
I have a lot of old costume jewelry. How do I start the process of getting rid of them?
The value of old costume jewelry is all over the place. You can find plastic bags full of it at thrift stores, and you can see it for sale at online auctions for some hefty prices. It all depends on what you have, how old it is, how desirable it is today, and the condition.
Before you sell your old jewelry, you should learn more about it so you can estimate their value. There are so many books on the subject; I am sure that you can find some at your local library.
How can I learn the value of a real ivory lamp that is 5' tall?
I am assuming that you are wondering about a small lamp that is made of ivory. Are you sure that it is really ivory?
Ivory has been a popular luxury item for a very long time. It has been faked for years as well in order for people to mimic the look at a lower price or to fool buyers into thinking they were getting a bargain.
Indications that your piece is real ivory would include :
Slight yellowing or browning with age
Very smooth surgface
Irregular grain when looked at closely with a magnifying glass
If it's bone it may show tiny pits when looked at with a magnifying glass.
If the grain is perfect with regularly place lines, it's not real ivory.
Check out the Guide for Ivory and Ivory Substitutes by the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory. There are several tests to help identify and age ivory.
Before you attempt to find the value, you must first find out if it is real. There are many laws regulating ivory so you should check out the laws as well.
As the population of African elephants dwindles due to poaching, laws as well a the demand for ivory has declined. People just don't want to be part of a business that may lead to the extinction of one of our world's most impressive mammals. It's a dirty business. Antique dealers are getting out of the ivory trade. Age tests can be expensive, the risk of legal problems is daunting, and the confusing laws are just too much trouble to deal with.
I have several Ashton Drake porcelain dolls from the 1980/90s. Where can I find out how much they are worth?
The company that made your dolls has a website where you can learn a lot about your dolls. Search around on auction sites and check out the sold prices. On ebay, for instance, the selling prices of Ashton Drake dolls are all over the place.
When you are looking for information on any item, including dolls, be specific with your search terms. The company has produced baby dolls, bride dolls, as well as historical figures. If you have, say, a historical figure, mention in your search who the figure represents as well as the size and the garments.
Your doll will be most valuable if it was a limited edition, if it is still in the original box, and if it is in excellent condition.
I have a set of teacups that my grandmother gave my mother but I can't find anything resembling these cups. They have heavy iron handles and an iron clasp around the bottom and the print is just strange. How can I identify my unique teacups?
You may have Russian tea glass holders or a set of podstakannik. Produced since the 18th century, podstakannik became more ornate during the Victorian era. Some versions are quite plain while others can be very elaborate. Twentieth-century podstakannik often featured political symbols such as a hammer and sickle or other symbols of the USSR.
A glass is set inside the metal and filled with hot tea. They are made of nickel or cupronickel which is an alloy of copper and iron. The print may be Cyrillic or Russian script. Though not as popular at home, they are still seen on railways as they are handy for keeping the glass of hot tea steady on a moving train.
Google images both terms to see if something comes up that resembles your items.
I have an old stainless steel engraved ink writing station, how do I know the value?
Find as much information on your item as you can. For instance, knowing that stainless steel was invented in 1913 tells you that the item is no older than that. Check the item for identifying marks such as manufacturer or any numbers.
Research to make sure that you are using the proper terms in your search. Would it make more sense to call the item a machine? The more you refine your search, the closer you will get to an appropriate answer. You can not learn the value of any item until you know exactly what it is.
What would the hand-painted numbers "282" mean on the bottom of an old pedestal cake stand? It has "Made in Italy" on it, but I cannot find any info on it. It was my great aunts, and I would like to know if it is valuable.
The numbers on the bottom of the cake stand may be an ID code for the design. To learn the value of your cake stand, you should learn more about it. Take some notes on the piece. See if there are any words or images on the bottom of the stand. Measure it. Check out design details such as background color, edging, rim decorations. Look at other design elements as well - is it floral, does it feature an animal, leaves, fruit? Note color of design detail as well.
You can identify your cake pedestal with the help of a guide book. May I suggest:
Italian Pottery Marks: From Cantagalli to Fornasetti & Everything in Between 1850 - 1950 An Identification Guide of Late 19th and Early 20th Century Italian Porcelain Marks for English Speaking Collectors by Walter and Karen Del Pellegrino
Encyclopedia of Marks on American, English, and European Earthenware, Ironstone, & Stoneware 1780 - 1980 by Arnold A. and Dorothy F. Kowalsky.
Once you learn what it is that you have, you can search for similar items on online auction sites or antique dishware sites.
I have 12 old Hummels. Where do I begin to look for selling them?
Hummel figurines were once highly collectible and so popular that the market became glutted. Also, these cute, sentimental figurines appealed to an older generation, a large group who are downsizing or dying off. Younger people are not interested in Hummels. The value has plummeted.
However, there are certain figurines that are still quite valuable. Value depends on condition, size (some sizes are in greater demand), and if you have the original box. "Adventure Bound" # 347 can command nearly $1,000.00. Other figurines still in demand are
"Heavenly Angel" #21
"Apple Tree Boy" # 142
"Apple Tree Girl" #141
"Ring Around the Rosie" (7" tall)
"Stormy Weather" #71, and a few others including special editions.
Look for current price guides online. Check the date on the price guide as older ones will not reflect current prices. Look for prices on Replacements as well.
You can sell your Hummel figurines through a dealer or consignment shop that specializes in collectibles, or an online site like Ruby Lane.
I have an antique belt buckle made in the 1800s how can I find out what it's worth?
You can find out the value of your antique belt buckle after you identify what kind of buckle you have. Try researching online or in a book like - "Collecting Men's Belt Buckles (Schiffer Book for Collectors)" by Gerald H. McGrath; or "Fashion Belt Buckles Common to Classic" also by McGrath.
Remember that an older book will not tell you what the item is worth today. Once you identify what you have, you can check online auction sites to see the sold prices. If it is a military buckle, there are several sites dedicated to antique militaria.
