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 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 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

    or

    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,

    and

    Quilt Guild Directory.

  • 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 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.

  • We have a pair of vases from Belgium that have F-43 on the bottom, they are pottery of some type in browns and greens. How can I determine the value of my vases from Belgium?

    When you want to learn the value of something you must first identify what it is in detail. Be specific about your description in your search. Note the size of your piece, the shape, any details, the style (say Art Deco or Art Nouveau) the glaze, and the color and texture of the bottom of the piece.

    You may find pieces that are similar to yours for a comparison. For example - Thulin Faience (1923 - 1970s) and Boch made beautiful art vases.

    It may be best to turn to a book. Some of the books mentioned here are older and will not reflect current values but may help you understand what you have:

    Art Deco Ceramics Made in Belgium Charles Catteau by Marc Pairon

    American and European Art Pottery Price Guide y Kyle Husfloen

    European Pottery and Porcelain by Paul J. Atterbury

    Vintage Collector's Guide to European & American Art Pottery by Paulette Schwartzman

    Concise Encyclopedia of Continental Pottery and Porcelain by Reginald G. Hagger

    Once you are able to identify your vase, then you can search auction and dealer sales to see what vases like yours have sold for.

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    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      6 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Tko - why don't you try a consignment shop? In my city there are many that accept and sell items like you have mentioned. They will, of course, expect a commission of about one third of the sale price. If they do not accept an item it is because they think there are no buyers.

    • profile image

      TKo 

      6 days ago

      Hi Delores, I have a house full of vintage items, some antiques and lots of primitive American reproductions.. As my tastes are changing and I'm longing to simplify my life, how do I get rid of the valuable things? I want to get fair prices so I don't feel that a yard sale is suitable. I've never sold online and am a bit intimidated by that. Any ideas?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Jason - considering the cane is made of ivory and the top is gold plated, you may want to take it to a professional appraiser. But first check to make sure that the gold is really gold and the shaft is really ivory. There are tests you can perform at home. Look at the shaft with a magnifying glass to see any cross hatching. Regular lines indicate resin or celluloid while irregular indicate the real thing. If it is the real thing you need to check out the laws that regulate the sale of ivory.

    • profile image

      Jason 

      3 weeks ago

      I have a walking cane it's over hundred years old it was presented to a man named Colonel John E McGowan by the citizens of Chattanooga Tennessee with the date that it was given to him and a small inscription on the side, the handle is goldplated and made in England and the shaft is Ivory from Africa. After services in the war Colonel MacGowan moved to Chattanooga Tennessee for his love of the city and became a chief editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press and for his years of service and dedication citizens who highly respected him presented him with this one-of-a-kind walking cane which I am interested in selling but not sure how to get the process in motion I obtained this piece through inheritance passed along down the family line any advice on how to obtain considering it's a one-of-a-kind and age and history would like to know how valuable this piece is and maybe a dollar amount it might be worth and what would be my best options in trying to sell this piece

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      3 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Timothy - I can't tell you the value of your figurine. Value will depend on condition, age, and carving skill. You are going to have to research this. Meanwhile, protect your bone figurine from moisture, excessive dryness, direct sunlight, and temperature extremes. Keep away from rodents as mice will gnaw on objects made of animal bone.

      Clean with a soft brush or lint free cloth.

    • profile image

      Timothy driver 

      3 weeks ago

      I got a horse 6 to 8 inches tall on a base about ten inches in lenght the horse and base was carved out of one solid pease of bone whats its worth

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      8 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Kathy - I am not here to sell things but I am sure that you can find it online, on ebay or another site. The pattern is Florentine # 1 green. It is a sherbet plate and kind of shallow so you may be recalling the berry bowl in the same pattern. This stuff pops up all the time so if you can't find it now, just wait a day or two. Shop around because some sellers can over value their goods. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Kathy Dougall 

      8 weeks ago

      Hi I was admiring the photo of the depression glass especially the green dish at the bottom of photo. My mother used to have one like it but it broke in half. I have fine memories of her always serving peas in it. Are you interested in selling??

