Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/12/20 8:16 a.m.

Going through my parents estate and they had several old antique pieces.  Be nice if there was some sort of a price guide or something since I know nothing about the value of this stuff.  Is there any trademark things to look for to be able to date them?  Dove tail joints on most of them so I know they are old

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/12/20 8:34 a.m.

Look for a tag or stamp inside or under a drawer

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
10/12/20 9:05 a.m.

I was talking to a fellow agchem worker who was bragging about his antique furniture.  I told him my wife and I had a few oak antiques.  He icily told me those were not true antiques: Oak furniture was sold through Sears & Roebuck.  His stuff was all walnut, cherry and mahogany.  I never talked with him again.  

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
10/12/20 9:50 a.m.

In reply to spitfirebill :

Actually he did you a favor.  Real antiques were not made in this century, or the last. 
 In fact nothing production made is considered a real antique. Simply older furniture. 
     While they may have emotional attachment to you they have little real market value. 
 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa SuperDork
10/12/20 9:55 a.m.

Dad is a furniture conservationist.  If you post some pics I can ask him what he thinks about them.

Value is weird, though.  No one ever wants to pay what its worth, especially to fix it.

A brief overview of what typical periods of furniture making look like can be found easily enough online.  This has a fairly comprehensive review for the years you might see in the US

https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/home-diy/projects/how-to-identify-antique-wooden-furniture-for-refinishing.htm

If you post pics, try to get some of the joinery, the bare grain, and any tool marks on them.  How symmetrical it is can also help indicate a time period as real symmetry was a product of using machines to produce the pieces, about the 1850s I think?

 

In reply to spitfirebill :

He sounds like a goober.  Oak was used until about the early 18th century if I remember right.  After that they started to move to walnut and other woods.

Cooter
Cooter UberDork
10/12/20 10:59 a.m.

We have been selling Mid Century Modern (and other) furnishings and collectibles for quite some time now.


Older furniture is pretty much on a piece by piece basis.   And there is plenty of furniture from the last century that has quite a bit of value, Frenchy's opinions notwithstanding.   But it is sort of like having a non car guy ask how he can tell if the car parts he found are worth a lot of money.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
10/12/20 11:16 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to spitfirebill :

Actually he did you a favor.  Real antiques were not made in this century, or the last. 
 In fact nothing production made is considered a real antique. Simply older furniture. 
     While they may have emotional attachment to you they have little real market value. 
 

That's exactly what he said.  He could have been a lot more diplomatic, but I don't consider him doing me a favor.  

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/12/20 11:25 a.m.

Here are some pics of some of the stuff.  Excuse the dusts and dirt

jharry3
jharry3 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/12/20 11:27 a.m.

A good friend is a hobbyist antiques dealer.  I say hobbyist because making money at buying and selling old furniture is tough.

She discovered that finding unusual pieces is the way to have some turnover of inventory.  But we are not talking high dollar.  

She has a booth in a large space that rents space to dealers in collectables' antique's, and old stuff.  Over two acres under roof.

Nobody is making a fortune here - its a past time.

On the other hand,  having grown up in New Orleans, I have been in some  French Quarter's stores with real antiques.  The Chippendale, etc stuff, items with providence from royal houses and rich families from The Gilded Age,  creations of named artists.  Stuff that was high dollar stuff when it was produced.   These  dealers are the people who make money.   

 

 

Cooter
Cooter UberDork
10/12/20 11:29 a.m.

In reply to spitfirebill :

He didn't.   And he was FoS, as well.  

You wil see a lot of both the attitude and the BS from most any vintage/antique collector.  And it is truly a shame.


OP, if you could post some photos, it might help quite  bit.     I may not be able to help you, but hopefully as a group we may be able to point you in a general direction.  Just from the era we specialize in (50-70s) there is an almost endless number of styles, manufacturers, lines, styles, and designers. So it is really difficult to simply have a list of furniture to look for.

~EDIT~ I see you already posted photos.   It's outside of my expertise, unfortunately.  

Cooter
Cooter UberDork
10/12/20 11:30 a.m.

In reply to jharry3 :

The way to make money in antiques is to be the person who owns the antique mall.
 

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/12/20 11:36 a.m.

I'm not an expert in any of this, and none of that stuff is my style anyways so I don't have a clue, but the desk may be worth something simply as a desk right now. People are working from home still and often are looking for an upgrade from the Lifetime Folding Table they got from Costco 4 years ago.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/12/20 11:51 a.m.

As with most art, the value is subjective. As such, there is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy where the more exclusive the seller the more attractive the item becomes to the buyer. 

I think that where a lot of the "attitude" comes from. Seller's have it because it increases the value of their goods. And buyers have it because they want to be like the seller (and they want to hang onto the belief that what they bought is still 'worth' close to what they paid for it - as soon as they buy they become a seller). 

 

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/12/20 11:54 a.m.

Good points from all.  We have made a few calls to some antique shops in the area to hopefully have some of them come by and take a look.  Just thought it would be nice to have some sort of idea of age/value to make sure we aren't getting taken for ride.

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/12/20 1:10 p.m.

Doing just some quick google searched the dressors appear to be Empire style from possible mid 1800's

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/13/20 7:06 a.m.

Have 3 people coming on Thursday, hopefully will find out more then

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
10/13/20 8:28 a.m.

In reply to Placemotorsports :

Those are nice interesting pieces. With family memories very much worth holding onto.  As for selling for big money ( and I don't know exactly what that means either ) it's very hard to get because when we are talking "big money"  provenance is important.  Documentation by a known expert with his own "provenance"  is critical. Most of them tend to be quiet, polite, seemingly decent sharks. Wanting to buy from you for a tiny fraction of its real value.  
Example; 
I have some Stickley furniture ( and for oak there is no more revered name than Stickley)   and  one of them came in and questioned the branding as being authentic. He tried to create doubt as to what I actually had. And then shot me an offer I already knew the pawn shops would beat.  Slowly every six months or so he upped his offer until he got to the level the pawn shops were already at. 

If you collect furniture and are willing to pay the real premium  you have to deal with these people.  otherwise you can't get it insured. And  you won't have access to the really desirable pieces.  

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
10/13/20 8:42 a.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:

As with most art, the value is subjective. As such, there is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy where the more exclusive the seller the more attractive the item becomes to the buyer. 

I think that where a lot of the "attitude" comes from. Seller's have it because it increases the value of their goods. And buyers have it because they want to be like the seller (and they want to hang onto the belief that what they bought is still 'worth' close to what they paid for it - as soon as they buy they become a seller). 

 

Access to markets is what tends to make "experts"  the ability to speak knowledgeably and at length about the piece is what sells the furniture.  Along with a respected  provenience.  
      It's the same with collector cars.  When you put ads up in the various places you tend to actually get towards the bottom of the market. Only rarely will you find the buyer with really deep pockets willing to step up and pay a record price. Those record sale prices tend to be private and may invoke complications  such as value of a "trade  or trades" 

 

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/13/20 10:07 a.m.

Yea one of the guys coming is not a dealer but just a local collector.  Hoping he can share the most honest insight cause I figure the dealers are going to want to buy at least half value so they can make their money as well.

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