Antique Value

So you would like to know the antique value of an item you own or intend to purchase?
Please be sure to read about the factors that influence the value of antiques.

There are several methods available to arrive at the value of antiques.

  • You can research the going price yourself or let an antique appraiser or valuer do the work with his professional resources.
  • A paid antique appraisal will normally also include an authentication of your item at the same time.


Valuation for a fee
The simplest you can do is to look for an expert valuer or appraiser in your area or online, and have him/her do an appraisal against a fee. The appraiser will then authenticate your item and research its value for you.
If this method is chosen, the appraiser should be carefully selected: for clarifying the antique value of oriental ceramics only an appraiser with experience in Asian ceramics will do.

Sometimes a paid appraisal or valuation to establish the antique value of an item is not the way to go, at least not before you have a basic idea what you possibly have. Many people own items that are vintage or more recently made, which may be beautiful, but which do not have any significant value in themselves. Other items are very old but have little value.

A preliminary idea of the value of antiques can be obtained by one of the following methods, before you decide whether or not to go for a paid antique appraisal.


Researching the value yourself

You can check published Antique Price Guides or searchable price databases for determining the value of antiques yourself.

If you already know what you have you can use one of the methods mentioned below.

There is a way to get an approximate idea of an antique's worth yourself, but first you need to identify the antique and determine what exactly you have.
If you already know what you have, skip to step 2. There is a number of web sites available where you can research the value yourself, either for a moderate fee or for free.

  1. To identify your item online, you can search out one of the online forums which help people with free antique identification of Chinese or Asian antiques. Of course, offline there is a number of other alternatives open, like asking an antique dealer at an antique fair for a verbal opinion of an antique's value, or by participating at an antiques roadshow, etc.
  2. Once you know what you have, you can check out a number of websites for the price of similar items.
    • Check the web sites of auction houses for the reports or catalogs of past auctions. Usually, it will be possible to find past sales prices or estimated prices for upcoming auctions.
    • Check Ebay's completed auctions for similar items (enter via "Advanced Search")
    • Visit an antique price site like Miller's Antique Collectibles Guide (free site access), Kovels.com, or PriceMiner (fee). After signing up you can check out item prices yourself.

Whichever method you choose, please be aware that if your item seems to be fairly valuable it is always better to seek a second opinion and perhaps spend some money on fees just to make sure you don't sell your item too low.



Value of Antiques

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