Furniture appraisal may be something you need to have done right away, or you may require it at some point in the future. Sometimes we are contacted by someone who is in desperate need to know the value of several individual pieces. When a loved one passes away, such as a parent or grandparent, they can leave behind a houseful of furniture. Some of the furniture pieces may be antiques, and they may be quite valuable. That’s a great reason for having a furniture appraisal done.
The term “furniture” covers a broad range of items.
These can include:
- Armoires and wardrobes
- Beds, bedroom sets
- Hall trees
- Living room sets
- Coat racks
- Dining sets
- Storage cabinets
- File cabinets
Each of the above categories can also have several variations within that category. In addition, we have to consider whether or not the item in question is an antique or if it is considered contemporary. All of this is considered when doing a furniture appraisal.
You’ve probably seen the shows on television where people will bring in their items for a furniture appraisal, in the hopes that the value is very high. And sometimes that does happen; we recently did a furniture appraisal on a bedroom set (including bed, chest of drawers and bookcase). The appraised value came out at $35,000.
Let’s say for example you have an antique table and you want to determine its value. In order to provide a furniture appraisal on this table, we need some information.
First -- look on the underside of the table and see if there are any identifying marks – a label, a signature, anything like that. This may tell us who the maker was. Even if you see a mark that isn’t necessarily legible, make note of it.
Second -- try to identify what type of wood was used to make the table. Many antique tables are made from oak, but not all of them.
Now, take out your tape measure and record all dimensions – the length and width of the table top, and the height from the floor.
The next step is an important one -- Take several pictures of the table with your digital camera.
Ideally, take a picture from each angle:
• Overhead view of the table top
• A few feet away from the table – one picture showing a side view, another showing an end view
• If there is any ornate design in the leg, try to get a close-up picture of that
• Underside – if you found a signature or some type of identifying mark under the table, even if you don’t know what it was, please include a picture of that
• Flaws – if there is any damage to the table such as nicks or scratches, or any other type of damage, please take a picture of that as well
High-resolution pictures are nice, but if your digital camera is more than 5 megapixels, be careful that the pictures you are taking are not more than 5 mb each.
They also need to be in .jpg format (this is usually the default setting anyway).
We also would like to know how you obtained the table, if you have any paperwork related to its history, and anything else you may know about it. All of this information plays a part in the furniture appraisal. When you fill out the website appraisal form, it will ask you for all of the necessary information.
We offer our furniture appraisal services around the country at fine arts and antique shows, and online through our website.