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

Updated on February 25, 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 (Gebruder being German for brothers). The figure can be identified by the look of it ,and the mark on the bottom, as with most valuable china and porcelain pieces. The mark is a divided circle with a sunburst on top and two over-lapped letters below.

The article suggested that the figure might sell for $500.00 in good condition. And that was 15 years ago.

Unfortunately, someone very close to me (who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are) knocked the figurine's head off some 40 years ago. The head was neatly glued back on but the damage was done. No way I would ever get anywhere near the suggested price because it is damaged.

Which brings me to:

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

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

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

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

Antique Textiles, Prints, Paintings, and Photographs

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

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

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


Antique landscape painting

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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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More on the Value of Antiques

Certain types of antiques hold their value even in a recession or in hard economic times. Metal such as bronze statues, silverware or other antique metal items can earn you a tidy sum of money. Of course sterling silver is worth much more than silver plate. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver. Silver plated flatware, trays, coffee pots, sugar bowls, creamers, and trays can be picked up at thrift shops for very low prices.

Religious items may not get you what you want. Old things are often valued due to scarcity. People keep religious items and pass them down for years. Also, may religious people feel uncomfortable selling a religious painting or statue, especially if it has been blessed.

Face it, people don't throw Jesus in the trash can. So there are a lot of old religious items around.

Just because an object is attractive does not mean that it is valuable. A friend of mine was selling off some pieces and found that a very ugly old lamp sold for an impressive amount of money. The fact was the piece was rare and in demand by collectors.

The popularity of various items vary over time. Something that may have been a hot commodity in 1999 may have fallen out of fashion. Demand sets value. If lots of people are hunting for a particular item, the value will rise. Today, people like mid 20th century furniture and dishware so they can be quite expensive.

If you bought an item because a company promised that it would eventually become valuable that does not mean that it has actually increased in value. Think about it - if everyone and their brother ran out and bought, then hoarded tons of say, Franklin Mint plates, then all decide at the same time to sell them, they will not be worth much.


Sterling Silver Forks

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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 a large picture of the Twin Towers before 9/11. Is it worth anything?

    Photographs of the Twin Towers abound. After all, it was not that long ago they stood as landmarks in New York City. There are millions of prints and postcards in existence.

    Your photograph may have value if it is an original taken by a well-known photographer. If it is, then research the name of the photographer online.

  • I have letters to and from Martha Berry and have no idea if they are worth anything or how to find out. Do you know?

    Martha Berry founded Berry College in Rome, Georgia. It began as a boys industrial school in 1902. A girls school was added in 1909. It became a college in the 1920s and was granted full accreditation in the 1950s.

    Please do not store your old letters in the attic or basement but in a closet in the living section of your home. Place each letter in an acid free paper or plastic envelope, acid free file folder, or archival acid free document box.

    While I can not tell you the exact value of your letters, you could find some information, or consider donating the letters to the Martha Berry Digital Collection. You can find them online.

    If you want to have them appraised, locate a local professional through the American Society of Appraisers. Expect to pay $50.00 - $60.00 for the service.

  • What would an antique silver Caster estimated to be over 100-years-old be worth?

    Sterling silver sugar casters were introduced to Europe in the 17th century. By the late 1600s, other casters were used for mustard and pepper. Usually, the older casters are in the lighthouse style, a simple cylinder with piercings on the top. Being rare, these would be the most valuable and can sell for thousands of dollars. Later versions include Queen Anne, a stouter style with elaborate piercings and acorn, ball, or pineapple shaped finial. Vase-shaped obviously resembled a vase. Baluster style was wide at the bottom third, then slimming above.

    When casters were mass produced, the silver that made up the body became thinner so needed a wider or weighted bottom for balance.

    Look around online at sugar casters for sale at antique sites. You can check out a book such as "The Book of Old Silver: English, American, and Foreign" by Seymour B Wyler, or "Pocket Editions Jackson's Hallmarks" by Ian Pickford.

