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Personal Property Appraisals

How a Personal Property Appraisal Values Antique Objects

Identifying the value of an antique is challenging for both experts and novice collectors. This is because its value is a function of many features, which may be foreign to appraisers who just started collecting art. The following points should help a personal property appraisal near me who just embarked on establishing art collection values for antique objects.


Research shows 53% of art collections in the world have more than 500 artworks. In the antique business, rarity plays a significant role in determining the value of an object. As such, you want to collect objects that haven’t been collected before.

For example, if you found Newcomb pottery with a hairline crack and a cracked piece of the common Frankoma pottery, the former will have a higher value. This is because Newcomb objects were the hallmark of items crafted during the Arts and Crafts Movement that followed the Industrial Revolution, which was between the 1890s and 1920s.

What Constitutes the Price of an Antique Object?

Antique appraisers near me use three values to determine the price of an antique object: the auction value, the retail value, and the insurance value. The auction value is what the piece would sell for in an open market. Other experts define it as the closest value to the wholesale price because auctioned pieces are on sale for a short period.

During auctions, bidders can vie for rare antique pieces at high prices, causing the item’s value to be much higher than the retail value. On the other hand, the retail value is the amount an object can sell when displayed in a dealer’s store. These dealers collect the pieces and resell them at a higher price in their store.

A personal property appraisal near me selling high-value antique pieces will also include the insurance value. This value is set on top of the retail value. As such, buyers who need to replace goods lost due to an accident or theft have enough insurance to purchase a similar item at the current price.

Most antique appraisers determine the insurance value based on the price a similar object is found within a reasonable time. Unlike auction and retail values which are verbal, an art appraiser near me issues insurance values as formal written agreements.

The Maker’s Mark

A personal property appraisal near me is likely to value antique pieces with the manufacturer’s mark higher than similar pieces without a signature. You can use a jeweler’s loupe or a magnifying glass to scrutinize the mark. That’s why a hand-painted antique piece with a manufacturer’s mark and an artist’s signature has a higher value than a non-labeled, unsigned item.

The Condition of the Item

In an ideal world, the antique piece should be in the same condition as it was the day it was crafted. However, after a few hundred years, the piece may develop wear, reducing its value. An antique appraiser uses three terms to rate the condition of the item:

  • Mint condition: Antique pieces in this condition are perfect. For glassware, it means they don’t have cracks, chips, or breaks. Collecting antique furniture in mint condition implies they don’t need repairs or finish.
  • Good condition: It means the item has a few slings and has been repaired. For example, a broken porcelain cup that has been repaired is in good condition.
  • Excellent condition: Antique pieces in this condition have minor flaws. For instance, a glass tabletop that has a veneer chip expertly repaired or with a pinhead flake at the base of the vase is in excellent condition

While minor nicks are negligible, a personal property appraisal near me may find such cracks a deal-breaker.


The value of a rare antique piece that has been restored professionally is higher than one with amateur repairs. As such, art appraisers should examine the piece to determine if it has been repaired haphazardly or if its value-adding patina has been removed due to improper cleaning. If the piece still has glue, chips ground down, or the solder’s detected easily, it might lose value.

Overpricing antique pieces can be off-putting to potential buyers while underpricing them may reduce your profit significantly. The highlighted factors should enable any art collector to determine the correct value of antique pieces.