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

Updated on October 9, 2018
Dolores Monet profile image

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

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What is an Antique

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

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

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

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

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

Price Guides

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

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

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

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

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

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

Value and Conditon of Antiques and Collectibles

I have a beautiful porcelain figurine of a young girl holding up the skirt of a pleated dress. Fifteen years ago, I found some information about the figure that was made in the late 1800's or early 1900s by the Gebruder Heubach Company of Thuringia, Germany. 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.

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

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

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

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

Antique Textiles, Prints, Paintings, and Photographs

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

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

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


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

Do Not Assume

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

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

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

Why Have An Antique Professionally Appraised

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

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

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

Identify Your Antique

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

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

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.


Backstamp

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Sterling Silver Forks

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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.


1902 Adjustable chair by Gustav Stickley in the Arts and Crafts style
1902 Adjustable chair by Gustav Stickley in the Arts and Crafts style | Source

Selling Your Antique or Collectible Item


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Provenance

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

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

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

Questions & Answers

  • I have some old porcelain dolls and they are in pretty much perfect condition. Where can I find out how much these porcelain dolls are worth?

    Dolls have been a popular collectible for a long time. Before you understand the value, you need to identify each doll. There are tons of books available on all types of dolls. Many, however, are older and will not reflect current values. The collecting craze has faded over the years as baby boomers downsize and younger people like minimalist styles.

    You can try " The Doll Catalog" by Donna H. Felger, or

    "The Insider's Guide to Doll Buying and Selling" by Jan Foulke and Howard Foulke or

    "Warman's Dolls - From Antique to Modern" by Mark f. Moran.

    You can also find a lot of information on the site run by the United Federation of Doll Clubs. They feature doll news, articles, dealers, and conventions.

  • 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 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.

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    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      3 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Rogers 1847 is a trademark and does not reflect the date that your spoons and forks were manufactured. Rogers has produced sterling as well as silver plate. Look on the underside for a mark that shows the number 925 or the word "sterling." Sterling is much more valuable than silver plate.

      Look up your pattern on an online site that shows images of 1847 Rogers Brothers silver flatware. Notice the details of your items to find a match. Look for smooth areas, flowers, shape of the edges, lines, etc. to help you make a match.

      Once you are able to identify what you have, you can learn the value.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      3 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Terry - provenance is usually important when you are dealing with a significant piece of art or antique. It establishes a trail of ownership that goes back to the original owner or proves that the item was in the place that is claimed. Without physical documentation any such claims are invalid.

      That being said, it's an ice box. Do you really think that it's presence in a old store will increase it's value? Was the purchase price much higher than that of an ordinary ice box due to it's special past? Is the value of the piece worth the expense of a lawyer?

      Ask yourself these questions before you decide to persue legal actions. You could also think about small claims court. You would have to show that the documents are yours.

      As to why would the seller pull such a stunt? We can ask ourselves questions like this and never just guess the answer. Maybe he has several ice boxes and promises the documents to every buyer.

    • profile image

      Lucia 

      6 days ago

      I havesome spoons and forks 1847 Rodger Brothers it has an engraving of is on the back as a spoons and forks can you tell me the value oh cuz these are antique.?

    • profile image

      Terry 

      6 days ago

      I am in an odd predicament involving an antique icebox I purchased at an estate sale. It was advertised as having provenance (used in a historic grocery store) and the documentation was supposed to be included with the piece. However for some reason the property owner (not the estate sale company) took the document(s) back before I could pick up the piece. The sale company has tried reaching out to him but with no reply, and I'm wondering if there's any direct action I might be able to take. I bought the piece simply because I love it and not for its potential value at market, but I imagine the lack of provenance will affect its value at some point down the road if I have to sell it. Why would the owner want to keep the documents without having the actual piece in his possession? And are there any steps I could take (legal, etc.) to obtain the documentation as it's rightfully mine now?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      If you are looking for a specific item for sale (for price comparison) online, remember that inventories change quickly and often. So you might want to check daily for items similar to your own.

      Scandinavian mid century glass is very popular these days so you should have no trouble finding a buyer. Most of the glassware that I have seen made by Afors (or Kosta Boda) includes higly polished art glass, vases, and decorative bowls. Prices range from $90.00 - $190.00.

      Ernest Gordon designed for Afors between 1953 - 1963. Tulpan means tulip!

