The Lazy Man’s Guide To Antique Furniture Appraisal

Last updated on February 19th, 2021 at 08:50 am

Regardless of whether you are seriously or casually interested in antique furniture, the most important thing to focus on is its worth. There are various online printed guides which focus most on the value of the antique furniture. In this case, if you are looking for the best antique furniture appraisal ways, then it is advisable that you utilise these guides to enable you to find buyers or sellers for fairly good value. The guides will also help you to insure your antique furniture for the best value or ensure that you are satisfied with what you have acquired.

Antique Furniture Value Guide

The reason why you should use the printed furniture value guides is that they enable you to have a clue on the real value of your furniture pieces. The options are many and you can easily access them at the local book stores or even search them online for a fee or free. However, for most of us who are lazy to use our efforts to get the real value of our pieces, you can always opt to appraise your furniture online free of charge. Various websites have information regarding the value of antique furniture and you can easily find what your pieces’ real value is by simply searching their databases. Other information regarding the same can also be obtained from these websites so it is not a big issue if you are indeed an antique furniture fan.

Finding an evaluator can sometimes be a daunting task especially so if you are residing in a remote region. In this case, if you are only trying to look for information regarding your items, then you may decide to do it yourself by simply comparing them with other similar items online.

As it were, some of these may be most willing to offer online antique furniture appraisal services but at a cost. In most cases, the charges for online appraisals are always lower than what the local appraisers ask. What you must know is that a local appraiser may not give the right or accurate value of your item. Putting this in mind, this kind of antique furniture appraisal is normally not eligible for insurance determination.

Sites that offer online antique furniture appraisals include:

For you to find out the most value for your antique furniture, it is vital to look up its different values online. Websites such as LoveToKnow and also have established their own groups that focus on evaluating the value of this antique furniture. They allow their visitors to ask questions relating to their antiques and other collectibles. In this case, if you want to know how valuable your antique is, all you have to do is simply ask questions and they will respond, and you can join the debate. This enables you to get to know the real estimates and other related facts or records concerning your pieces.

antique furniture appraisal

Besides, you can also search antique price guides for free from these websites. However, most of them will require registering with them first in order to access their site. Most of this information is contained in the selling price of over 750,000 antique products across the world. Thus, in order for you to get the actual antique furniture value of your piece, you will be required to know who the manufacturer was. This is necessary as it is more likely to guarantee accurate evaluation of your antique furniture.

Sites such as Invaluable, which focus on auctioning antiques and arts offer information on the actual value of the products they sell. Hence, if you are thinking on how to find the value of your antique furniture, then visiting these sites can be of great help. What you need to do is to search by the furniture manufacturer’s identity or name or by simply searching the type of your antique furniture to get a clue on its actual rating. There are actually numerous sites that will enable you to get the best value for your antiques. If indeed this is your area of interest, then you have numerous options and what you will only need is to understand your needs. If you are looking for the recent sales values, then you will need to visit a website that specializes in the same. For instance, if you are looking for values of the most recent antique sales, then the best site to visit is WorthPoint, which will help you to determine the value of your piece by comparing the results of past sales and the current sale prices. However, for this site, you need to pay a subscription fee.

Lastly, to get a feel of what antique lovers are willing to pay for your furniture, search for similar items on eBay, or the classified ads site, both of which are free.

How To Spot Genuine Antique Furniture

The only problem is that style alone will not give you sufficient information to enable you to tell whether what you are about to purchase is indeed an antique. This is attributed to the fact that most manufacturers tend to reproduce items from past times and certain designs such as Shaker wood furniture do not fade. The only better way to spot an antique is simply by looking at the composition and finishing of the item. This will definitely let you know whether you are choosing an antique from the available collections.

Below are a few steps to lead you through your antique identification:

  • Analyse all parts of the item – If you are looking at a table, turning it over and checking for labels or marks can be a wise idea. For sofas, it is necessary that you take off the cushions to check for labels or tags. There is a high probability that most factory-manufactured products contain some kind of identification signs.
  • Look at the surface of the item – Are saw marks visible? How about on the back or below the drawer panel? If you see saw marks that seem to be semi-circular, then there is a possibility that the saw used to make the item was circular in shape and dates back to 1880. However, if you see straight saw marks, then the item is likely to have been created before the 1910 with a straight saw.
  • Check the joinery – Are the joints of the drawers dove-tail? What is the total number of dove-tail joints on the panel? Do they look similar or are they hand-cut? If you spot unevenness in the dove tail joints, less in number, look like they been made by hand, then it is likely the piece was made before the Civil War.
  • Look at the finish of the item – If you can, try to look for a secret spot at the back or bottom of the item to test its finish. You can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and brush gently on the unobtrusive surface. If it dissolves the finish, then it is likely that the finish was done in shellac, a common alternative prior to 1860.

