You may be wondering what exactly is involved in antiques valuation. Determining the worth of an antique or collectable requires more than just looking that item up in a price guide or online. This type of research is the beginning of the process but it also includes other factors to provide an accurate assessment of the piece's worth.
The Antiques Valuation Process
The process can involve any or all of the following:
- Searching for manufacturer's or designer's marks
- Evaluating the condition of the item and taking restoration or repairs into account
- Determining how common the item is
- Authentication is also an important part of antiques valuation
Antiques Valuation - Manufacturer's Marks
A manufacturer's or designer's mark on an item often increases the value when compared to the same item that does not have the stamp. To make sure that this signature is not missed the person doing the antiques valuation will go over the piece with a magnifying glass or what is called a jeweler's loupe. If they are working with a handcrafted piece, if that piece has the artist's signature along with a manufacturer's mark it raises the value of the piece even more.
Antiques Valuation - Condition
The condition of your items will also play a role in the value they have. Every flaw such as chips, tears, cracks, stains, missing pieces and excessive wear needs to be considered during an antiques valuation. Some may ask whether a chip or crack is minor and how important that flaw is in assessing the value. A rule of thumb is that anything that takes away from the piece looking "like new," will cause the value to decrease.
The valuation process also takes into consideration whether a piece has been restored or repaired. Restoration can increase the value of an item if it is a rare piece. However repairs done to a piece and decrease the value. Minor repairs may not have an effect on the piece but only an antiques valuation expert can make that determination.
If a piece has salvage value it can still be worth something. Do not assume just because your item is damaged or broken that it has lost its value. If you are looking to sell the piece there are antique dealers that will buy the broken piece so that they can either repair it or use it for parts to repair other items they have or come across.
Antiques Valuation - Rarity
How common the item is will also affect the value, at times overriding the condition of the piece. For example a rare vase that is very worn or chipped will have a higher value than a more common vase in perfect condition. It is also important to understand that just because a piece is old does not mean that it is worth anything. If there is a demand for the item, then it has value. There are numerous items that are more than 100 years old that have no value. Postcards from the 1900's are a perfect example. Due to the fact that so many of them have survived, they are made worthless by the fact that they are so common.
Antiques Valuation - Authentication
Authentication is also part of the valuation process. If you have a piece that has been in your family for generations and you know how it was acquired by your family then chances are you are dealing with a genuine antique. Many people frequent second hand stores and flea markets looking for antique wares, so you may not necessarily find something of real value.
As you can see, the process of antiques valuation takes many things into consideration. If you have an antique you would like valued, then be sure to entrust it to an expert who will take all of these into account.
Find out more about Boningtons' antiques valuation service.