Many people have bought or inherited beautiful china, but they don’t know if their pieces hold only sentimental value or are worth big bucks. A little research can help uncover the difference.
Library or Bookstore
Look for china price guides such as the “Antique Trader Pottery & Porcelain Ceramics Price Guide” by Kyle Husfloen and Pat McPherson or the “Collector's Encyclopedia of English China: Identification & Values” by Mary Frank Gaston.
China replacement companies feature new and antique china, and if you know your china's manufacturer, you may be able to find your piece online. Otherwise, the company can help identify and price your china if you email or fax a photo to the website.
By exploring both brick-and-mortar and online antiques stores, you can discover how many types of china are priced. Bring along a photo of your china to show local store owners who may provide some input.
Online auction prices aren't overly reliable because of inexperienced sellers and eager buyers. However, you will come away with an idea of what price you could get if you intend to sell the china yourself. Reputable auction houses provide better estimations.
Antiques store owners or museum curators are good sources for finding reputable appraisers. Often, these professionals will charge a fee for their expertise, but they offer the most reliable fine-china valuations.
Shelia Odak has over 10 years writing and editing experience for consumer and trade publications including "Radio/TV Interview Report." She has worked for over nine years in education and holds a Ph.D. from Georgia State University. Odak writes on a range of topics including education, literature and frugal living.