Why would you want to buy antique furniture? Well, there are many reasons that would prompt you to purchase an antique furniture or item. Yes, you have gone shopping and there is no doubt that you are going to use a certain amount of money on accessories and furniture. Here, you will definitely need to pick something you think will maintain its value after being used. In most cases, antiques have a bigger chance of maintaining their values than their factory-made counterparts. Moreover, antiques add not only a sense of comfort but, character and history to your home as well.


Regardless of whether you are buying antiques just because they look good, or through the love for older items, or you believe they will maintain their value, it is important to base your decision on the rule “Buy Only What You Like – and keeping your RADAR (Rarity, Aesthetics, Desirability, Authenticity, and Really perfect condition) out for costs. In this case, if you bump into an antique that exhibits all the five qualities, then count yourself lucky as you will have found something that will retain its value many years to come.

When it comes to buying antiques out of value, it is very important to be careful. The best way on how to find out what an antique is worth is simply to check all the parts – this is to help you determine if there are any changes or damages on the piece and make up your mind if indeed it is what you are looking for. You can also use the flaws on the item as your negotiating weapon.

If you are planning to purchase your antique furniture, then you will need to observe the following guidelines to ensure that what you have is actually the value for your money. The flaws to lookout for include:

  • Breaks and tears
  • Scratches
  • Cracks
  • Gouges and dings
  • Chips
  • Repair signs (running paint, glue, putty, mismatched nails or screws)
  • Fractures
  • Discolouration
  • Broken noses on figurines or missing fingers
  • Missing parts

The rule here is: How much do the flaws bother you? Any moment an item is damaged, the value reduces; however, any repair that will require a close look to notice, one that sustains the veracity of the item, may increase the items market demand.

Finding A Local Furniture Appraiser

If you are looking for accurate appraisal results, then the best way to do that is by making use of a skilled appraiser with enough experience in the industry. To find one, you will need to go through the local Appraisers Association in your region. You will find that the association has a list of talented appraisers across the region and continues to offer training for the members. Thus, to be an eligible appraiser, you will definitely need to pass some test and for the seniors, 5 years of experience is a must.

Tips To Help You Pick A Reliable Appraiser

Many a times, a good number of people find themselves on cross-roads when it comes to selecting an appraiser. The problem is that you really need to save some cash but, you are thinking about not losing it at the same time. Stop being a loner and discuss freely with the people around you. You never know – some of them have worked or benefited from the appraisal services in your region. Before you actually settle for an appraiser, you will need to do some narrowing down so that you are left with only two or three appraisers who you believe have the expertise and experienced items of the same nature as yours.

  • Let the evaluator give you references. You can inquire about him or her and make sure you call to talk to the references.
  • Make inquiries at insurance firms, banks, antique stores and antique auctions for those you believe are qualified and reliable.
  • To be on the safe side, never, at all costs, do transact business with the person who evaluates your antique. In most cases, no respected appraiser will want to buy what he or she is appraising.
  • Do not rush into a transaction – It is vital that you tread cautiously especially when you are trying to find an appraiser for your antique property. If you rush, chances are that you may earn only what it costs you. Another good point to put in mind is that antique appraisers are not required to produce licenses before they can operate an appraiser office; hence, anybody can come up with the idea and claim to be one.
  • However, this should not deter you; always ask the appraisers to produce their documentation regarding their experience and references. Pick the one you believe suits your convenience and charges fees that are within your pocket’s reach.

Given all the above tips, it is my bet that you will find the best appraisals for your antiques. Only bear in mind that it is not really an easy task and you must be prepared to do some hard research and stick to your guns if you are not satisfied.

About Kalden Rose

Kalden Rose, the nerdy student which always emerges top in the school. The kind that would rather be burying his nose in a bunch of books than playing a game of football. But he does like to visit garage sales. If you do too, connect with him at [email protected].

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