How to Get an Antique Valued

Friday 5th August 2022 - Cara Bentham


How to Get an Antique Valued

Valuations can be required for a range of reasons; here we take a look at some tips for antique valuation.

If you have antiques that you think might be valuable, it's a good idea to get a professional valuation. Even if you're not planning on selling your antiques anytime soon, a valuation can be essential for insurance purposes. While you can attempt to determine the value of your antiques by carrying out your own research, nothing beats a professional valuation.

Why get a professional auctioneer's valuation?

The best way to get your antiques valued is to approach a professional auction house. A reputable expert at an auction house will have lots of knowledge and years of experience in the antiques industry, so they are well placed to give you an accurate estimate of an item's value. Of course, you could also approach an antiques dealer who is an expert in the type of item you are valuing. However, you may find your item undervalued should the dealer be keen to purchase it themselves, so be aware of this.

How to choose a professional to value your antiques

It's essential to choose a reputable professional to value your antiques. Look for experts on the specific type of item you want to be valued, whether this is art, furniture, pottery or something else. In-depth knowledge takes years to accrue, and many antiques experts specialise in a particular area. Do some research online to find the best person for the job. Another great option will be a reputable local auction house.

Once you have narrowed down your options, contact them to arrange an appointment for your valuation. Some auction houses will be willing to offer remote valuations if you can provide a range of images and some information about the item. This can be a good option if you want to choose an expert who does not operate within a reasonable travelling distance.

Will you have to pay for a valuation?

Whether you incur a cost for your valuation depends on the individual auction house or expert you are approaching. Many auction houses offer free valuations for items being sold in one of their auctions. If you are only looking for a valuation and do not want to sell, you will be more likely to incur a cost for your valuation.

Types of valuations

Before seeking a valuation, be clear on the purpose, as valuations differ depending on the reason. An auction valuation will indicate what your item is expected to fetch when it is sold under the hammer, and sometimes this can tend toward the lower end of an item's value to attract more bidders.

A probate valuation will give a value based on the average price similar items repeatedly fetch at auction. In contrast, an insurance valuation will provide an idea of what an item may expect to fetch in the current retail market. These two types of valuation are generally more official, and you would typically pay a fee for these.

Tips for assessing an item's value over time

• Consider seeking more than one valuation for your most valuable items
• Monitor the condition of your antiques at regular intervals
• Get a valuation every few years as antiques fluctuate in value over time
• Keep a record of any valuations you have had

Whether you are looking to sell or just want to know the value of your antiques for insurance or other purposes, be sure to choose a reputable expert for your valuation. To get started, why not find your local auction house here.