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4 Novice Antique Appraisal Tips

Aug 18, 2007
Do you have an attic or a basement filled with relics from a grandparent or great-grandparent from a bygone era? Have you ever wondered where those pieces came from, or in what year they were made? An antique appraisal can help you identify the articles you have stored and let you know if they are monetarily valuable, or just sentimentally valuable. And, of course, the artifacts could be both. Here are some antique appraisal tips to help you evaluate whether your artifact is genuine.

First, inspect the item closely. Avail yourself of a good lighting source and carefully check each nook and cranny of the piece you're gauging. Pay attention to how the item was put together, and if it has movable parts, check to see if they are all made alike. If they aren't, the piece stands a good chance of not being original. Look closely at any fastenings, such as screws, nails, or hinges. The manufacturing process for screws has changed over time, and with a little research, you can tell in what time period your item was made.

A second antique appraisal tip is to make sure you notice any distinguishing features that might set the item apart from the ordinary. For example, if you're inspecting a mantel clock, look for intricate carvings that might be a signature work of the craftsman. If it's a doll you're inspecting, look at the facial features. Facial features are interpreted differently around the globe.

A third antique appraisal tip is to look for a signature. Many pieces are signed, or numbered, by the artist. These signatures or numbers can be placed in the remotest corners of your item, or they can be obscured or faded by time. If you look closely, often you can find traces of them.

Another antique appraisal tip is to look at the coloration of wood used in an artifact. If any part of the piece is of a different coloration, then it could indicate that part was replaced and isn't original to the piece. If the item has drawers, open them and look at the construction inside to see if it matches the rest of the piece. Look at the condition of the wood and try to determine what type of wood it is: oak, walnut, mahogany, cedar, pine, etc. Craftsmen used whatever kind of wood was available where they lived and worked, thereby often helping to distinguish where a piece was crafted. Also observe the handles on the drawers as to their composition.

An antique appraisal will be able to tell you if the pieces you have accumulated in your home are genuine or a reproduction. Depending on the originality of the piece, what it is, and the year it was made, your item could be quite priceless.

Art experts travel across the country, and around the world, looking for one-of-a-kind pieces, or pieces to match a pattern they already possess. You never know if an item you have been storing is just what they are looking for or the price they might pay to obtain it. An antique appraisal will arm you with the knowledge you need to determine if a piece you have is highly sought after in the market place right now.
About the Author
An exceptional place to begin your query and to find more antique appraisal tips for scrutinizing your antique pieces is a web site by Pat Jackson. Please visit this web site at http://www.AntiquesReferenceGuide.com to begin your knowledge quest.
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