    Check the bottom of your caster to see if there are any identifying marks.

    You can also call your insurance broker who can recommend an appraiser.

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    • profile image

      Hafsa 

      2 weeks 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 

      4 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      5 weeks 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 

      5 weeks 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 

      5 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      8 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Zachary - the value of antique computing scales is all over the place. Value depends on rarity, condition, and ornamentation. When you research your scale, include the specific model and serial number in your search. You can cruise ebay or look it up at Kovels online.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      8 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Lillian - there are online auction sites that sell similar photographs so maybe you should look there. As World War II was not so long ago and millions of people served, there are lots of such images out there. I would not expect them to be very valuable unless they depict well known subjects or significant events.

    • profile image

      Zachary Qualls 

      2 months ago

      I have a set of scales made by Computing Scales of Dayton Ohio. How can i decipher their worth and determine a decent price?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Ingrid - if you have an old painting and want to sell it or insure it, you may have to hire an appraiser. Often older paintings may not be signed. Check the back of the art work for any gallery labels. If there is a label , research the gallery to see if they are still in business. Then contact the gallery for more information.

      Do you have any documentation pertaining to the art? Information on a receipt, bill of sale, or any other original written material can help.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Donathan - Depression glass is so pretty! In fact, lots of people have kept their old glassware because it is so attractive, so there is a lot of it out there. There are also a lot of fakes produced when the glass had a big following at the end of the 20th century.

      Before you decide where and how to sell your pieces, why don't you check out the National Depression Glass Association. Here you can learn about your items and their value. You can also learn how to contact collectors and dealers.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Joanne - research your books online. Just because a book is old does not mean that it is very valuable. Of course some older books are more valuable than others. The books must be in very good condition and, of course, in demand.

      A beautifully bound book in great condition will be worth more than a cheaply bound one. A first edition, or limited edition of a well known book by an influential writer may have some value.

      Learn how to price your books by researching online. Abebooks, BookFinder, and AddAll can help you learn about pricing books. The Smithsonian Libraries offers online advice about old books including care and other useful information.

    • profile image

      Lillian 

      2 months ago from JOSHUA TREE, california

      I have some german world war 2 pictures. They are originals and the consists of the soldiers and then some of them are just pictures of a family. Where could I sell them at?

    • profile image

      Ingrid Leon 

      2 months ago

      I bought an old painting from the Quincy era but has no signature how can find out what it’s worth without having to pay a ton to know it’s worth

    • profile image

      joanne gerson 

      2 months ago

      how to price 1860-85 books?

    • profile image

      Donathan Edwards 

      2 months ago

      Where I can sell my depression glass

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Jarrett - find someone who reads Chinese! If you don't know anyone who does, try your local college. Also you can find a local dealer who specializes in Chinese dishware.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Martha - find a site that specializes in military antiques. There are a lot of old military items on the market. Just think of how many people were involved in the war!

      I am not sure what you are asking here. Do you have paintings by Hitler? If so you may have trouble finding someone who wants to sell them for you. Although paintings by Hitler can command high prices, you'd have to find the right person who would deal in art work created by the most hated man in history. And, believe it or not, there are a lot of fakes out there. I know someone who has one or two and could not find a seller.

    • profile image

      Jarrett 

      3 months ago

      How do i find out what name is on my antique plates if it's in Chinese writing

    • profile image

      Martha 

      3 months ago

      I have a lot of World War II memorabilia I have some a lot of Adolf Hitler pictures signed postcards just wondering what the value of those might be

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 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.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Tonya -when you look for examples of Warwick pottery that is similar to yours, include the name of the company "Warwick" as well as the color of your item. Also include the image.

      Warwick produced in West Virginia creating pottery that was hand painted and often had decals that featured portraits, animals, and flowers. Be specific in your description what kind of animal, person, or flower shown. Also include any letters or numbers that appear on the bottom of the piece.

      You can look for a book called "Warwick China" by John Radar Sr. for Schiffer Books for Collectors.