    • profile image

      Dumpster01 

      2 weeks ago

      Hello... My wife and I have a large set of distinct mid-century hand blown glass, stemware and barware from the Scandinavian Afors factory (now Kosta Boda). It was designed by Ernst Gordon and is called 'Tulpan'. We have scoured the internet trying to find current prices of this particular set... we've even e-mailed the factory but haven't heard back from them. We can find nothing on any of the antique glass sites, auction sites, eBay, etc. Can you suggest something we may have overlooked? If they were common, I'm sure we would've found them online by now.

      Thank you.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Palash - learn more about your old bottle by picking up a book to help you identify it. Try:

      "Picker's Guide to Bottles - How to Pick Antiques Like a Pro" by Michael Polak, 2015

      "Warman's Bottles Field Guide" by Michael Polak

      "Antique Traders Bottles Identification and Price Guide" by Michael Polak 2012

      "Kovel's Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide" 2018

      Older books will not reflect current value. New guides must be taken with a grain of salt as well. Once you identify your bottle, you can search around for antique bottles sales online to get an idea of the value.

      You can also join The Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors. Their site is a font of information.

    • profile image

      Palash Mangalia 

      6 weeks ago

      Ma'am,

      I want a suggestion about the price of my antique liquor(empty) bottle.

      It would be very nice of you if you can suggest me.

      I can send photo's of the bottle.

      I am waiting for your reply as soon as possible.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Look for something similar by describing what you have. Look closely at your cabinet to see if there is anything distinctive to use in your description. How to do know that the cabinet in an antique? Could the lights have been added at a later date than when it was made?

      Learn more about your furniture by educating yourself. Learn about woods used in furniture making as well as styles. Try these books to help you learn more:

      How to be a Furniture Detective by Fred Taylor

      Field Guide to Antique Furniture by Peter Philp and Gillian Walkling

      Bulfinch Anatomy of Furniture An Illustrated Guide to Identify Period, Detail, and Design by Paul Atterbury

    • profile image

      Dawn 

      2 months ago

      I have n antique curio cabinet. Its doubled rounded at the top with double doors. It has lights as well. I can not find any photos of this anywhere to see how old it may be.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      As your wooden boat was built before World War 2, it is considered an antique. Similar boats built after the war are considered classic. The value of your boat depends on its condition. Restoration can be very expensive.

      Join the Anitque & Classic Boat Society to learn more about your boat. Those beautiful old boats made by Chris-Craft, Riva, Gar Wood, and Century (among others) sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

      When you join the society or check out their website, you can find links to local chapters and links to other similar organizations. Attend a show in your area and talk to other owners. People who own such remarkable boats love to talk about them.

      As you learn about antique wood boats you will also learn where and how to sell them.

    • profile image

      Paul brow 

      2 months ago

      trying to sell my 1930 Wooden Boat

    • profile image

      Hafsa 

      3 months ago

      Hi

      I have a a woodlan,enoch wedgewood founded in 1835 dinner set,how do I take out the value of such a set and I would like to sell it and I am lookong for guidance,all the advice u can give me will be very mich appreciated.thank you

    • profile image

      Robbie Brock 

      3 months ago

      I have a large amount of antique glassware that I would like to sell.

    • profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      4 months ago

      Have to be so careful. Fashions change. Last year's valuable antique could be this years tat.

      Best advice imo is but something you like. If value falls will not be so bad

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Books that are called price guides may not reflect current values but can help identify what you have. Try "Costume Jewelry Identification and Price Guide (Confident Collector)" by Harrice Simons Miller; or "Collectible Costume Jewelry: Identification and

      Values" by Sherri Simonds.

      Once you know what you have then you can look up each piece online at auction sites. Look at the sold prices. You can also look costume jewelry up at Kovels online.

      Vintage costume jewelry will be most valuable if it was high quality, made by a well known designer; if it is rare, in demand, and in good condition.

    • profile image

      Misty Jones 

      4 months ago

      i have some vintage costume jewelery from the 1940s, 1950s very time consuming to make for the time. how do u find a worth on pieces like these

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Nell - Royal Doulton figurines have been made for a long time. There are so many of them that it can be quite difficult to learn exactly which one you have and what it is worth. For identification, you should find a book and price guide on Royal Doulton figurines. there are plenty out there. Once you identify your little lady then you can go on to find the value.

      The most valuable items are limited editions, signed by artists, and whichever ones are currently in high demand. The demand can change quickly as it depends on how many people are currently shopping for your particular piece.

