A glut of hand-me-downs from downsizing baby boomers has caused the value of many heirlooms to drop in the past 20 years. Below are a few examples provided by antiques expert Terry Kovel, newspaper columnist and author of the annual Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide.
• Royal Doulton balloon man figurine. Was $150 to $225. Now $30.
• Fenton milk glass candleholder. Was $47.50. Now $35.
• Arts and Crafts dining set. Eight-chair set was $9,400. Now, four-chair set $1,054.
• Fiesta yellow dinner plate. Was $15 to $26. Now $6.50 to $9.
• Greek Key punch bowl with 2 cups. Was $495. Now $161.
• Noritake desert flower cup and saucer. Was $9. Now $7.
Wonder what your heirlooms are worth? Here are a few places to start finding out.
Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers hosts walk-in appraisals from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the last Tuesday of each month. Anyone can bring an item or two to the company’s Delaware headquarters for a quick estimate. For details, visit www.garths.com.
The www.price4 antiques.com website is aimed at professionals and offers a large database of prices from antique auctions throughout the nation. A one-day search on the site costs $15.95; a 15-day subscription, $32.95.
The www.liveauctioneers. com website allows visitors to see real-time selling prices from around the world. The site is free but registration if required.
The www.ebay.com website is an online garage sale that allows users to learn what owners of similar items are asking. Experts caution that prices shown are the latest bid or asking price, not necessarily the final sales price.
The www.replacements.com website sells replacement crystal, silver and china pieces and gives users a ballpark idea of what such pieces might resell for.
Annual price guides are published by some antiques experts. Two of the best-known are Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide by Terry Kovel and Miller’s Antiques Handbook & Price Guide by Judith Miller.