What’s It Worth? How Do You Estimate the Value of An Antique?

TV programmes such as The Antiques Roadshow often feature people bringing in their antiques for expert valuations that often end with people being surprised at how much their items are worth. With desirable old items it is often easy to estimate the item is going to be worth a bit of money but what about items that are less obvious? What is the criteria to class an antique as valuable?

Not all antiques will be desirable items to own or have universal appeal but this doesn’t stop them from being items of value to small groups of collectors or people who have a particular taste.

Experts say there are six key determinants of value in antiques, although not all of them need to be present for an item to be valuable. The 6 main things to look for when you are estimating the value of an antique are:

Rarity
Age
Condition
Provenance
Names
Fashion

Rarity and age are always going to be key determinants of an antiques value along with condition and provenance. Names too are important if a painting is associated with a particular artist of note, the value of that painting increases significantly.

When it comes to everyday items, however, value can be influenced as much by fashion. Period furniture tends to go in an out of fashion meaning both demand and value can fluctuate. In an auction environment this is important.

Ultimately if you want to make money from antiques, you need to have good knowledge of all the determinants and of course be clever enough to pay less for the antique than it is really worth.