I have a pair of old firedogs and was wondering what year they are from and what they are worth?
Firedogs or andirons are supports used to hold logs in a fireplace. The supports are made of iron but many have decorative details made of copper, brass, or bronze.
You can find a general age of your andirons by looking closely at how they were made and the materials used in construction. Most older andirons will show some wear. Value depends on condition, age, and details.
Learn more by checking out some books that can help you judge the age of your firedogs:
Early American Andirons and Other Fireplace Accessories by Henry J. Kauffman and Quentin H. Bowers
An Encyclopedia of Small Antiques by James Mackay
If there is brass in the decorative elements you can try:
The Brass Book: American, English, and European 15th Century to 1850 by Peter, Nancy, and Herbert Schiffer
After you learn as much as you can about your andirons, you can hunt for something similar at online auction sites or online antique dealers to approximate a value.
I have a James W. Tufts quadruple plate #4303 and was wondering if was worth anything?
James Tufts produced silver plate materials for soda fountains around the turn of the last century (19th to early 20th century). The old silver plate is so beautiful and many pieces seem so ornate to us today. Prices for this silver plate are all over the place, from $15.00 to much much more. Is your piece in good condition? Does the silver plate show much wear? Pieces in the best condition will fetch the best prices. Look online for something similar and see what it has sold for. I cannot give you an accurate value.
How much are old spools of yarn used in textile plants worth?
Old wooden spools and bobbins from textile plants are all over the place online. Originally made during the Industrial Revolution in Victorian times, these old spools were usually made from hard woods like ash or birch. These types of woods were common in the New England area of the United States where many textiles mills flourished at that time. Often, each mill had its own unique design for their spools. If you look around you will see that some are more attractive than others.
Today some crafters like the old wooden spools to make candlesticks or lamps. However interesting they are, and I think they are so cool, there are tons of them available for sale online. I've seen large bins of them at salvage shops. Most of them go for under ten dollars a piece. Check around online to see what spools similar to your own are going for.
I have 3 antique figurines that I would like to sell. I am not sure what they are called. Where can I go for appraisal?
Before you find an appraiser for your figurines you may want to do some research. An appraiser will charge a fee that can sound quite expensive to many people. You would not want to pay, say, $150.00 to have something evaluated that is worth less than the appraisal. The first thing you should do is to look at the bottom of each item. Find the manufacturer's mark. You may need a magnifying glass to see the details. Make note of the details including any images, letters, or numbers. Describe the mark on a Google search to learn about the company that made your specific figurines.
After you learn who made your pieces, find a book or site that features the products made by that company. There are tons of books out there on companies that created fine figurines. Some are worth more than others. Meissen, for example, created fine porcelain figurines are are very valuable. Once highly collectible figurines like Hummel have lost value (unless they are rare). Value depends on demand. Once Hummels were highly collectible but downsizing has created a glut on the market.
I can not recommend any books because there are so many. What are your items made of - porcelain or metal (if so what kind)?
Are they in good condition? Any damage, cracks, repairs, or dents will decrease the value.
If you decide that your items are valuable, you can find an appraiser in your area. Contact your insurance broker, the trust manager at your bank, or check out the American Society of Appraisers for a professional in your area.
I have a set of late 1940's Homer Laughlin China and 12 brass wall medallions (measuring from 30+ inches to 8 inches in diameter) made in England, and I have no idea what they are worth or how to find out or how to sell them. I looked on Kovels and no help, so I went to eBay and found prices for two medallions from over $1000 to $5 for the same ones I have. Where do I go for help?
Homer Laughlin products were made in the USA, in Ohio and West Virginia. For detailed information on Kovels, you must first create an account. When looking at prices on eBay, you have to take them with a grain of salt. Just because someone asks for a lot of money doesn't mean they are going to get it. Of course prices for Laughlin dishware is all over the place and depends on if that particular product is in demand.
There are books available online or at the library to help you understand what you have and the value of various products:
"The Collector's Encyclopedia of Homer Laughlin China Reference and Value Guide" by Joanne Jasper.
"Homer Laughlin China: Guide to Shapes and Patterns" by Jo Cunningham.
" Homer Laughlin: Decades of Dinnerware, With Price Guide" by Bob Page.
These books may help you learn about your pieces and the various products made by that company. However, they are a few years old so the prices may be out of date. Find out how much your specific items are selling for by searching out current sales. Try online auction sites other than eBay and look at "sold" price. I think that Etsy often offers goods at reasonable prices.
When shopping for just about anything, I often disregard the highest and lowest prices.
Is carnival glass worth anything?
Carnival glass has an iridescent or rainbow-like quality. The glassware was used for prizes at carnivals in the early 1900s. Many companies manufactured carnival glass. Though originally cheap, some collectors do look for certain types. Northwood is the most valuable. Look for a capital N inside a circle.
Marigold, an orange color, was the most common color. More unusual colors like red and light blue will be more valuable.
In the 1960s, many reproductions were created for the newly emerging collecting craze. These are not as in demand as the older, original versions.
Find some books on the topic and learn about your collection. There are tons of such books available online and can be quite inexpensive if you buy a used one. Once you identify what you have, then you can search prices.
I have an older small bowl with a lid, maybe a sugar bowl. I'm trying to gain info on it to no avail. It is marked on the underside of the lid and the dish with 53824y. No other markings at all any ideas?
When you search for similar items online, try to use a variety of descriptive words or phrases. Sometimes a small change in wordage can get you new results. Attempt to describe what the bowl is made of - metal, wood, glass, porcelain, or pottery. Measure and include the size of the item. Are there handles?
There are other types of small bowls out there including trinket bowls, porridge bowls, covered soup bowls, and bowls for powder or snuff.
Also, include in your search pattern color and patterns. Are there two colors or more? Does the bowl feature flowers, leaves, geometric patterns, fruit, or any other significant details?
Without the name of a company or artist, this may prove difficult, but by trying other descriptions, you may find success.
