Whether you are looking to sell your antique, require an appraisal for insurance or you are simply interested in its current value, understanding and researching the worth of the item will provide you with confidence in your investment and well-loved antique. In addition, it will ensure you gain a fair price for your item when the time comes to part with it.
Determining the true value of an antique can be time-consuming, and the research can require patience and determination depending on the rarity of the piece and the resources available to you at the time.
The value of an antique is ultimately decided between and during the negotiations of the buyer and seller. It can hugely depend on the day and the participants of the deal. It is beneficial to the seller, to ensure full knowledge of the antique is acquired before any negotiations take place.
Being well-equipped with information, from a variety of credible sources, regarding your antique will give a seller the advantage in a deal. The following guide will highlight some of the most common ways to discover and appraise your antique.
Attend an Appraisal Fair
Appraisal fairs are a great place to take your antiques for valuation because there will be a collection of experts in the industry, all there for one main reason which is valuing antiques. As trained professionals, who frequently practise their specialism, a trusted verbal estimation will be provided. Appraisers will visually inspect the antique and rely on their in-depth expertise to estimate the value.
The benefit of an antique appraiser is that they are typically independent to the deal. Rather than showing an interest in buying the item, they provide a valuation that is objective and true to their knowledge. There is no self-gain for them to devalue or over-value an antique.
Utilise Online Appraisals
Many appraisers not only attend fairs but will also use their expertise on online appraisal websites. Typically, the service works by the owner submitting images and descriptions of their piece to the website; the owners are then provided with a short report on the item and its estimated worth. Due to the volume of people using this method to gain the value of their antique, it can take a considerable amount of time to receive a response. There are several online appraisal service websites, some of which are more trustworthy than others. If you are likely to use this service, ensure you select a respected site with expert appraisers to ensure you gain an expert valuation.
Use Books for Research
Although this may seem old-fashioned, using relevant and up-to-date books can be an easy and relatively cheap way to gain some understanding of the value of your antique. Although, these valuations should not be taken as literally as that of an appraiser or professional. This is because, many of the values included in the books may be higher than average and in some cases, the best price any seller could expect for their piece. Another consideration when using books for valuations is that the value can vary depending on the date of publication, the location it is being sold in and who it is being sold to.
Hire a Professional
Professional appraisers are likely to have extensively studied the antique industry and will have gained a relevant education from organisations such as the International Society of Appraisers. They will be able to provide a verbal estimation of an antique and the documentation that is required for insurance purposes. Depending on the education they have gained, it is likely they will have an extensive knowledge on a variety of antiques, from antique mahogany furniture to art deco pieces.
Have you had the experience of getting an antique appraised? Which method did you choose? We would love to hear about them via our social media channels!
Written by: Patrick Sandberg Antiques
Located in one of the most prestigious and popular parts of London, Kensington Church Street is an antique enthusiast’s dream, and Patrick Sandberg’s shop is in the heart of it. Patrick has had a lifelong passion for antiques, dealing with them for over 25 years. His comprehensive knowledge and extensive collection of 18th-century Georgian and early 19th-century Regency furniture is one of the greatest in central London.