When watching PBS Antiques Roadshow or any of the antique related reality shows that have become popular, it is always interesting to learn about the history behind the items that people have. However, the big questions always is, what is it worth?
There are a number of tools available to help you research the value of your heirlooms. Local libraries carry a wide variety of antique and collectible books on everything from 18th century furniture and Victorian glassware to 1960’s comic books and baseball cards.
In addition, the internet has made research much easier. However, the web has an abundance of information and not all of it is helpful. I often have people tell me that they saw an item similar being sold online and the price is often inflated. Whether it’s online, at an antique shop or antique show, people can ask whatever they like for an item. Sometimes the seller is pricing it high and hoping to find a buyer who is willing to pay higher than market value or they may want to have some room to negotiate with the buyer.
The prices of items that have sold at auction are a good way to determine value. You can attend a live auction and see what things sell for. Many auction houses list prices realized from past auctions if you can’t attend. EBay also lets you search for sold items, which is a much more accurate indicator of prices sold than what a seller is asking. There are also pay sites to which you can subscribe that contain a database of auction selling prices. Two that I have used are askart.com for art prices and worthpoint.com for a wide variety of antiques and collectibles.
If this column makes you wonder what your items are worth, I will be appraising items at two local events. On July 24th, I will be at an appraisal event at the Charlton Senior Center at 37 Main St. in Charlton. I will also be appraising items on August 21st at the Sturbridge Senior Center at 480 Main St. in Fiskdale. Both events begin at 1:00 PM. A $5 donation per item and $10 for 3 items is requested to help fund senior center programs.
If you are interested in learning more about antiques, I will also be teaching antique courses for the Worcester Public Schools “Night Life” program and the Bay Path Adult Education program in Charlton. Both are one night courses in October.
We have an estate sale taking place in Worcester on July 26th and 27th and a moving sale in Auburn on August 9th and 10th. We also have a coin auction taking place on August 29th and an antique estates auction on September 26th. Both auctions will take place at the Vernon Hill Post at 267 Providence St. in Worcester.
The more antique related events that you attend, the better equipped you will be to know whether that item in your attic should go in the trash or will pay for a new car!
If you have any questions about antique auctions and estate sales, call Wayne Tuiskula, Auctioneer/Appraiser at 508-612-6111 or email us today.
Our articles are published in the Webster Times, Spencer New Leader, Auburn News, Blackstone Valley Tribune, Charlton Villager, Killingly Villager, Putnam Villager, Sturbridge Villager, Thompson Villager and Woodstock Villager.