I have a vintage Bod vase from Hungary. It is numbered 13115la. I'm not sure if the l is a slash or actually the letter L. How do I find the value of a vase like this?
I am not sure if you mean a bud Vase or something else. Mid-century Hungarian ceramics were encouraged during the Soviet era. Traditional decorative work was not controversial so was embraced by the Communist system. Many high-quality ceramics were produced between 1945 - 1990.
When you are looking for information on your vase, and you are not sure if the l is a slash or a letter, try to look for both forms. Type it as you see it and check out what comes up.
If you look on Amazon, you will find many books on the topic. Refine your search by looking for what it is that you have whether it's glass or ceramic. Check out your local library as well. Once you learn the identity of your vase, you can find out what similar pieces have sold for at online auctions.
My crystals have no markings or company names etched on them. How do I determine the value and origin?
Learning about your particular crystal may take some time and patience. It's like a hunt! The best thing would be to search out some informative books at your local library. You can also do a system-wide search in case the books are available in another library. You could also find used books online. Let me suggest:
"Crystal Stemware: Identification Guide from Replacements Ltd."
"Florence's Glassware Pattern Identification Guide: Easy Identification for Glassware from 1900 - 1960s" by Gene Florence
"A Collection of American Crystal" A Stemware Identification Guide for Glastonbury, Lotus, Libby, Rock Sharpe and Hawks" by Bob Page
Make sure that your stemware is crystal. The addition of lead in the manufacturing process makes crystal feel heavier than regular glass. There is a particular sparkle to crystal that is not present in other glassware. If you flick your fingernail on the rim of crystal, you will hear a melodious ring that you will not hear with other glass.
I have inherited an Erich Stauffer figurine and would like to know the value. It is a boy feeding two ducks with his hand on his hip. He also has some feathers in his hair. It has the signature clearly on the bottom plus the crossed arrows and part of the blue sticker from Arnart. In addition, it is marked as number 44/137. What is the value today of my Erich Stauffer figurine?
Erich Stauffer may or may not have been a real person and was probably a made up name to make the figurines seem German. As German porcelain is highly regarded, the name would hopefully claim some panache. Your figurine was made by Arnart, a company that produced such figurines, often copying popular Hummel and Kalk items which were quite pricey. Erich Stauffer figurines sell for between $5.00 - $35.00 depending on demand. Condition is important as well as the legibility of any marks on the bottom of the item. Size and subject matter influence value as well.
You can find a price guide online, but books with price guides may not be relevant in today's quickly fluctuating market. Check for sold prices at online auctions for an up to date value.
I inherited my Mother's collection of collector plates by various artists, all immaculately boxed with original paperwork but have no idea where to sell them — also many, many one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments from around the world. Partial sets, complete sets, Hallmark, you name it. Where do I begin if I do not want to go the "auction" route?
I am wondering why you don't want to go the auction route. Large collections can be easier to move at auction. However many auctions will not accept collector plates! That is because the market is poor. Just think, in the 1980s and 1990s collector plates were heavily advertised on TV with promises of future rewards. Items marketed as limited editions were produced in the thousands if not tens of thousands. No one can predict the future and if someone promises that they can you better not believe it. So tons of collector plates were amassed by Baby Boomers who were into the collecting craze of the time. Now those same buyers are selling in order to downsize, or leaving their collections to their children. The market is glutted.
Older collector plates from the early 1900s can be quite valuable. Some special interest newer plates still sell well so it depends on what you have. Royal Copenhagen Christmas plates from the 1970s, for example, can be found at thrift shops for $3.00 a piece while older plates can sell for a nice price. You can't even give Norman Rockwell plates away.
You must learn the current values of each item before you try to sell them. Look for sold prices at online auction or sales sites.
You can try to sell your plates on consignment if a shop will accept them. Consignment shops will, of course, want about one third of the sale price to cover their expenses and gain a profit. Setting up a table at a flea market can be inexpensive and a lot of fun. You can also have a yard sale or an estate sale. Advertise your sale on Craigslist, or an online site like YardSales.net or YardSaleSearch.com. Mention the best of your wares on the sites.
Of course there are also online sites like ebay and etsy or specialty sites.
The value of each piece will determine how to sell the plates. If you learn that a particular piece is quite valuable you won't want to go the yard sale route.
How you choose to move your collector plates depends on all these variables in addition to your own comfort zone.
I also have a framed, glassed embroidered sampler found in a box of my grandmother's but, it is ripped in many places and looks like moths have eaten much of it. I have it in the throwaway pile. Do you agree?
An old sample that is in such bad condition will have little to no value. The same can be said for any damaged item. The choice to throw out your grandmother's sampler is up to you. If it has sentimental value, or you like the funky look you can frame it carefully for your own amusement.
If you choose to keep it, display or store the old sampler away from sunlight or any bright light and away from humid locations. Use a framing mat so the textile does not touch the glass. The glass should be UV blocking. Best yet, you can take it to a professional framer who understands how to preserve old materials.
The decision to keep or toss old items of sentimental value can be difficult. There is a fine line between maintaining old items of historic family value and hoarding.
I have Italian pottery with numbers on the back of each plate signifying limited pieces made. They at least are forty-years-old. How would I determine their worth?
Italian pottery was very popular here in the USA from the 1950s - 1970s, and there are many different types and makers including Deruta, Bitossi, Gambone, Marcello Fantoni, Bagni, and many more. The ceramics were so popular that many lesser quality companies made products with "Italy" along with numbers to mimic the higher quality brands. That being said, many of the lesser brands are charming and popular as well though they would not command a price similar to a high-quality piece.
Try to identify your items. You did not say if there was a manufacturer's mark. This will take some time. Describe the piece in Google images. See if you find something similar and go on from there.
There are online forums dedicated to Italian pottery that may help you.
"Alla Mode Italian Ceramics of the 1950s - 70s," by Mark Hill is a book that you may want to consult.