    • profile image

      My name is jimmy 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Lynda - do not confuse regular transferware with flowed transferware. Flow refers to a smudged effect originally caused by an accident during production. To identify your piece, try researching online or in books.

      There are many books on transferware and very easy to locate online. There is also a transferware collectors club.

      Although blue and white is popular, other colors are so pretty. A friend of mine has some very old purple transferware.

      I recently saw a group of 16 pieces in black that sold for $130.00 which doesn't sound so great to me. Unless you are buying!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 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

      Lynda 

      4 months ago

      Hello I recently found a black flow plate and wonder what it's value is and want to know if it's a rare design.

    • profile image

      Robin 

      4 months ago

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

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Noe - when it comes to military collectibles, some things are worth more than others. For instance, I purchased a spoon issued near the end of the American Civil War for for military use for one dollar. There are a lot of people out there who collect. Check out the Militaria Collectors Newtwork for information.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 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.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Hilal - What makes you think the piece is 500 years old? If you really think that you have a piece of that age, you need professional help. It would be worthwhile to take it to an appraiser who specializes in old ceramics. You may want to contact a museum for more help.

    • profile image

      tycho 

      5 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

    • profile image

      Hilal 

      5 months ago

      Hi ,

      I have a oldest ceramic bowl I think that bowl more than 500 yrs now check and how yo sell that bowl...

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Frank - first check the underside of the piece and see if there are any marks. These marks can tell you a lot about your item. To research your pot you much be more specific in your search. Whether you look in books or online, keep the description short. Is it iron, enamelware, a china tureen? Make sure that you include that information in your search.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Mary - I have a few pieces that I don't know how I would part with! And they are big! We once discussed retiring to a trailer at the beach and no way some of my larger pieces would fit. But if the choice was the beach or the antique furniture, I think the beach would win! Thanks!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Tag - that sounds very cool! I don't know a thing about film equipment and am not sure if you are asking me a question about the Bell and Howell or not. Why don't you Google your specific projector and see what pops up?

    • profile image

      Frank acevedo 

      5 months ago

      I have a German soup pot that looks very old and have all German towns inscribe on it how do i know how much it's worth?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      5 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.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to collect antiques but gave up when we moved and the furniture did not anymore go with our new house. I felt sad parting with them. You have very good instructions here. I have a few of textiles but have never had them appraised.

    • profile image

      Gary JT 

      5 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 

      10 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Ashutosh - check out the value of your coin in The Standard Catalog of World Coins, a book available online or perhaps at your local library. Value depends on condition of the coin. If you look online you will see a ridiculously wide range of values. There are people who list very high prices for things online in hopes of finding that one person who believes their hyperbole.

    • profile image

      Ashutosh Kumar Singh 

      10 months ago

      What is estimated value of a coin of one rupee that is made in 1840 and Queen Victoria is printed at the back side.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      11 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Trish - now that's unusual. Why don't you check out Old Bed Guy online. You may need to look at several books on American antique furniture such as "The Antique Hunters Guide to American Furniture Tables Chairs Sofas and Beds" by William Ketchum and Marvin Schwartz or "The Dictionary of Furniture" by Charles Boyce and Joseph T Butler. This one sounds like a tough search! Good luck!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      11 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Meafa - there are plenty of books and price guides on vintage Christmas ornaments. Value depends on rarity and condition, and if they are actually old items. If they still have the little metal cap on them makes a difference too. Many old ornaments are very thin and fragile so be careful when handling!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      11 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

      Trish J 

      11 months ago

      I just bought a four post bed frame. I am curious about its age. The most interesting thing about it is the way the side rails fit to the headboard and foot board. There is a small wooden wheel with chinks in it to turn on each leg of the bed. When you turn it, it either tightens or loosens a bolt and 2 dowels in the end of the side rails. That's how the side rails attach to the bed.

    • profile image

      Mary Comerford 

      12 months ago

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

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      12 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 

      12 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 

      19 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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