      The are sites online who can help you learn the value, but, as I said, the value can change quickly. Books used for identification will not reflect current values if they are older books.

      You may find value at Kovels, check ebay sold prices, or check out live auctioneers online. Some sites you have to sign up for.

      If you send me a picture, do you really think that I would spend maybe hours researching your item for free? You can do this yourself but it will take some time. Even collectors who are really into those figurines may be hard pressed to quickly give you the answer you want. Good luck!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Queenesta - just because something is old does not always mean that it is valuable. Of course any old china or glassware is more valuable if it is in prime condition. Remember that value has everything to do with demand. Check online auction sites to see what your items have sold for. I can't tell you where to sell them. You may want to contact a consignment shop to see if they want them. Expect the shop to take 1/3 of the selling price.

      Also remember that an item is an antique if it is 100 years old. An item from the 1970s is not an antique. Howard Wolf was a label that sold garments at Neimen Marcus and Nordstrom specializing in women's sportswear beginning the 1960s though the company began in 1947. Check online auction sites for sold prices.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Mike and Dorothy - people who have destroyed old things make the ones that remain more valuable. Just think, if everyone kept everything we would all be hoarders. Get in line guys, that's a common tale that's sad to tell. My dear old great uncle used to delight in my moans when he told me how, at the behest of his mother, he took a sledge hammer to a 19th century stained glass lamp shade. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      You can search for the value of your game at online auction sites. If you mean the game that comes in a tin remember that any game is made more valuable by its condition. Missing or damaged elements, dents in the tin, or scratches will devalue your game.

    • profile image

      Nell Barrington 

      4 months ago

      I have a beautiful japanise china lady that has been sitting amongst the dust in my grandmothers room. I have recently taken a look and tried to look up its value and have found similar figures in the same positions but with different colour clothing on, sold for thousands of pounds. My guess is that it would be sold for the same price but I am unsure. On the bottom reads the number 238 and has a royal doulton black stamp from 1902-1922. If you are able, I could email you a picture and maybe you could help me out? many thanks, Nell.

    • profile image

      Queenesta 

      4 months ago

      Hi, I bought A full China Set and blue crystal champagne glasses from Royal Prestige 30 years ago. I never used them. Where can I sell them? Do they get more valuable the longer I keep them? I also have an antique Wolf 1976 pants form that I'd like to sell. Thank you for your help.

    • Casey White profile image

      Mike and Dorothy McKenney 

      4 months ago from United States

      After reading your article, I am sick about the items that my grandmother had but we had no idea about their worth (being poor, you don't really know much about antiques). I could kick myself for not learning about them before everything was tossed or donated (charity starts at home). Thank you so much for such wonderful information. It was so very enlightening.

    • profile image

      Thomas Martinez 

      4 months ago

      I would like to know if my Austin Powers game the trivia is valuableand what a might be worth

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi JG - prices are often all over the place. Certain people over price their items in hopes of earning the most money they can get. Low prices mean the seller just wants to move their china.

      Instead of looking at the prices that are offered, look at "sold" values. That will reflect the reality of what people may be willing to pay.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      People love blue glassware so there is a lot of information out there. Check your local library or shop online for a book about the topic. If you are trying to identify your items a book will come in handy. Remember that an older book will not reflect current value. Some informative books include:

      "Cobalt Blue Glass Edition" by Schiffer Books for Collectors.

      "Kitchen Glassware of the Depression Years" by Gene Florence.

      Look for information online. Learn if your items are Depression glass or from another era.

    • profile image

      JGWill 

      5 months ago

      I inherited my great grandmother's china, marked Paul Muller, Selb, Bavaria, Kenmore 1314. I'm trying to find out their value and considering placing on consignment. I've looked on Etsy and eBay, but prices are all over the place. Any suggestions?

    • profile image

      Fran 

      5 months ago

      I have a full set of blue glassware and am trying to find out if it has any value...

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Donna - look for any marks on the bottoms of the plates. Makers marks will show you who manufactured the dishware. Any date would probably not be the date when made, but when the pattern was introduced. Marks change over the years sometimes with just minute detail shifts. These details can help you pinpoint when your particular plates were made. Remember that certain patterns have been in production for many long years.

      Describe the mark in Google images to find information. There are many books out there on dishware so it may be a good idea to visit your local library.