I have a Nippon marked hand painted bowl with a bird. The edge of the bowl is scalloped I really don't know how old it is. My husband's grandmother gave to us. It was bought it at an auction in Florida many many years ago it is about 75 years old. Is it valuable?
I have a handmade wooden backgammon table that was made by a friend of my grandfather in Louisiana. I'm not sure of the type of wood or anything like that. (Maybe the area it was made might help) Should I get it appraised?
Do you have information available for a Dresden lace style figurine of a girl in a dress with a green sticker on the bottom that says Japan?
If it was made in Japan then it is not Dresden. In the 19th century up to 200 art studios in Dresden, Germany decorated porcelain figurines. Many Americans confuse Dresden with Meissen though they are not the same. Meissen porcelain is very high quality and usually holds a very high value. But Dresden figurines are quite pretty and can be worth in the hundreds of dollars if they are in excellent condition. The lace on the type of figure that you mention was applied to the figure by dipping real lace into porcelain slip (that is liquid porcelain). Heat of the kiln burned off the lace but left a shell of porcelain creating the delicate lace-like texture. Needless to say, that fragile lace is easily damaged.
Dresden can be identified by the blue crown mark on the bottom. Such figurines should be researched as the blue crown was often reproduced by fakers and may not look exactly like the authentic marks.
During the 1950s, manufacturers produced Dresden style figurines in Japan. These are not to be confused with the real thing. After all these years the label often has fallen off the figure. Lucky for you the label stuck. Without the label you may have whipped yourself up into a mini frenzy over your piece. The Japanese copies may sell for about $20.00 or so.
I have an almost complete set of Swartzburg china, circa 1904. How do I find its worth?
When you attempt to find the value of dishware, make sure you include the pattern in your search. State the company who made it. Then, add a brief description if you don't know the pattern. Note the background color, edge details (like flowers or gold rims), the primary color of decoration, images shown in the pattern like flowers (state what kind of flower), people, landscape, or animals. This will help to establish the pattern.
Swartzburg china is available for a wide variety of prices. Check out Kovels, Replacements, or Ruby Lane for values. If you decide to sell your china, remember that you will not get the stated value if someone else sells it for you.
Older china is not in high demand right now. Older people are downsizing, and younger people do not want the old-fashioned looks of many older patterns, especially the ones that feature flowery images and sentimental motifs.
I have a large amount of Jewel Tea Autumn Harvest dishes that I am interested in selling. Should I try to sell them all together?
I love that pattern and have a few pieces myself. Jewel Tea Autumn Leaf, often referred to as Autumn Harvest, is most valuable if it's in pristine condition. That means no wear marks, no cracks, no dings. As there were copies made, make sure that your dishware is labeled with the Mary Dunbar stamp on the bottom to prove authenticity.
The Jewel Tea company sold home goods door to door in the early 1900s. It started when Frank Vernon Skiff thought it was a good idea to sell fresh ground coffee from a wagon in 1899. By 1933, when the world was in the grip of the Great Depression, homemakers could buy Autumn Leaf piece by piece from a salesman who cruised neighborhoods in a truck.
Do not place your dishware in a microwave. Do not clean old dishware in a dishwasher; clean them by hand. If you stack pieces, place a paper towel in between each dish.
I can't tell you how to sell your dishware. That is up to you. But you can find lots of information on the product on the Jewel Tea Collectables site, or at Kovels, Replacements, or Ruby Lane. If you sell through a dealer, let the dealer decide whether or not to sell your dishes all together as he or she will understand the local market.
I have a painting on glass of a little girl on the beach that has been in our family for years. Who can I contact for the info on this?
Reverse painting was created by painting an image on glass then reversing it for framing. It is a very old practice that has changed over the years. Look at your piece through a magnifying glass. If there are irregularities like bubbles or a slightly wavy surface, it was probably made before 1903 or so.
Keep your reverse painting out of direct sunlight and away from any heat source like a heat vent or fireplace.
Values are all over the place. If there is damage like cracks, faded or peeling paint, the piece will have little value.
You may find information by visiting the Corning Museum of Glass site. If the piece is a silhouette, check out the book "Vintage Silhouettes on Glass and Reverse Painting" by Shirley R. More.
If you are still unable to find out anything, take it to a dealer or an appraiser. You will have to pay a fee. Ask about the fee before you visit.
I have a Japanese tea set that was old when my great-grandmother bought it. I don't read Japanese, and I've yet to see the makers mark on any reference guide online anywhere. Any chance you know a cost-effective or clever option I have overlooked?
There is a lot of information about antiques online, but sometimes the info we seek is just not there. You may try Gotheborg.com or the International Nippon Collectors Club (who may be able to steer you in the right direction.)
Sometimes, we just have to contact a professional. You can take your set to an antique dealer who specializes in similar goods or find an appraiser in your area. Either will charge a fee. Ask what they charge before you take the set to them. Make sure you have photographs of the set.
You might call your insurance broker for a reference. As people insure valuables like antiques, your broker will probably know someone who can help you.
Will antique shops take old glassware that's simply pretty and 50 to 75 years old?
Of course, I cannot speak for all antique shops or what items sell in your area. Take photographs of your glassware. Contact local shops to inquire. Look for the type of glassware that you have online to see what it sells for. Remember that you will not get full value for your items as the dealer must cover overhead and make a profit.
I have an 8 piece place set. It was made in Portugal 1603. How can I find its worth?
Just because the dishware has the number 1603 does not mean that it was made in 1603. Sometimes, when we see a year number on the underside of a plate, it refers to the date the pattern was introduced.
Look at the marks on the bottom of the plate and Google image any other marks that you do see. This will tell you who made the dishware. Various changes in back stamps indicate when the item was made.
You can check out information in a book: "Kovel's New Dictionary of Marks Pottery and Porcelain 1850 to Present" by Ralph and Terry Kovel; or "Kovel's Dictionary of Marks Pottery and Porcelain 1650 - 1850" by the same authors are decent basics. Also, "Miller's Antique Marks" by Judith Miller is an excellent reference book.
