They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But before you discard that old dresser from the early 1800s make sure you aren’t disposing of valuable hardware.
Many old hardware designs are collectible and can adds wonderful appeal to any restoration project.
Before you discard make sure you follow these tips.

What Is The Aesthetic?

One of the most important things to look for in antique hardware is the aesthetic. There are a few reasons why this is such an important element of an antique product.
The first is using it in your own home. You may want to use your furniture as a standalone item, or you may want to take an old skeleton key and repurpose it as decor.
Either way, you can gain valuable information by fully examining the item. Picture it in your home, and see if you’re interested in making it a valuable part of your life.

Is It Rare Antique Hardware?

Rarity is an important element in any antique. The best items on the market tend to have the most value simply through their scarcity. In the hardware world, this means looking at the exact brand of key or padlock you’ve been sold.
There is more value in rare items, but that doesn’t mean there is no value in more common items.  If you think something is beautiful it’s likely someone else will too and likely worth holding onto.
That being said, older things are less likely to survive. This means that the rarest antiques tend to either have been produced in smaller quantities or be much older in years. And either way, this is amazing news for collectors.

Check The Condition

The condition is an important part of valuing an antique. A piece of hardware can be incredibly old, but if it’s also decayed, it does not have the same value.
That is why it is crucial for you to evaluate the condition of any antique hardware you get. While the romantic story behind an item may be wonderful, its present reality may not be. Look for rust, chipping, or dents that may affect the functionality of the piece.

Is It Real?

Of course, the most important part of an antique is its legitimacy. It’s incredibly common to find fake antiques, and this can be bad news for collectors.
There have been plenty of people to make big bucks by fooling unsuspecting collectors. While we hope that the people around us are too good to commit antique fraud, it’s always possible that they’re fooling you.
If you’re not sure, send us a picture or have us come do a formal appraisal. We can help you determine the value.

Find the Value

The most important way to understand the value of what you have is to get it appraised. We can do formal valuations for FMV (Fair Market Value), for insurance purposes, estate tax etc. If you’re looking for something less formal we can do valuations from photos alone. Let us know what works for you!
Contact us to learn more about our appraisal services.