How to evaluate an antiques item?
Spoons, forks, cup holders, samovars, plates, figurines, and even old photographs with the image of strangers to you – all this in our time is an antiquity and has its value. How to understand whether something belongs to your item, or is it just taking up space in vain? First of all, if you have already decided to get rid of something, you start to look in local newspapers, look at bulletin boards and find messages of the following nature: “I will buy expensive antiques, antiques, porcelain, books, photographs, etc.” Of course, the word “expensive” immediately captivates, and you begin to call the author of the ad. But most often you do not get to a collector, but to a reseller, whose task is to buy something cheaper from you, and then resell to the right person more expensive. Another option is to go to an antique store.
Here you can be offered a very specific amount for your item, however, remember that such stores also have their own interest, because this is their job. Imagine yourself at the place of the buyer. A person comes to you who wants to sell something, but he does not even know how much it will cost, but, apparently, he really needs and needs the money right now. What do you offer him? Do not you want to make yourself a profitable “discount” when buying? Therefore, in order not to be ignorant, we will first try to evaluate what you possess. We open the search engine and type “antique forum”. We register on several forums at once – do you want to hear an objective assessment? Now we take good photos of your things. If this is a figurine – we take pictures from several angles, be sure to show the brand.
If this is an old photo – do not forget to photograph the back side, where the year and the name of the shop are indicated. Photos should be clear, subjects should be well lit. Then, in the relevant forum topics, we post our photos and describe in detail – sizes, material, condition, etc. Answers can follow immediately, or perhaps no one will respond to your message. What can “experts” and “professionals” advise you? It is likely to hear a really rough estimate of your item (but remember that it all depends on the quality of the photos that will most accurately convey the state of the item). Such answers are also possible: “I won’t give more than 100 rubles for this”, “Better send it to the furnace – it costs nothing.” But do not rush to believe everything said. Perhaps this item is really “worthless”, but this “nothing” can mean 10-15 dollars, which, maybe for someone, is “nothing”, and for someone it is money. There is always a merchant for each product. If there is any reaction to the topic you created on the forum, if you are receiving a purchase offer in private messages, then you really have something worthwhile. Now let’s try to compare similar offers from other sellers.
If you are not comfortable going to an antique store in your city, you can do the same, visit a virtual store. There are already many of them on the Internet. You can also look at popular online auctions, where the seller not only puts his price on each item, but also accepts bids, and by the number of bids you can determine how popular this thing is among collectors. Finding a similar item is not always easy. Suppose you have a book where the author, publisher, year of publication, etc. are indicated. You type all these data in a search engine and, quite likely, find the options you need. And if, for example, do you have some kind of silver spoon? There is a mark on it, but some incomprehensible one – not letters, not numbers, but some intricate patterns. How to find out the manufacturer?
Here again, you have to turn to professionals for help. You create a topic on the antique forum, but with the heading “I ask you to help attribute this item”, and silver specialists will be happy to demonstrate their knowledge and give the correct answer, in extreme cases, they will direct you to the directory of brands of manufacturers. And already knowing who and when made your silver spoon, it will not be difficult for you to find similar offers for sale, and perhaps you will find exactly the same twin spoon with a very definite price tag. It is worth noting that collectors, as a rule, are well oriented only in their field. For example, someone collects samovars, and he is completely unaware of how much any porcelain figurine can cost. And someone, for example, is interested in casting the Kasli factory, how then will he know the true value of the book of the late 18th century? Therefore, any answer you receive regarding the estimated value of your thing is perceived as subjective. Someone, perhaps, will pay more, someone is ready to part with only half of the amount indicated by you. The final price of your item can only be set by you.