I have a picture book of Colorado scenery that was given to my grandmother in 1908, could it be worth anything?
When trying to determine the value of anything, you need to be more specific. Is this a hardcover book or one of those small collections of images or postcards? Who was the photographer? The condition is always a factor.
Check out online auction sites as well as online booksellers to see if anyone is currently selling or has recently sold that book. You can check out AddAll Used and Out of Print, Bookfinder, or Books Antique Maps, Globes, Books, and Prints to search.
If you do find a copy of your book for sale, see if you can find a "sold" price. The asking price does not mean they will actually get that price.
Contact the Colorado Historical Society to see if they have a copy; it would nice to donate a copy if they don't have one.
I have a few antique teacups and saucers, how can I get them appraised?
An appraisal will cost you some money, upwards of $150.00. If you think that your items are worth a great deal, go for it. But you may want to investigate for yourself in order to see if an appraisal is worth it.
Learn something about your cups and saucers first. Look at the bottoms of each piece to find the marks that can tell you who produced them. You can learn an approximate date of manufacture as well. Many companies changed their back stamps over time so this will help you get an idea.
Check your local library for books that can help you with the identification.
"Collectible Cups and Saucers : Identification and Value" by Jim Harron; "Kovel's New Dictionary of Marks" by Ralph Kovel; "Miller's Field Guide - Porcelain" by Judith Miller; "Pictorial Guide to Pottery and Porcelain Marks" by Chad Lage are just some of the books that may help you.
There are ways of locating items similar to your own online as well. Google image the backstamp, type of cup, color, pattern and see if cups and saucers like your own pop up. Beware of thinking that you have an expensive, high quality item by pattern alone. Copies of high end china are everywhere. Those copies can be nice when we don't want to use a very expensive antique piece of china for regular usage.
If you do think that your cups and saucers are very old or special, do not put them in the dishwasher. Clean them in warm water with a mild soap and hand dry with a soft cloth.
I have pluck and luck book pages from 1913 to 1932. They are damaged, but I was wondering, are they were worth anything at all?
There were many titles in this series. Search each title and year of publication individually to learn the value. Remember that damaged books, just like any other vintage item, hold little real value.
I live in the Philippines. I have a brass Chinese vase, and it has nine marks on the bottom of the piece. How do I know if it's authentic or a replica?
Imperial Chinese bronze usually had between four and six marks. Replicas that featured Chinese Imperial marks were produced for people's enjoyment, and not always meant to fool anyone. The copy could have been a sign of respect. Replicas are often produced for decorative purposes.
The Smithsonian Libraries has an online book called "Illustrated Catalog of Antique Chinese Bronzes, Porcelains, Tomb, Jade, and Rare Old Chinese Paintings." You might want to start your investigation there.
I have a men's hat from the 1800's by Genin 214 Broadway. It is in pretty good condition. How d I determine the value?
First, define what kind of hat it is - top hat, derby, straw boater? This will help refine your search.
The Hat Museum in Portland Oregon displays many old hats. You can learn a lot from their website.
Genin had a huge business in New York owning one store near the corner of Ann and Broadway, and another department type store. His specialty was theatrical costume design.
A free online book may help you. "Hatatorium An Essential Guide for Hat Collectors" by Branda Grantland, Mary Robak, etc. (2013). Also, check out "Antique Trader Vintage Clothing Price Guide" edited by Kyle Husfloen and Madeline Kirsh.
I have a bowl that is 100 years old. How do I know how much it is worth?
How do you know that the bowl is 100 years old? If you really know that it is, you can check out online auctions to see what a similar product sold for, or look it up at Kovels or Replacements.
If there is a date on the bottom of the bowl, it may refer to when the pattern was introduced and may not be the date it was produced.
I have an unusual and beautiful dining room table, and six chairs. The set is made by the Grand Rapids Bookcase and Chair Company. I can't find any information about it online or see any photos of the exact set. It has a number under the manufacturer's name. How do I find out its value? I have to move away, and I'm not taking my furniture, so I am going to sell it, but I want to make sure it is worth it. Do you have any ideas?
Furniture produced by the Grand Rapids Bookcase and Furniture Company sells for a wide variety of prices. The company, in its many iterations, began in the late 1800s and produced furniture until the mid-1900s. The value of your set depends, of course, on demand. To help identify your pieces, look for the book: "Lifetime Furniture The Cloister Styles Grand Rapids Bookcase and Furniture Company" edited by Stephan Gray. This book only reflects the Lifetime products. For more information on mission furniture, look for " Mission Furniture Furniture of the American Arts and Crafts Movement" by Paul A. Royka. Also look for similar styles online.
Mission furniture by Grand Rapids Bookcase and Furniture Co. is not as valuable as Stickley products. If you think that your furniture is one of the more valuable styles, you might want to have it appraised. Contact the American Society of Appraisers to find a professional in your area. An appraisal will cost upwards of one hundred dollars.
The company also produced many styles including Spanish Gothic, Spanish Renaissance, Jacobean, and more.
I have a large Limoges dinnerware collection that I found in my grandmother's basement. It is stamped with T&V with a bell and #6439. It's missing the teacups. I believe these are antiques and worth some money, but I can't find approximate values. What resources do I have?
Values of dinnerware like Limoges Tressemann and Vogt (that's the T&V) can be found at Kovels or Replacements online. Individual pieces sell for a variety of prices including a creamer for $27.00. A demitasse saucer without a cup is valued at about $3.99 while a cup and saucer together are valued at $24.99.
Remember that if you decide to sell your Limoges to or through a dealer, you will not obtain the stated value of each piece. A dealer must cover expenses like overhead, and of course, make a profit. Expect a dealer to want 1/3 to 1/2 of sold price. Also, keep in mind that a dealer would price an item based on what he thinks it will sell for, as prices can vary depending on where you live. Some shops that sell on consignment will discount the price if the items sit unsold for some time.