    • profile image

      Donna 

      5 months ago

      hi my name is Donna I bought some plates and a garage sale and it doesn't have a date that they were printed but they look antique how can I find out if they are

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Kathy - Vintage brooches can be so beautiful! Value depends on so many things. Real stones and metals like gold or platinum increase value. Real stones are very clear. Look closely at the metal. If it shows wear and you can see another color, it is probably not real (over 10K) gold. Platinum can be very valuable.

      Costume jewelry can also be quite valuable. Look for a name on the back of the piece. Creations by Chanel, Boucher, Eisenburg, Duette, Trifani, and others are high end costume jewelry.

      Check out the back of the brooch. Fine detail on the back of the piece indicates a well made brooch.

      If you suspect that your brooch is valuable, take it to your jeweler, contact your insurance agent for recommendations, or check out the American Society of Appraisers to find someone in your area. An appraisal will cost between $50.00 and $!00.00.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Sara - there are plenty of books out there that may help you identify the age of and information about your old cookie jar. Many books about collectibles are older so quoted prices will not reflect current values but can still help you understand what you have. Here are a few:

      "Collector's Encylcopedia of Cookie Jars Book 2" by Fred Roeing

      "The Complete Cookie Jar Book" Schiffer Book for Collectors

      "The Wonderful World of Cookie Jars - A Pictorial Reference and Price Guide" by Mark Supnick

    • profile image

      Kathy guyot 

      5 months ago

      I have 2 old brooches from my grandmother. How do i fond out if they are worth anything. Or the value..

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Angel - Clay Sketches figurines were produced in California from 1943 - 1957. Popular during and just after the war years, when the USA was not importing knick knacks or other decorative items, the company and others like it folded in the 1960s when cheap imports became available.

      I am not sure why you think that the bird figurines are rare or valuable. I have seen many items by Clay Sketches priced from $30.00 for a set of three birds (that's $10.00 a piece) to about $40.00. In order to sell your herons, they need to be in perfect condition.

      You can try to sell them at an online auction site or to a local dealer or consignment shop. Of course if someone else sells them for you, they will want about 1/3 of the selling price. The selling price depends on local demand. I have seen many of these cute items in shops that sell vintage items but have never seen any for the $119.00 asking price shown on one ebaby item.

      When attempting to find value by looking at ebay asking prices, remember to ignore the highest prices. People often attempt to sell items by claiming that they are rare in order to inflate the price.

    • profile image

      Sara 

      5 months ago

      I have an old clown cookie jar but I cannot find one like it anywhere online. There are no names on the bottom or inside. There is a number 52/100 on the bottom. How do I go about finding something on this jar. I know its older because it belonged to my grandmother and I am in my late 50's.

    • profile image

      Angel 

      5 months ago

      I have inherited 2 beautiful heron vases that are signed on the bottom Clay Sketches Pasadena Southern California. I remember these being on my grandparents fireplace mantel for my entire childhood. I did try to do some research on their value but I couldn't find much except they are considered rare and valuable they are from about the '50s and most of what I am seeing it looks like they usually come as one not in a set ? I live in Maryland and I'm looking to possibly sell them, do you have any ideas where I would go or if there would be someone online that would be interested??

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      6 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Jimmy - Eames chairs are held in high regard and are in great demand. There is a ton of information out there on Eames. When I Googled your brief description, I found many results that features "sold" prices. You should have no trouble selling your chair.

    • profile image

      My name is jimmy 

      6 months ago

      I have a green Herman Miller chair Charles and Ray Eames designed I would like to know how much it's worth

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Marty - East Asia seals have been used as personal signatures on documents, or can represent a company's name. They are also used to sign artwork. Sometimes called "chops." the writing can also be a saying or proverb.

      In general, Korean writing features many circles and ovals that can be used with lines.

      Japanese characters feature curved lines and straight lines mixed with curves.

      Chinese characters are more complex than the other two with many sharp angles. Less white space is visible in Chinese characters than in Japanese or Korean.

    • profile image

      Marty 

      7 months ago

      Hello, Im looking for information about an oriental signature stamp, how can i know if it is chinese or japanese or identify the author. thank you!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Bobbie - when you try to learn about an item, it's best to be specific and pay attention to details such as shape, size, materials used, and style of painting. Look closely to see if you can find identifying marks like a signature, or any letters or numbers. There are several books you can study to learn about old boxes:

      " 19th Century Wooden Boxes," Schiffer Publishing Ltd. Atglen, PA, 1997; Marian Klamkin,

      "The Collector’s Book of Boxes," Dodd, Mead & Company, NY 1970.

