How to get your antiques valued: are your vintage items valuable?

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We’ve all heard stories of those who salvaged an obscure piece of art in a real estate sale or inherited porcelain that they later found out to be worth a small fortune (remember that bowl found during from a garage sale that turned out to be worth $ 500,000?). So, as you browse through your own collection of antiques and heirlooms, you may be wondering which ones need to be appraised or, more simply, how you go about this process.

When it comes to estimating the value of antiques, we often tend to make extreme mistakes, Roger Higgins of R. Higgins Interiors recount Beautiful House.

“People often assume that the pieces they hold dear will have meaning for others,” he says. “So we think these items are worth more than they could be. At the other extreme, there have been a myriad of examples of people owning something and having no idea that it is actually worth millions.

We asked two designers who are well versed in decorating with antiques – Higgins as well as (Beautiful House donor!) Elisabeth Pash from Elizabeth Pash Interiors & Antiques—To share their expert advice for navigating the assessment process. Here’s what they had to say:

1.Determine which coins are worth an appraisal

    Common items in your home that you might consider having appraised include beautiful furniture, crystal chandeliers, signed artwork, and antique rugs, Pash explains. As a general rule, consider having your investment or timeless pieces appraised rather than your vintage. flea market finds. Your bullion coins, she says, are the ones you might want to insure or know their fair market value for, because you’ll be considering selling or giving them away someday.

    Other items that may deserve an appraisal include heirlooms (especially those of family members who have purchased from wonderful stores) or pieces that pique your curiosity and make you wonder where they came from or their history. , said Higgins.

    His rule of thumb: “If you own an antique and think it might be worth something, trust your instincts.”

    Additionally, Higgins suggests making your own sleuth to begin with. You can start by looking at auction records of similar items that have been sold for a reference.

    2. Hire an assessor

    Curious about where to find a trusted appraiser? Pash recommends asking your local auction house or lawyer for the names of some reputable appraisers. To go further, ask the reviewer for a few references that you can contact.

    Before hiring an appraiser, here are some questions Pash recommends asking:

    • What are the assessor’s fees? Are they hourly? How are they calculated?
    • What is your background and your experience?
    • Do you provide written and signed documentation of your findings?

      Higgins says you should be prepared to spend $ 500 on a legitimate, unbiased review.

      “If you can, try to get multiple items evaluated at once and you might save a little,” he advises.

      3. Go through the evaluation

      In short, an assessment involves a lot of research and work, says Higgins.

      The process can begin with a search of auction records and a verification process to determine the legitimacy of a coin. Your antique can then be compared to similar items to help establish its value, he says.

      An appraiser can review your articles in person or based on photographs, Pash says.

      “They will look at materials, workmanship, rarity and condition to determine a coin’s age and value,” she explains.

      On the other hand, if you are planning to buy an antique or want to know its value without By hiring an appraiser, you can seek the advice of an established antique dealer, Pash says.

      Now it’s time to figure out if that piece of porcelain you used as an umbrella stand is in fact a valuable antique. Good luck!

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