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

Updated on October 24, 2019
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.

Learn more about determining the value of antiques and collectibles.
Learn more about determining the value of antiques and collectibles. | Source

What Is an Antique?

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

Value Has Many Meanings

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 is a vintage collectible but not an antique.
Depression Glass is a vintage collectible but not an antique. | Source

Using 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 item is available in the shop right down the street. Or on eBay.

Selling Your Items

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

The Importance of Condition

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 1800s 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

How to 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 its patina, the changes that occur in the aging process. If you remove old paint or finish, you may destroy both the charm and value of the piece. This holds true for high end, very old, or significant pieces by master craftsmen. A damaged, ordinary piece of old furniture may benefit from a restoration or refinishing.

Antique Textiles, Prints, Paintings, and Photographs

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

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

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

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

Do Not Assume an Item Is Antique

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.

When to 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.

An example of a backstamp.
An example of a backstamp. | Source
Sterling silver forks.
Sterling silver forks. | Source

More on the Value of Antiques

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

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

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

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

The Antique Liquidators Association can provide you with information on reputable firms in your area. Liquidators will help you sell large quantities of items. If you have an entire house full of goods from an inheritance or if you are downsizing, these are the people for you. As they get a percentage of each sale, it behooves them to sell at the best price.

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

Provenance

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

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

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

Questions & Answers

  • I have some blue glass, but I’m not sure how much they’re worth. Where would I be able to find someone to help with that?

    If you mean that beautiful cobalt blue, a very deep blue, your glass has a huge following. You can identify what you have with a little investigation. Are there any marks on the bottom? Is the glass dishware, drinking glasses, or bottles?

    If you have bottles, there is a ton of information out there. If you mean glassware for home use, and if it is old there are books out there for you to peruse. "Cobalt Blue Glass Edition" by Monica Clements. If you think that it's Depression Glass try " Depression Glass: A Collector's Guide" by Doris Yeske; or " Warman's Depression Glass Handbook - Identification, Values, Pattern Guide" by Ellen Schroy.

  • What is my cabbage patch doll worth?

    The production of Cabbage Patch dolls began in Georgia in 1979 and was designed by Xavier Roberts. Coleco bought the franchise and began mass marketing in 1982 leading to a fad that had people standing in line outside of toy stores for hours in the cold in order to buy their children dolls for Christmas. By the end of the 1980s, interest in the doll faded and Coleco fell into bankruptcy.

    Cabbage Patch dolls have been reintroduced by Mattel in 1994, and another release occurred in 2004. Coleco dolls had vinyl heads and cloth bodies. Hasbro and Mattel sold all vinyl dolls. Xavier Roberts Babyland General Cabbage Patch dolls had cloth faces. Early Xavier Roberts versions can sell for over one thousand dollars. Early Coleco dolls can earn you up to one hundred dollars. Valuable dolls will be in prime condition, in original box, and rare.

    Most Cabbage Patch dolls have little value as they were produced in mass. Most items created for an instant collector's market hold little value.

  • I noticed the image at the very top of this article, and at the top right there is a dark wood glass display case with swirl columns on the side. There is a house I am considering buying, and it has 2 large pieces similar to this that would be included. Do you, the writer of this article, have any insight on variations of wooden display cases or how to identify/what they may be worth?

    Why don't you just ask the homeowner about the pieces? The owner would be the best first resource. The piece in the photograph looks like a mirrored hall bench with spindles. You can learn more about them by consulting a book on antique furniture. A trip to your local library should help you there.

    If I was the one buying the house, I would think about leaving the benches where they are. If they have been there for a long time, it would be so cool to keep them!

  • I have a lot of old costume jewelry. How do I start the process of getting rid of them?

    The value of old costume jewelry is all over the place. You can find plastic bags full of it at thrift stores, and you can see it for sale at online auctions for some hefty prices. It all depends on what you have, how old it is, how desirable it is today, and the condition.

    Before you sell your old jewelry, you should learn more about it so you can estimate their value. There are so many books on the subject; I am sure that you can find some at your local library.

Comments

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    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      8 days ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Catherine - Lefton China has been produced in Japan since the 1940s. Items made from 1945 - 1953 are marked "Made in Occupied Japan." The company produced vases, cookie jars, wall pockets, and figurines ranging from pretty floral's with gold edging to the cartoonish kitch that was popular in the 1950s.

      The November girl was from a Month series. She wears a brown dress, a white apron, has brown hair tied back in an orange bow, and holds a yellow flower. The word "November" appears across her apron.

      When looking online you have to remember that just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there. Inventories change often so you need to check often.

      Also, Lefton created reproductions of earlier work during the 1990s collectors' craze. The reproductions were not of the same quality of the older versions.

    • profile image

      Catherine 

      8 days ago

      Little statue of a girl holding a daisy with a sash November along the bottom side of her skirt the stamps on it's a Lefton but I cannot find any relating statue with the same design as mine made by Lefton does that mean it's a fake

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      3 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Robert Wood (1889 - 1979) was a prolific painter of American landscapes who gained popularity in the 1940s. Copied by amateur artists and forgers when the value of Wood's paintings increased, the market was flooded by mass produced reproductions in the 1970s. Imported fakes are on cheap canvas with cheap stretchers, or on paper and fiberboard. a brass name plate may indicate a reproduction.

