If you have antiques you’ve been given, inherited or picked up in a market or shop, you may be uncertain of their value. This makes it hard to know if it’s
worth trying to sell the antiques.
Ultimately, the price you can obtain for an antique will depend on how much someone else in the market you manage to contact is willing to pay for it. This
is regardless of all the other considerations that a professional valuer might take into account. Nonetheless, there are specific factors to consider, and
the right resources can give you a good, general idea of what you should accept for a piece.
Factors that affect the value of antiques
The following general factors influence the value of antiques:
- HallmarksBefore you start researching the value of an antique, examine it for any hallmarks. A signature or manufacturer’s mark verifies the origin of the antique, and can add significantly to its value. Unfortunately, knock-off items with fraudulent hallmarks are a dime-a-dozen, so aim to have a hallmark verified as genuine.
- ConditionOne of the most important factors to consider when valuing an antique is condition. Any flaws – including chips, wear, tear, cracks, stains and missing pieces – will decrease the value of an antique. However, some extremely rare antiques, or items of historic importance, will be of value even if they’re in less-than-perfect condition. Also, no matter their condition, precious metals and gems always have value.
- Repair or restorationRepairs or restoration work can add significant value to an antique that’s otherwise not in prime condition. Repairs fix an item, making it functional once more. Restoration, on the other hand, involves returning an antique to its original glory. If you’re looking to sell an antique, consider having it restored by a professional – paintings can be stripped and redone, wooden furniture can be sanded and re-varnished, pots and pans can be patched and engines and internal mechanics can be replaced.
Resources for determining antique value
The next step is doing some homework. A number of resources can help you estimate the value of an antique.
Research the history of your antique, its origin and manufacturer. The more you know about your antique, the more accurately you can estimate its value.
Find out if the item is rare, if it belonged to someone of importance or if it was made by a noteworthy artist or manufacturer. The age of an antique is also important – older items, provided they’re well-made, are generally worth more.
It’s also worthwhile finding out what is currently selling like hotcakes – remember, if you’re looking to sell your antique, it’s only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it right now.
Consult an antique price guide
A free online antique price guide such as Kovels can help you determine the market value of an antique. Look for items
similar to yours in the pricing guides, and use their selling prices as a reference when estimating the value of your antique.
Ask an expert
Get a professional opinion online or in person. Some companies allow you to email them details and photographs of an antique and they will value it for you
for a fee. An example is Value My Stuff.
Consider contacting an expert if you want unbiased input from someone with extensive knowledge of the antique market. A professional appraisal is worthwhile because you will be issued with a certificate that includes a description of your item and details of the method used to determine its value.
Alternatively, consider approaching pawn shops, antiques stores or auction houses for estimates. Whether you get professional appraisals or consult dealers, it’s advisable to get multiple valuations so you can compare them.
Want to convert an antique into cash?
Looking to convert your antique pieces into cash? With Lamna, you can use a valuable antique to secure a short-term loan, quickly and discretely. For more information, contact us on 086 111 2866 – or simply complete and submit our online application form.
Client borrows R10,000 for 90 days.
Total Cost of Loan
Fixed rates range from 36% to 60% APR and payment options range from minimum 3 to maximum 24 months. Apart from the initiation and monthly fees shown below, the only additional fee is credit life insurance if the borrower does not have this already.