Antiques Roadshow Expert
in Your Pocket
Ever fancied having 24/7 access to an Antiques Roadshow expert in order to have an easy way to get your antique and vintage fine china valued? I know I have. Here's how to do it. Get a expert in your pocket.
I have worked out a simple and quick Antiques Roadshow style ready-reckoner system you can apply yourself in 40 seconds. It's totally free and you can have a go at it right on this page.
First you must know what it is you have and hopefully, the Pottery Marks section of this site has helped in this regard.
The Quick Ready-Reckoner System
So what I have designed is a 'ready-reckoner valuation guide' for fine china antiques (and the same reckoner works for all antiques, btw). Bookmark this page and tell your friends.
There are seven consistent factors that effect price of antiques and collectibles.
Below are a list of the seven secrets with explanations.
When my expert team do their (professional appraisals these are some of the main factors they look at.
1. The first factor (obviously) is age.
The older the better. If it is man-made and old, it has value - as long as it can be verified as genuine.
2. Condition is a vital factor.
The condition has to be top class. Damage delivers discounts! – possibly two thirds of the value wiped out. Don’t chip your old china.
2. Quality is the byword for value in all cases.
Ask yourself, is the item ‘knocked-out’ for a bit of much needed revenue? (especially export revenue – example; certain Japanese wares), or is this a beautifully crafted item with the main criteria being 'loveliness' (example; Chinese Imperial kilns)?
4. Next consider the design values (not the same as quality).
Claris Cliff had superb design values, but her ware was of average quality, being made by earthenware maker Wilkinsons. It makes no difference. Result = Kerching!
5. The whims of fashion can play a significant part in values.
Ask yourself if the wares are just copying older lines that sold well in the past (example; a knocked-out post-war florid Dresden vase from the GDR)? Or has there been a talented designer having a vision of freshness and innovation? (example; Bohemian Aesthetic Vases, Moorcroft, Shelley, The Rheads, Williams-Ellis etc).
Timing is everything. One minute something is all the rage, next minute dead as a dodo. A decade or so ago, Japanese collectors were paying the earth for hand-painted Vienna plates. Now this fad has died down somewhat.
6. Perhaps most significant to high value is rarity.
How hard to come by are similar items? Supply and demand kicks in. However, an item can be very rare and still not worth much (example; Chapmans bone china), so notoriety must go hand in hand with value.
7. Notoriety. How does a maker become notorious?
Could be by fashion fad - or, could be by ticking the ‘design’ and ‘quality’ boxes.
Think of the the above factors as ‘boxes’ a valuable item must tick. If an item checks all the above boxes, it is worth many thousands, if it doesn't score any boxes it is worth just pennies.
If it comes somewhere in-between (ticks some boxes, but not others) it will be worth somewhere in-between. How high up the scale in value it is depends on how many boxes it ticks.
Are you seeing the formula? This is what I call the Antiques Roadshow formula.
Here are the 7 main factors (boxes to tick) again:-
AGE - CONDITION - QUALITY - DESIGN
- FASHION - RARITY - NOTORIETY
Here’s a quick guideline on how value equates to boxes ticked:-
THE READY RECKONER
Under $20. Zero boxes ticked
$20 – $100. One box ticked
$100 – $200. Two boxes ticked
$200 – $300. Three boxes ticked
$300 – $1000. Four boxes ticked
$1000 – $2000. Five boxes ticked
$2000 – $5000. Six boxes ticked
$5000 – $5,000,000. Seven boxes ticked
How many boxes is your prized possession ticking?
There's one I forgot. Sentimental value! Won't help you in the auction room though!
Bookmark this web page and refer to it often.
If you need a professional second opinion, go to my expert liaison service.
I can tell by the correspondence I get coming into this website that young people are getting interested in fine china.
How do I know this? More and more email enquiries for china values are coming from smart phones.
My own valuation service suits them because they don't have to join anything, or sign up to buy credits or anything annoying like that. All they have to do is send and receive emails - great for the Blackberry and iphone community.
Now here's the thing.....
I realised after a while, young people making enquiries with their smart phones aren't in fact really taking up the finer points of porcelain collecting, nor do they want to queue up at an Antiques Roadshow event, all they actually want to know is the value of Nan's china....
Is that little old Dresden figurine that sat on Gran's mantelpiece for 50 years worth anything? How much is that Shelley China set worth? (same as the one they saw on the Antiques Roadshow).
Good luck to them, I say. More power to their elbow.....
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