      Originals appear on good canvas, wood, or masonite.

      Look for gallery labels on the back of the painting. Do you have any documentation relating to the painting? This would include receipts, gallery information and catalogs and/or a Certification of Authenticity. The certificate should include a description of the work, medium, and history of ownership.

      An authentic original Robert Wood could be valued in the thousands of dollars. If you wish to sell or insure the painting, you need to have it appraised by an expert who has knowledge of Wood;s work. Contact an auction house that specializes in American Landscapes or a qualified art appraiser in your area.

    • profile image

      Shannon ward 

      3 weeks ago

      Also have a robert wood paonting called autuam ib the tetons very old would like to know value on it and sell it

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Lynda - thank you for the vote of confidence. There are books out there that will help you learn about the type of things you've mentioned including: "Primatives Our American Heritage" by Kathryn McNerney.

      Learning about what you have is always the first step. Once you know what you have - the type of furniture, its age, condition, etc. methods of finding value will be similar to what is suggested in the article.

    • profile image

      Lynda Olson 

      4 weeks ago

      So many people lived on farms or ranches up till 1850s to 1930s, and made things for their homes. Will you write a guide on valueing these things

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      7 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi sidetracked1 - your chairs may be created by the technique known as intarsia. Find and contact a museum that has a collection of Islamic art. Talk to someone in that department and ask for information - how you can learn more about intarsia furniture, if they can suggest contacts that can help you. I tried this once years ago while trying to learn more about an item and the person I spoke with was quite helpful. Good luck!

    • profile image

      sidetracked1 

      7 weeks ago

      Hello! I inherited a pair of very interesting folding Middle-Eastern or Northern African wooden chairs decorated with inlays. From looking around on line they would seem to be from perhaps Egypt, Morocco or Syria. They are in need of some repair and restoration.

      My parents had these for at least 50 years, maybe more. I believe they were a gift, but have no further idea of their history. I have no idea how old they are, or if the inlay is real mother of pearl. I wondered if you had any suggestions as to how to research their value and/or their history. My local antique dealers are stumped. Thank you!

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      8 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      I am wondering if part of the lettering is obscured. Could it be "YUGOSLAVIA" ? Furniture made in Yugoslavia can be found at online auction and sales sites. Look for something similar to your own piece to get an idea of what you have.

      Such furniture was made in mid century modern or Danish modern styles as well as in "Early American" styles. Beech was the most common wood used by Yugoslavian manufacturers. If you know someone who knows woods, maybe they can help you with that.

      Danish modern or mid century modern furniture is most valuable when it was made by a well regarded furniture maker, or was produced in a Scandinavian country. Well made examples were also produced in Italy and France.

      I can not tell you exactly what your rocker is, but only suggest that you follow my advice for further research. Once you get an idea of what is is that you have and its value, then consider any added insurance. You would have to speak to your insurance agent to learn about riders or added insurance for special, vintage, or antique items. If, say the value of the chair is $100.00, you would not need added insurance.

    • profile image

      K. Bixler 

      8 weeks ago

      I have an old wooden rocker. I was cleaning it, when I noticed on the underside of the seat some lettering in a circle. Only part of it is visible. It is all in capital letters, and is as follows: GOSLAVIAVIII. Would this have any significance as to where, or who made it, or if it is an antique? I purchased it from someone on facebook marketplace for $50. I love it and if it is an antique would love to insure its proper value.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Old enamelware is best not used for food preparation purposes especially if there is some damage. The word "laugenbestandig" means alkali resistant. You can learn more about old enamelware by reading "Antique Enameled Ware: American and European" by David T. Pikul.

    • profile image

      DollyOllyGolly 

      2 months ago

      Hello,

      I bought a very old item while living in Germany. It is a large gray enamel stock size pot...with a heavy coating inside and a lid. The black writing on one side reads; Wash laugenbestandig...with two dots above the a. It has obvious signs of being used on a regular basis. Any ideas?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Camela - I had a friend with an Erector set. Boy did we have fun working with it! Looking back, my friend's parents must have been ahead of their time. Back then, you would not see such a toy in a house full of girls!

      An Erector type set was introduced in England in 1901 by Frank Hornby who called his product Meccano. In the U.S. A. Alfred C. Gilbert, whose company made magic supplies, introduced the Erector set at the New York Toy Fair in 1913. The construction set featured metal strips with holes in them to enable them to be attached in various ways. The sets included tools, wheels, motors, and other components. One set featured a quite large Ferris Wheel. Another offered a toy steam shovel.

      The toys offered kids a way to be creative and focused on long term projects.

      Gilbert's Erector set took off in the U. S. especially when World War I interrupted trade between the U. S. and Europe.

      Older, complete sets are rare and can be quite valuable. Many sets are sold in private between aficionados. You may want to consider online sale sites in order to reach a wide group of people.

      To learn more about Erector sets, locate the A.C. Gilbert Heritage Society online. The collectors group will provide you with much information.

