Antique Appraisals

An item is typically appraised if it has been passed down as a family heirloom or if the owner wants to know whether the piece has any financial value. Other times, people want to know the appraised value of an antique item before they purchase the item from a dealer or at auction. Some people seek an appraisal before selling an item to make sure they price the antique competitively in the current market.


Antique appraisals are used for evaluating the value of any antique piece such as furniture, collectibles, jewelry, dishes, china, silver, glassware, chandeliers, dining room sets and chairs, lamps, art, toys, books, clothes and other items over 50 years old. Antique appraisals are given by a professional antique appraiser or insurance adjuster who specializes in a certain kind of item and is educated with the history and the value of a particular antique. Antique appraisers spend a great deal of time studying antiques, where they came from, how and when they were made and how many pieces of the item were made at one time. A good appraiser also studies replicas and fake items to be able to recognize the subtle differences between an original and one that has been reproduced.


There are two types of antique appraisals; one that is verbal and looked at with a trained eye and the other is an appraisal that is a legally binding document on paper and includes a seal of authenticity. While appraisals vary in price, legal appraisals are more costly but are worth the money if you are looking to resell or insure the item. Only a qualified antique appraiser can identify how old the piece is and if the antique is original or if it has been refinished or repaired. Antique appraisals can be done over the phone or by e-mail by gathering pertinent information or the piece can be brought in to a store to be professionally handled and assessed by the appraiser.



When inspecting antique items that need to be appraised, be sure to check for discolorations, cracks breaks or blemishes in the item. These things should be noted before the item is sent off to be appraised. Anything that is not in mint or perfect condition will likely not be worth as much as something that is flawless or aged naturally. Antiques that are signed by the original maker along with the date and manufacturer are worth more than something that is unsigned, indicated it could possible be a replica or duplication of an original.



You should consider never selling an antique item to the person who is doing the appraising. The appraiser could try to appraise the item for as high as possible and then offer the client a lower amount in order to turn around and resell the item to make a profit. Before getting an item, appraised be sure to ask for references, past work history and if they are experienced in appraising whatever particular antique you need to have them look at.



The effects of having an antique appraised will be to determine the overall value and how much the item should be insured for replacement cost. When an appraiser evaluates the antique, he must look at the age of the piece, who created it, the popularity of the item and how much it originally sold for. In order to determine this, he will need to research the item with other similar pieces that have been recently listed for sale and sold on the auction block in recent months.