Put an Antiques Roadshow Expert in Your Pocket

antiques roadshow

Ever fancied having 24 hour access to an Antiques Roadshow expert? Want to have an easy way to get your antique and vintage fine china valued? Here's how to do it with a simple ready-reckoner tool.

Have a quick scan read below and you will be applying this tool in 40 seconds. It's free and you can have a go without leaving this page.


You must know what you have. You need to know the age and make, and whether the company was a quality producer or not.

By the way, if you have an Asian type vase and you're not sure if it might be one of those hidden treasures, you might need to get hold of a copy of my latest e-Book here:-

Back to the 'ready-reckoner' system....

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).

There are seven consistent factors that effect price of antiques and collectibles.


There are also 'inconsistant factors', the main one being 'sentimental value', another being 'nostalgia'.

The seven consistent factors are what professional appraisers tend to look at when doing valuations. The inconsistant factors cannot be taken into account when valuing, but can scew the results.

First, a brief explanation of each factor, before looking at the price-reckoner itself.

1. AGE

antiques roadshoe

    The older the better. If it is man-made and old, it has value - as long as it can be verified as genuine.


    The condition has to be top class. Damage delivers discounts! – possibly two thirds of the value wiped out. Don’t chip your old china.


    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)?


antiques roadshow

    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!

    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.


antique roadshow

    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 NOTABILITY (being talked about) must go hand in hand with value.


    Generally, in terms of simple supply and demand, the more well known the maker, the higher the collectible value (more bidders). This applies even if the make is not that high a quality. How does a maker become well known? Could be by fashion fad - or, equally, it could be by ticking the ‘design’ or ‘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:-



Here’s a quick guideline on how value equates to boxes ticked:-


This ready reckoner is only a guideline. You must get your item checked out by an expert if you are ticking more than a few boxes.

Zero boxes ticked = Likely worthless

One box ticked = Less than $20

Two boxes ticked = $20 – $100.

Three boxes ticked = $100 – $200.

Four boxes ticked = $200 – $300.

Five boxes ticked = $300 – $1000.

Six boxes ticked = $1000 – $2000.

Seven boxes ticked = $2000 – $5000

All 7 boxes ticked plus sentimental value = $5000 – $5,000,000

How many boxes is your prized possession ticking?

Notice the last but not least factor - sentimental value! If there are human emotions involved, throw out this reckoner. A collector who wants something badly enough can break all the pricing rules.

This reckoner is only a guideline. You must get your item checked by an expert if you are ticking more than a few boxes. Bookmark this web page and refer to it often.

If you need a professional second opinion, go to my expert liaison service.

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