DO IT YOURSELF
If you can identify an item of furniture, jewelry, decorative or fine art, you are on your way to determining a value.
In 1993, the Getty Information Institute initiated a collaborative project to develop an international documentation standard for the information needed to identify cultural objects. The new standard was developed in collaboration with police forces, customs agencies, museums, the art trade, appraisers, and the insurance industry. The result is the Object ID Checklist.
OBJECT ID CHECKLIST
Questions to Answer
Type of Object What kind of object is it (e.g., painting, sculpture, clock, mask)?
Materials & Techniques What materials is the object made of (e.g., brass, wood, oil on canvas)? How was it made (e.g., carved, cast, etched)?
Measurements What is the size and/or weight of the object? Specify which unit of measurement is being used (e.g., cm., in.) and to which dimension the measurement refers (e.g., height, width, depth).
Inscriptions & Markings Are there any identifying markings, numbers, or inscriptions on the object (e.g., a signature, dedication, title, maker™'s mark, purity marks, property marks)?
Distinguishing Features Does the object have any physical characteristics that could help to identify it (e.g., damage, repairs, manufacturing defects)?
Title Does the object have a title by which it is known and might be identified (e.g., The Scream)?
Subject What is pictured or represented (e.g., landscape, battle, woman holding child)?
Date or Period When was the object made (e.g., 1893, early 17th century, Late Bronze Age)?
Maker Do you know who made the object? This may be the name of a known individual (e.g., Thomas Tompion), a company (e.g., Tiffany), or a cultural group (e.g., Hopi).
You're on your way to appraising an item yourself!
The next steps are figuring out where the items sell most frequently and for how much.