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi bhueysbaby, I love old bottles and have a few myself. It's so much fun to find old bottles! And there are so many types out there! Consult a book to identify what kind of bottle you have. Some suggestions:

      "Bottles and Bottle Collecting" by A.A. C. Hedges

      "Kovel's Bottles Price List" by Terry Kovel

      "Antique Trader Bottles Identification and Price Guide" by Michael Polack

      There are many such books out there and bottle collecting is still popular so you may find some helpful books at your local library. Remember that values change so older price guides are not reliable indications of a bottle's worth but will help you with identification.

    • profile image

      bhueysbaby 

      2 months ago

      I have found quite a number of old glass bottle, Amber colored, clear, & brown ones. They date back to the early 1900s. I'm having trouble identifying the type of bottle that I have.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Psm - Adrian Pearall's designs have been copied due to the popularity of his mid century furniture styled with that atomic look that features geometric and boomerang shaped items. Before you lay out the large expense of having your tables authenticated by an appraiser, you can contact the family of Pearsall (who died in 2011). They will, for a small fee, help you understand more about your tables. Check them out at www. adrianpearsall.com.

    • profile image

      Psm 

      3 months ago

      How can I tell if the mid century nesting tables are Pearsall Jax or not

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Victoria - in order to find a value you will have to refine your search terms for each item. Are all the objects made of glass? If so, a great resource is the Corning Museum of Glass (NY). They have an online presence with lots of information.

      When you search for information, you need to state what it is that you have. Include a brief description of each item - say a cup or vase, it's size, color, and significant detailing. Take a good look at the stamps that you mention and do a search for each stamp.

    • profile image

      Victoria 

      3 months ago

      I have collected Japanese and Chinese items since I was 13 years old I am now almost 50 I’m not I would like to know what the value is some of these are they don’t have a occupied in Japan they have like stamps or stamp right into the glass

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Patty-anne - try to find something similar to your grandmother's piece online by searching Google images. As you search, refine your search pattern. For instance, is the item made of glass or porcelain? Is it a vase, goblet, footed bowl, powder box, or Japanese tea bowl? Is it opaque or translucent?

      Hopefully, you will see something that looks like what you have. It could be Bohemian or Czech ruby glass, Venitian Murano, made by the Medici Company of Italy, or something else.

      Try to describe the pattern by detailing images like flowers, scrolls, leaves, etc.

      It's a hunt! I hope you find what it is that you have.

    • profile image

      Patti-anne Langley 

      3 months ago

      How do I go about pricing a Red Glass Jar, a wedding present to my Grandmother in 1910, when other than the beautiful gold pattern around the jar, there are no other markings what so ever. It is a delicate Jar and its lid is with it, no markings in 1910 in Australia, was somewhat unusual and I am trying to find the Jar's origins, but have little to go on other than its' gold pattern.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Janice - if the paper is in great condition, you may want to ask yourself if it is a reprint. Older papers, made to be temporary reading material, yellow and brown over the years. There have been thousands of reproductions of the newspapers that reported on this event. Some of the reprints have been aged artificially. And some of the reproductions are, themselves, quite old.

      The first articles that appeared on April 15, 1912 were full of errors and inaccurate details.

      You may want to check the original copy of your articular newspaper. Many can be found online. You can often find the size of the original paper as well as other contents including ads. This may take some time and patience.

      You could check with someone who knows old paper and could see if the paper is actually from the era.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months 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 

      5 months 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 

      5 months 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 

      5 months 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 

      5 months 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 

      5 months 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 

      6 months 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 months 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 months ago

      trying to sell my 1930 Wooden Boat

    • profile image

      Hafsa 

      8 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 

      9 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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.

    • Casey White profile image

      Mike and Dorothy McKenney 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      10 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

      Angel 

      10 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 

      12 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 

      12 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 

      20 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 

      20 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...

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