    • profile image

      Camela Wieciech 

      2 months ago

      How can i find out how much a vintage erector set is worth ? Or where should i take it to sell it?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      2 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Ralph - the value of an old anvil depends on your area as in some places they are in greater demand. Weight impacts value as well with heavier anvils being worth more than lighter ones. If you strike the anvil and the sound produced is a ring, that is better than if you hear a dull thud. Check for manufacturers marks as some makers produced anvils that are more desirable in the collector's market.

    • profile image

      Ralph 

      2 months ago

      How much is antique anvils worth

    • profile image

      Shashi Sanghi 

      3 months ago

      I have antique Italian marble statues to sell, how do I appraise them

    • profile image

      David Brown 

      3 months ago

      I have a glass water pitcher its at least 150 yrs old how can i find the value of it

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Heather - you need to research each individual item that you have in order to understand it's value. The phrase "Tempus Fugit" means "time flies" in Latin and is not the name of a maker. Companies added the motto to grandfather clocks in the 1940s. The phrase grew more popular in the 1970s.

      You can learn more about grandfather clocks in the book "Grandfather Clocks and Their Cases" by Brian Loomis. There are books available on old toys and china as well.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Most trunks were made in the U.S.A. between the 1860s to the early 1920s. Most were covered with leather, canvas, or decorated tin. There are a few aspects that can help you narrow down a date. For instance belt like closings usually date before the 1870s. Canvas was used as a covering from 1880 - the early 1900s. Most canvas was painted, usually green.

      I am not sure what you meant about the slats. If they go from front to back it was made after 1880.

      You know the old adage: one picture is worth a thousand words? Why don't you find a book so that you can really look at various old trunks and read the many details that can help you date it.

      "Antique Trunks An Identification and Price Guide" by Pat Morse and Linda Edelstein can be found used online. Disregard the price guide as that information is outdated.

    • profile image

      Heather mulford 

      4 months ago

      I was given a 1901 Singer table its on wheels and has something attached to it . It is beautiful but i dont know much about it or what its worth. I also was given a grandfather clock. It is a dark wood with 3 weights. Its a Tempus Fugit. It is about 6 feet tall and is about 100 lbs. The only thing is the weights are not connected. The chains are but they were taken off when it was moved. I dont know how they should be reattached but i know the clock works. I am not great with putting items online. I was wondering if you could help me out with how much they are worth also the best was to make sure they go to a good home. I may have a few items including toys and China. I would love to hear what you think about everything. I hope to hear from you soon.

    • profile image

      juststacyhere 

      4 months ago

      So pleased to find your article. I have done some research on a trunk I found at a thrift store. It has most definitely never been restored, and is somewhat well preserved because the canvas is still intact. It has a low profile, flat top with the slats on top going horizontally, rather than vertical. It has metal slats with some type of bolts on the edges. It has no latches and no indicators that it ever did. It does have a lock and what looks like leather straps (like on a belt) where the latches would normally be. I found info that stated latches were patented in 1872. Can you help me date this piece. I am at a dead end. Thank you!

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 

      4 months ago from South Florida

      With jewelry take detailed photos first. You may have to leave it at some point for cleaning, sizing, repair, or appraisal. If it doesn't come back in the condition you expect, the photos will help in court. Always get a receipt if you leave a piece with someone, even if you know and trust the person. Professionals won't fault you for this. The only people who will are the ones intending to rip you off.

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Jacquie - the signature could belong to a factory artisan or an amateur. In the mid 1800s, Haviland Limoges sent blanks to the U. S. to be painted by amateur china painters. They were often imported by clubs or groups and came with instructions. Factory artist's names are underneath the glaze.

      To learn more about your cup and saucer, you can look up Haviland Collectors International. You can also use a book such as

      "Collecting Hand Painted Limoges Porcelain Boxes to Vases" by Schiffer Books written by Debby Du Bay; or the "Collectors Encyclopedia of Limoges Porcelain" by Mary Frank Gaston.

    • profile image

      Jacquie 

      4 months ago

      I have a hand painted limoges cup and saucer. On the back of the saucer there is a name Eileen/26. Does the signature make it valuable?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      4 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Michelle - I love old cards, they can be so pretty. I have a few early 1900s Christmas postcards that cost about one dollar each.

      Christmas cards have been produced since the Victorian era. They were not made to last, so if you have one in great condition, that's wonderful. However, value depends on demand. Best value is for pre 1900 cards, mint condition cards, very artistic or beautiful cards, unique or topical cards, or cards created by a well known artist.

      I am seeing circa 1907 Christmas cards being offered for from one dollar to ten dollars on Ebay. Of course, occasionally one comes across a valuable card. Search internet sales for comparison to your own.

    • profile image

      Michelle rose 

      4 months ago

      I have greetings cards Christmas sweetheart Dave Ballantyne everything is dated back to 1907 are they worth anything

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      9 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 

      11 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.

    • profile image

      Lucia 

      11 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.?

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      11 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 

      11 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 

      14 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 

      14 months ago

      trying to sell my 1930 Wooden Boat

    • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

      Dolores Monet 

      17 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 

      17 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 

      18 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 

      18 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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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