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At Home: In appraising antiques, old does not equal valuable

Marni Jameson shares tips she learned while selling the items in her parents' longtime home.
By Marni Jameson, For The Oklahoman Published: March 11, 2013
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/articleid/3764413/1/pictures/1977774">Photo - Gary Sullivan, left, a featured appraiser on PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow,” specializes in high-end, American antiques and clocks. Here he talks with a guest about an Isaac Jackson Tall Case Clock, circa 1760.  Photo courtesy of WGBH by Jeff Dunn
Gary Sullivan, left, a featured appraiser on PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow,” specializes in high-end, American antiques and clocks. Here he talks with a guest about an Isaac Jackson Tall Case Clock, circa 1760. Photo courtesy of WGBH by Jeff Dunn

• 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.


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