• Age does not confer value. Age — specifically being 100 years old or more — makes an item an antique. But to be a valuable antique, the item has to also be rare and desirable.
• Worth is a worthless term. The value the person states is always far greater than what the item would ever sell for.
• Sell wholesale. Don't expect to sell an item for what you'd buy it for in a store. Sullivan often uses what an item would sell for at auction as a base for how to price it at an estate sale.
• Condition matters. If something is broken and repaired, it's almost as bad as broken and not repaired. On furniture, the finish is important. However, dull and worn can be good.
• Never polish, clean or refinish antiques.
• Family history is usually wrong. “I hear owners say, my great, great grandmother brought this clock over from England on boat in 1640. But then I see the clock was made in America in 1820,” said Sullivan.
Next week join me as Antique Roadshow's Gary Sullivan looks at half a dozen of my parents' antiques.
Contact syndicated columnist Marni Jameson through www.marnijameson.com.