I have a royal falcon ironstone plate. I would like to know its value, but I can't find it online anywhere. How would I find out how much it's worth?
If you mean the dishware produced by JH Weatherby and Sons, there is a lot of information online. You could also consult the book, "The Falcon Ware Story: The History and Products of J.H.Weatherby and Sons Ltd; Thomas Lawrence (Longton) Ltd; Falcon China Ltd" by Susan Jean Verbeek.
Sometimes it takes a bit of digging to find the information on a particular piece.
I found some pictures in an old album of my great grandma. In it is a post card of FDR to someone in my family. Signed by his son Jim. I also have photo graphs of a train wreck in 1921 Nebraska. How do I find out about them?
The Smithsonian Postal Museum, a site you can find online, offers a wealth of information on all things related to the Post Office including post cards, Smithsonian collections, and links to many sites on the topic.
I have a George Washington and Martha Washington plates in Royal Daulton George H. Bowman blue and white along with Buffalo Mt. Vernon blue and white plates. Do you know what their estimated value may be?
I've seen the Royal Daulton George and Martha Washington plates going for $20.00 to $40.00. The Mount Vernon plate by Buffalo Pottery made between 1903 and 1910 features the home of George Washington in the center, surrounded by flowers edged in blue lattice, and a blue and white dotted rim. They seem to be priced similarly. Of course what you can sell them for depends on the condition of the plates as well as timing.
I have a piece of furniture that was built in the 1920s, in Chicago, possibly a salesman's sample piece. How can I find out what its value is?
If you are looking for information on your furniture, check to see if there is a label that names the company or artisan that made it. The more information you have, the easier it will be to identify the piece. I found an interesting book on furniture made in the 1920s - "American Manufactured Furniture - Furniture Produced in the !920s." In it, the Collector's Bookstore has reprinted old furniture catalogs of the era.
I have a Japanese made game purchased in Japan during the mid-'40's with ivory tiles and enclosed within an elaborate box. Is it worth being appraised?
An appraisal fee can cost upwards of $150.00. Before you spend that kind of money, you should learn about your game. It sounds like a Mahjong set. Is the set complete? What are the tiles made of? Just because it looks like ivory does not necessarily mean that it is made of ivory. The tiles may be bone, plastic, Bakelite (an early plastic), or a combination of things. The box is important too. Consider its condition, detail, and embellishments. You can find this information online.
You can see if the tiles are made of ivory by looking very closely or using a magnifying glass. Tiny cross-hatching with irregular lines suggests that the material is ivory. If the lines form a pattern, it is man-made. There are other tests as well. If you heat a needle until it's red hot and touch the tile, true ivory will not scorch while bone or plastic will. However, you may not want to mar the surface of your tiles. Mahjong tiles made of plastic or bone can be valuable too.
Once you inform yourself, if you believe the set is very valuable, then take it to an appraiser. But there is much you can learn on your own.
I have a printing plate of an ad for the soda pop 7Up. It's has raised copper lettering, in very good condition and appears to have pictures from the early 40s. Is it worth anything?
Those old copper printing plates are so cool! Not knowing a thing about them, I took a look around online and was surprised to see how inexpensive they can be with most examples going for between $5.00 and $20.00. That being said, old soda advertising is a popular collectible so your plate may be worth more than the items I viewed. Highest values are for early versions of soda made from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
7-Up was introduced in 1929 and originally called Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. The early versions contained lithium citrate, an altering mood drug! By 1936 the name changed to 7-Up.
Of course, I can not tell you how much you would earn selling your old copper plate. The collectors market is changeable, and value can depend on the area in which you live. Shop around nearby or online to see if something similar pops up for a comparison.
If an item says made in China on the bottom, is it always a cheap item? Could anything ever be valuable with that stamp?
Think about it - China is a huge country that manufactures many products. In the past, Europeans were wild about Chinese porcelain. In fact, it wasn't until the 1700s that Europe was able to produce it. Chinese porcelain was only for the elite as no one else could afford it. Porcelain was so associated with China that that is why people to this day refer to fine dishware as China.
Today, many high-end items we think of as luxury goods are produced in China including designer clothing and footwear. Twenty percent of Prada merchandise is produced in China. I have seen high-end Belgian linen sheets that were produced in China - it was only called Belgian linen because the flax was grown there. The sheets themselves were made in China.
It is easy to look at a country and make sweeping assumptions based on limited knowledge.
I have a China vase and my 85 year old uncle says that it is worth a fortune. How can I confirm the stamp at the base?
When you say a China vase, do you mean the vase is Chinese or that it is made of china or porcelain? When researching you need to be as specific as possible and learn as you go. You can find out about antique maker's marks by finding a copy of "Miller's Antique Marks" by Judith Miller. You can also check out marks on several online sites like Kovels or Antique Marks. If your vase is Chinese, try the site called Gotheburg.com as they feature a wealth of information.
When you say that you want to confirm the stamp does this mean that you have researched the stamp? Once you do, if you believe that the vase is very old or valuable, you can have it appraised. Do not have it appraised before you find out a bit about it. I know plenty of older folks who insist that a particular item is actually fabulous but that opinion does not make it so. An appraiser will charge a hefty fee so you want to make sure that your piece is actually valuable before you commit yourself to that expense.
I have a picture of president McKinley from 1899, is it worth trying to sell?
When you ask such a question, you need to be specific. Research values for similar items online. Is it an original photograph, cabinet card, lithograph, or painting? Is it a reprint? See if there is any information on the back of the picture. Look for gallery information, the name of the photographer or artist. Is it a limited edition product? There is much you need to find out about your picture.
When we try to decide if something is worth trying to sell, we need to understand the research time involved. Value is not specific but personal. It may not be worthwhile to attempt to sell something for, say, $15.00 if it takes a lot of work. The same can be said if the item is something we cherish. But if we find out that a particular item is worth thousands of dollars, that changes perspective.
Research political memorabilia to learn more about your picture.