      "Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, Society 1700 - 1880" by Antigone Clark; Schiffer Book for Collectors.

      Of course there are many more. You may find a helpful book at your library or buy online.

    • profile image

      Bobbie Bosarge 

      7 months ago

      I have a box that I found it look old by the painting on all sides I have photos of it how would I find out if it is worth anything

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Robin - for information on antique dolls, check out the United Federation of Dolls Clubs. You can also research by reading the Antique Doll Collector Magazine.

      There are books available for your research as well:

      "Collecting Antique Dolls, Fashion Dolls, Automata, Doll Curiosities, Exclusive Dolls" by Joachim F Richter;

      "Doll Collecting With Tina Classic Dolls from 1860 - 1960" by Tina Berry; "Doll Values: Antique to Modern" by Linda Edward and many more.

    • profile image

      Robin 

      7 months ago

      Who would be the best contact for an antique doll collection?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 months ago from East Coast, United States

      For information on Lamberton China, take a look at "From Earth to Art : The History of the Lamberton Works" by Larry R Paul. As far as I know, Lamberton china was made in New Jersey then later in Ohio manufacturing dishware for restaurants and hotels. Ezekiel and Weilman Company was a wholesale business for restaurant and hotel equipment.

      The black scrolls and urns pattern can be seen on Replacements website.(LAM 38).

      You may also look at a book - "Restaurant China : Identification And Value Guide for Restaurant, Airline, Ship, and Rail Road Dinnerware" by Barbara J. Conroy.

      I hope this helps in your search.

    • profile image

      Kristina Hanna 

      7 months ago

      Hello, I inherited a couple of pieces of Lamberton China. The pattern name is Black Scrolls And Urns. I have a large platter and a smaller one. They are both in great condition. One has the stamp, "Lamberton China Design Patented" on the back. And the other has, "Scammell's Lamberton China Ezekiel & Weilman Co. Richmond VA Design Patented" on the back. I can't seem to find out anywhere if there is any value to these pieces.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      8 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi tycho - lots of people collect jewelry boxes and they can sell for quite a lot of money. Value depends on condition, age, style, manufacturer, and what materials it is made out of. Before you attempt to sell your box, you need to learn more about it. Look for information on jewelry boxes online or in books:

      "The Jewel Box Book: The Definitive Guide to American Art Metal Jewelry Boxes, 1900-1925 " by Joanne V Wiertella; "Antique Boxes-Inside and Out: For Eating, Drinking and Being Merry" by Genevieve Cummins.

      You can also learn more about your box by Google imaging it. Start with jewelry box, add material it is made from, color, size, significant detail. Also look for any kind of stamp or label on the box which may help your identify your piece.

    • profile image

      tycho 

      8 months ago

      Hi Dolores,

      How is the market for antique jewelry boxes? They look so pretty, beautiful designs and engravings but not sure if the there is a market for them. Any tips?

      Thanks

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      8 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Gary - I certainly can not tell you how much you could get for your cup and saucer. It could be quite valuable but selling depends on finding someone who wants to buy it. You could consult price guides like a book for instance "Dresden Porcelain Studios Identification and Value Guide" by Jim Harran. You could also check out Kovels online. Many factories have copied the KPM mark and reproductions do exist. Authentic pieces usually include images of an eagle, a septer, and and orb with a cross. Warping could indicate a maker creating the piece outside of the actual KPM factory. There have been instances of botched orders (warped saucer) shipped out.

      I have seen antique KPM cups and saucers offered for a very wide variety of prices from $125.00 to much more.

    • profile image

      Gary JT 

      8 months ago

      Hi Dolores,

      I have a KPM cup and saucer. According to the Berlin Porcelain Marks register, the cup and saucer was made sometime between 1837-1844. That makes it around 180 years old. Do you have any idea what it is worth? If you think it is quite valuable, I will get it appraised and valued by a registered valuer. But need your advise before I take the next step. Apart from the initial mark, there are also 3 indented stroke marks on the base of the cup. It is an unusual cup as it is quite small and the saucer isn't straight...but warped on one side...like it was a test piece...maybe one of a kind? The pattern is blue flowers with gold leaf design around the top and rim. Happy to send you a pic if you think this will help. Thank you. Gary

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      14 months ago from East Coast, United States

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

    • profile image

      Mary Comerford 

      15 months ago

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

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      15 months ago from East Coast, United States

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

    • profile image

      Jennifer 

      15 months ago

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

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      21 months ago from East Coast, United States

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

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