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How Do I Appraise my Antique Furniture?

The Internet is a great source for appraising the value of vintage or antique furniture.
Reviewing similar items at antique stores can provide insight into how much antique furniture might be worth.
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  • Written By: Katharine Swan
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 April 2014
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The Internet has made it reasonably easy to appraise antique furniture yourself. The current selling price is what gives antique furniture its value, so in order to appraise antique furniture you simply need to research what similar items in the same condition are currently selling for. This can usually be found via a combination of reference books and the Internet.

There are many useful price guides on the market that can be used to estimate the value of your antique furniture. Some of these price guides can be found in bookstores, but a wider selection is available online. Two things must be kept in mind when using price guides to help you appraise old furniture: Price guides cannot possibly list every piece of furniture ever made, and prices in these reference books tend to be for furniture in excellent, original condition. Antiques that have scratches and other wear to the finish, or that have had refinishing or other repairs done to them, are worth considerably less. Also, a piece of furniture might look very similar to another, yet not be worth as much, depending on the company that made it, when it was made, and other such factors.

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Because of the limitations of price guides and reference books, the Internet can often be a much better tool for helping you to appraise antique furniture. By using Google or another search engine, you may be able to locate a lot of useful information on the piece of furniture you are researching, such as manufacturer, age, and selling price online. This information can help you to locate similar pieces online, and see what they are selling for.

Finally, one can also a sort of limited self-appraisal by taking note of similar items at antique stores and malls, and antique auctions. Whether looking online or in brick-and-mortar stores, the key to appraising an antique yourself is to find several different examples of the same or similar pieces, making sure to note the condition of each. Then you can use these examples to estimate what your furniture might be worth.

Remember that the selling price of antique furniture usually has to do with several different factors. In order for a piece to be considered valuable, it must be in high demand, yet be somewhat difficult to find. The higher the demand and the scarcer the items, the more valuable they are. So not being able to find any other examples for sale of antique furniture like yours might mean that it is scarce, but unless there is a sizeable demand for pieces like it, this may not mean it is exceptionally valuable.

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Discuss this Article

anon315072
Post 2

I have a Grand Rapids, Michigan parlor stand. It has three legs and is in very good condition. It has a no 1307 on the table bottom and a scalloped edge.

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