I have written about some great recent finds such as Vince Lombardi’s sweater selling for $43,000 after being found at a Goodwill store and a copy of the Declaration of Independence bringing $2.4 million after it was found in a flea market frame. Stories such as these are fascinating to read but you might have better odds purchasing lottery tickets than hunting at thrift shops and flea markets every day for that rare piece. We find that our clients whose items bring the biggest sums at auction typically grew up with the antiques and collectibles. There are some cases where a collector was very knowledgeable and amassed a highly valuable collection. However, many collectors purchase things that they like and don’t buy as an investment.
When I meet with an estate personal representative or someone who is downsizing I am pleased when they have information about the antiques in a home. There may be some family history about a relative who served in the Civil War or they may remember that a piece of jewelry was handed down through at least three generations. This information can be very helpful but we also make our own assessment based on factors such as the age, condition, rarity, etc.
During our first client meeting, we explain what has been selling well and what hasn’t. Antiques and collectibles can rise and drop in price as collector interest changes. However, there are some things that have been selling well for some time now. This column will focus on gold and silver. A client once told me that they were advised to scrap all of their silver when silver prices were climbing. I’m glad they didn’t listen to that advice and I wonder how many pieces of silver by early silversmiths were sold for scrap when prices were rising. We regularly sell Sterling well over the melt price at auction. Rarer patterns can bring many times the price of scrap. Estate jewelry, gold and platinum often bring prices well above scrap at auction and should also be evaluated. Coins should be examined as well. Rare coins can command a premium well above the bullion value. Auctioning your gold and silver provides piece of mind by offering transparency. You can attend the auction and watch the competitive bidding take place and ensure that your items sell for fair market value. My next column will provide information on other items that are “hot” now in the antique and collectible market.
I want to thank everyone from the Finnish American Heritage Society of Connecticut for inviting me to appraise antiques as part of the FinnFunn 2015 weekend. There was a great group of people from the club and many regular readers of this column.
We are running an online auction of an impeccably furnished home in Concord, MA. Furnishings include a player piano that was purchased for $35,000, a cherry, king size canopy bed that was originally priced at over $16,000 and 2 Louis VX loveseats with the original sales receipts for over $9,000 each. Another online auction in Framingham features many collectibles including Russian Matroyska figures and a Don Quixote collection. Keep checking www.centralmassauctions.com as more events are in the works.
Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services www.centralmassauctions.com (508-612- 6111), firstname.lastname@example.org