I have an antique pie safe that is made to fold up and be moved. It has been repainted. It looks primitive and has screen doors on the top half. How can I find out its value?
Pie safes are as convenient today as they were 150 years ago. Built of local wood, pie safes are free-standing cupboards with open panels in the doors. The panels are covered with screening or pierced tin for air circulation. I've never seen one that folds. Highest values are for examples with original paint and hardware. Examples with pierced tin are more valuable that those with screening. Condition effects value. Large cracks, insect damage, rotten wood, or replaced wood lower the value.
Not all pie safes are antique. Reproductions became popular in the mid 20th century when people liked "Early American" style furniture. Reproductions are being made today due to the primitive farmhouse movement. Since your pie safe has been painted, lessening its value in the antique market, you may find value due to the popularity of shabby chic and farmhouse styles. Look for examples at your local antique dealers or online. Concentrate on sold prices. But first, you should find out if your piece is actually old. Here are some books to help you learn about your piece:
"Opening the Door; Safes of the Shenandoah Valley" by Jeff Evans
"The Antique Hunters Guide to American Furniture - Chests, Cupboards, Desks, and Other Pieces" by William C. Ketchum and Elizabeth Von Habsburg
"Field Guide to American Antique Furniture" by Joseph Butler
I have a complete set of antique shoe lasts that my dad got from his grandfather who got them from his dad who got them from an uncle who made boots. I am told from mom that dad had them appraised 40 years ago and was told they valued $350. What is the value of these antique shoe lasts now?
Shoe and boot lasts sell for a little as five to ten dollars at antique shops and salvage stores. They can be made of wood or cast iron. After World War II, they were made of plastic. There are many around as there were many shoe factories in the North East USA. Hardwoods like ash were used to make them, so they last forever.
When you hunt for an answer to a question, it's best to be as specific as possible. In a search, mention the material the last is made of if it's wood or cast iron. When you suggest an age, try to estimate. You can't measure age by mentioning your relatives. One person's grandfather could have been born in 1960, another's grandfather could have been born in 1902. Age makes a difference.
When you say "set" do you mean a pair or a whole bunch that runs the gamut of sizes?
If your mother had them appraised there should be paperwork somewhere. A bona fide appraisal is written down. If it was word of mouth it was not done by a professional.
How do I date a lamp I bought at an auction? The lamp has an old silk plug and the pottery portion of the lamp has a black stamp "cechoslovakia" in a circle. Online I have read that this stamp is indicative of a 1918-20 time period. How do I validate this date?
If you want more information on old lamps to help identify your own, you can first consult a book. However many such books that I've seen feature American products. But this would only be for your information. If you seek to validate your lamp and want a written appraisal, you need to get in touch with a certified appraiser. Check out the American Society of Appraisers, or the Appraiser's Association of America for a professional in your area.
Make sure that the appraiser has experience with old lamps. Find out how much the service will cost. Appraisal costs vary depending on where you live, and how much time the appraisal will take. The service is not cheap.
Do as much research as you can on your particular lamp. You don't want to spend more money on an appraisal than the lamp is worth.
I have an English Sterling Silver 3pc tea set, completely hand chased in repoussé in very good condition with clear hallmarks indicating it's purity (0.925), age 109, 110 and 111 years old, as it was made over 3 years by special order by maker The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths of 112 Regent St. London. Will the absence of the receipt of purchase reduce the resale value of the set?
For the most part, provenance is for historical or significant items. Receipts and bills of sale do not matter much with most antiques or collectibles. The value of any older item changes over time, sometimes rather quickly. What people want follows decorating trends as well. Something that was in big demand 15 years ago may not be in demand today.
The value of sterling silver also depends on the value of silver as a commodity. This to can change dramatically. For example, in 2011, silver was worth about $35.00 per troy ounce. By 2015, it was worth $15.00. (Troy ounce is a measure for precious metals where 12 troy ounces equal one troy pound.)
I want a suggestion about the price of my antique liquor (empty) bottle. How do I go about finding its value?
You can research your bottle yourself and learn a lot about antique bottles! Liquor bottles remain popular in the old bottle market. Factors that affect value include condition, age, color, rarity, and demand.
A cracked, chipped, or stained bottle will not command a good price. People do value bottles that are interesting or unusual. Popular colors include cobalt blue (my fave), purple, and yellow-green. To learn about antique bottles, join the Federation of Historical Bottles Collectors.
You can also learn a lot from a book. Remember that older books will not reflect current values but will help you identify what you have. Once you know what you have, you can check online auction or dealer sites. Look at the sold price rather than the offered price as some people overvalue their wares.
Here are some helpful books:
Antique Trader Bottles: Identification & Price Guide by Michael Polak 2016
Picker's Pocket Guide to Bottles: How to Pick Antiques Like a Pro by Michael Polak 2015
Kovel's Bottles Price List by Ralph and Terry Kovel
You may also check out this interesting site: Historical Glass Bottle Identification and Information on the website of the Society for Historical Archeology.
I have several figurines called netsuke. I have been researching them for about a month, but I'm having trouble finding more information. I have been able to find some, but it's been a difficult process. I have even tried contacting dealers who specialize in Asian art. Do you have any suggestions?
Netsuke was made in Japan in the time before pockets and were used to secure pouches to an obi. Katabori is very popular and features figurative carvings that depict folk themes and religious motifs. Attributes of highly valued netsuke include age, rarity, detail, and items made of ivory, bone, or boxwood.
Christie's has an online site about netsuke. You can also check out the International Netsuke society to learn more and to find books on the topic.
I have an old doll, Bisque, in perfect condition. She has brown eyes, two tiny teeth, textured hair on her head, but also underneath she has hair textured on her head. Could you help me figure out what her value maybe? The original clothing is a little stained.
Before you learn the value of your doll, you must first establish what doll you have. You can find a book to help you identify your doll. There are a lot of books about old dolls that will help in your research. You can use an older book to determine your doll. However, older books will not reflect the current value. Try visiting your library. They may have a wide variety of books on the topic. One book may not be enough.
