- Written by Dr. Lori Dr. Lori
Ever wonder what valuable antiques are hiding in your house?
There are many antiques, works of art, and collectibles that have significant value that many people want you to just toss out with the trash or put out on your front lawn at a low-market-priced yard sale.
I evaluate quality antiques all the time, and I know value when I see it. At more than 150 public and corporate events every year, I tell people what their antique is and what it is really worth. Here are my top five overlooked valuable objects—and some surprises—that you should cherish and that are hiding right under your nose:
1. Jewelry. Hold onto Grandma’s old brooch, earrings, or rings. Those pieces of jewelry featuring precious metals, faceted or cabochon gemstones, pearls, etc., can have big value on the antiques and collectibles market.
Look for the authentic marks on gold, like “14K and 18K,” and the embossed marks on silver, like “sterling” or “925.”
Remember that even costume jewelry pieces by Trifari, Kenneth Jay Lane, Renoir and Matisse, Miriam Haskell, and others are trendy and valuable, dating back to the 1940s to the 1980s.
2. Paintings. Some of the most commonly overlooked objects in our homes are works of art, such as oil-and-acrylic paintings on canvas depicting landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and famous or historic places.
These paintings, in good condition, can represent a windfall once they are properly appraised and authenticated. Remember, do not have your paintings cleaned before you have them appraised.
3. Sculptures. Do you have an old bust hanging around the house? The most valuable sculptures are those made of good-quality materials like cast metal, constructed metal, or carved wood.
Look for three-dimensional sculptures depicting famous or well-known people, literary figures, and the like. Many interior designers are bringing these accessories back into favor and others are using them as starting points for repurposing projects.
4. Furniture. Modern furniture is making a big splash in the marketplace now. Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, Art Moderne, and vintage pieces from the 1920s to the 1980s are all the rage. Some specialty pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries are also valuable.
I have heard many people talk about “brown furniture” as being worthless, when that simply is not true. Some dealers and auctioneers don’t want to be bothered moving large pieces of vintage, mahogany furniture and are telling folks it is worthless.
The oddity is that I have seen many millennials seeking out such pieces of furniture, which remind them of Grandma’s house, when decorating new homes. Durable, good-looking, and strong pieces of furniture made of hard woods dating from the early 1900s are finding their place in trendy, youthful apartments and newlyweds’ homes.
Remember, if someone convinces you that your piece of furniture is not marketable or not valuable, they get to buy that furniture from you for a steal. Don’t be fooled.
5. Glass. Don’t bypass that piece of Murano glass from Italy, a Dale Chihuly sea form sculpture, Grandma’s Carnival glass candy dish, or a striking stained-glass window from a local church—these items are sought after the world over.
Glass remains a very desirable collectible. Art glass, alive with color, still attracts collectors.
Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide. She is the star appraiser on international hit TV shows: Discovery’s Auction Kings, History channel’s The Curse of Oak Island, and Fox Business’ Strange Inheritance. Visit www.DrLoriV.com, Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call (888) 431-1010.