The Plummeting Value of Antiques

Are we expecting the our next generation to love the same things we once or do love?

We have some friends that have a very large collection of kerosene lamps. Some are sterling silver and some are cranberry glass and they paid a lot of money for them. Sadly they are not as desirable as they once were. They really enjoy them but, if they wanted to sell them they would only get a fraction of what they had paid for them.

I remember going to my grandparent’s cottage as a child and the smells of dampness and coal oil as we opened the door of the cottage that had been closed for a week. I remember that there wasn’t any electricity at the cottage and my grandfather would light some lamps so we could have a friendly game of cards.  We have several lamps that still work which are filled with oil in case we ever lose power. To me they are a wonderful childhood memory but to younger generations they are something grandma “collects” and they have no special memories or emotional attachments to them.

So many treasures from our generation did have great emotional memories. They are items we remember from our childhood homes or our ancestor’s homes. We remember the special, welcoming from the people and the good memories of times gone by.

Our children and grandchildren don’t want our treasures. They don’t have the same attachment, memories or emotions attached to them. Don’t be offended if the kids don’t want your treasures. They desire a simpler life. They like dishes that can go in a microwave or a dishwasher. They like cutlery that never has to be polished or wine glasses without lead in them. They live in smaller spaces and have limited storage for all the things they won’t enjoy or use.

The value of fine china has plummeted. Ten years ago we knew that a six place setting of china would bring a lot more than a four piece setting and a set of dishes for twelve people was really desirable. Recently at a sale I got a beautiful set of china for twelve with many serving pieces for $60. It was near the end of a two day estate sale and no one wanted them.

Since prices are down, if you or a parent want to keep a few pieces of the china, it’s not usually an enormous financial loss compared to what they cost and the joy they might still bring.

Once, a client we were working with had an antique dining room set with eight chairs that sold for $14,000 and now it might bring $1000. It used to be easy to sell a complete dining room set and now, at times, a buyer might just want the chairs or just the table. Many people do not want the large two piece china cabinets but several seniors have kept the bases to put a television on.

Figurines, numbered prints, decorative plates were very expensive and collectible. Now the market is flooded and some charities may not take them.

There are businesses that do appraisals, estate sales, online auctions, consignment plus, there are also country or high end auctioneers available. 

If you are selling something privately you can usually get an up- to-date price if you search online. Remember that the asking price and the selling price are not always the same.

You may be having to handle the distribution or selling off of a loved ones estate. It can be very overwhelming. This is a good time to contact us for more helpful advice and information to get you through this challenge.

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