Amazon offers a wealth of books on antique and vintage dolls so shop around there. If you are only looking for an I.D., you can use an older book so may find a cheap or used one.
"Doll Values: Antique to Modern" 13th Edition by Linda Edward is a 2017 edition so should help you identify your doll as well as help you learn the current value.
I have a collection of over seven hundred beautiful silver spoons that I would like to sell, together with thirteen beautiful spoon cabinets, each holding sixty spoons. What is the best way to have them appraised for sale?
If your flatware collection is sterling silver, you can find an appraiser by contacting your insurance agent who can recommend a reliable professional. Or you can look up the American Society of Appraisers and find on in your area.
If the flatware is silver plate, it will be of far less value, and it may not be economical to pay the high price of an appraiser. Check the bottom of each spoon to see if they are sterling or silver plate. A silver plate can be found in thrift shops. Attractive or interesting silver plate is often sold online in sites like Etsy. Even if it's silver plate if you sell them for one dollar a piece you can earn hundreds of dollars.
The demand for sterling is not what it once was, and certain patterns are more desirable. So the value depends on the manufacturer, age, condition, and pattern.
I have some plates labeled "Saint Quentin and Queen Elizabeth 1977." Are they valuable?
1977 is not so long ago. I certainly can not tell you how valuable your things are, especially from such a vague description. When you are looking for information on any old things, it's best to be more specific.
Look at the bottom of your plates for a label or backstamp. That can help you find out more information about the plates. Use that information to learn more about your pieces online.
Royal memorabilia sells like hotcakes, and there is a lot of it around. People love that stuff and save it all. No one wants to throw the queen out! So I would not expect to earn a lot of money on either.
I have some etched sharp crystal glassware. Where can I find value?
Make sure that your glassware is actually crystal by tapping the rim gently with your fingernail. Crystal will emit a pretty ringing tone while glass will not. Crystal will create a prism effect when held up to the light. Crystal also shines more brightly when washed than glass.
Look closely at the bottom of the glass. Use a magnifying glass to help. Find a small etched mark that will identify the company that produced the crystal. Small marks may also indicate the pattern. Waterford, for instance, acid etched the name of the company in gothic script on the underside of the glass. Fostering etched the letter "F."
If you can't find a mark, you will need to identify your glass by describing it. You can use a book to help. "Crystal Stemware Identification Guide" by Bob Page can help you but will not reflect current values.
Once you identify your stemware, you can learn the value by checking out online auction sites and looking at sold prices. Or you can learn replacement value on sites like Kovels or Replacements. Replacement value does not mean that you will earn that amount if you try to sell it, but is an indication of how much it would cost retail.
I have 1950's barbershop chrome love seat and two chairs with a black lacquer/chrome coffee table. I cannot find anything online like it. Do have any idea where to look or approximately value?
How do you know that your chrome love seat is from a barber shop? Look for any labels or stamps on the sides or bottom of the pieces. Well known makers of barber shop equipment include Koken, Reliance, Hanson, Gibbs, and others. Include any printed information that you find especially the maker of the product.
Search Kovel's, online auction sites, online dealers, as well as local antique shops. Learning about your stuff (any old stuff) can take time and patience. Take a look at a book for more information including "Barber Shop: History and Antiques" by Schiffer Books for Collectors. The stated values will be out of date but a book may help you identify what it is that you have.
I have Fish and Game of the State of New York Seventh Report Forest, Fish and Game Commission circa 1902, 100 individual prints. How can I find the value?
Your Fish and Game prints are all over the place online so you should have no trouble checking out what other people are selling and how much they cost. Fish prints seem the most popular.
The Fish and Game of the State of New York prints were created to illustrate the activities of the Forest, Fish, and Game Commission of New York from 1900 - 1911 (today's Department of Environmental Conservation. Photographs and drawings present images pertaining to fish and game control, forest management, wilderness conservation and historic and recreational activities. They document forest fires and fire control, birds and animals, trails, and many other topics.
I just looked at some beautiful artwork created by Sherman Foote Denton, the noted lithographer, depicting fish, date 1896 which were being offered from between $75.00 - $175.00 on the site Darvill's Rare Prints. The Philidelphia Print Shop Ltd. is selling similar prints in the same price range. Stonegate Prints offers similar prints with a lobster print at close to $400.00. Ebay had one Denton print for as low as $28.00 that the seller claims is an original print.
I have an antique copper metal bed frame from the year 1900. How much is it worth?
Are you sure that the bed is made of copper? That would be unusual. Copper will show verdigris, that is a greenish blue color, while brass will tarnish to a dull brown. The chances are that the bed is brass, as this was a very popular material for beds made in the United States from the mid-1800s until the early 20th century. Of course, new brass beds are being produced today. Many other metals are used in the production of antique style beds.
Values are all over the place for antique brass beds. Remember that a real antique bed will be either a single or double. King and queen sizes are a more recent development.
The value of antique brass or iron bed depends on condition and ornamentation. A bed with elaborate decoration will be more valuable than a plainer one.
Look for a similar bed with similar decorations at online antique auctions sites. Check out the sold prices. Make sure that the beds you look at are old ones. Many sellers will call their wares "antique" when they are just antique style.
I have a mid-century Drexel desk 881-101-2 missing one knob on the bottom drawer, with a few top scratches. How do I find its worth?
In general, damaged pieces are not worth as much as items in pristine condition. But you may be able to fix the desk up to improve its appearance.
You may find a replacement knob on eBay. You'd be surprised at the interesting things you can find on there. Of course, some dealer will ask ridiculous prices for replacement hardware so search around.
A product called Howard's Restore A Finish may help you restore your desk. You don't need to sand so you won't have a big mess. Use the appropriate color to suit your needs. Use 0000 steel wool. This product does a nice job and if the scratches are not deep may even take care of that problem as well as improving the look of your desk.
Follow the directions on the back of the product for the best outcome.
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