Resources for executors and Estate Administrators

Can You Ever Add Value to Your Antiques?

Can You Ever Add Value to Your Antiques?

March 2, 2021

This article published in 2020 quotes our friend and expert fine arts appraiser, Helaine Fendelman, of Helaine Fendelman & Associates in New York City, as well as several other eminent specialists in the antiques and appraisal field.  It asks the question, “Can You Ever Add Value to Your Antiques?”

Can You Ever Add Value to Your Antiques?

Source: Yahoo Life

Read Time: 4 min.

In an effort to support the maximum worth of any piece, the article cites what is necessary to derive the best possible value.  The preservation of the piece is central to this message.  Treatment of antiques from placement to handling is paramount.  What to do, and what not to do, is a poignant takeaway from this succinct article, which with a 4 minute read time, could have an excellent ROI. 🙂  We note this is consistent with another article in the Executorium Atheneum, “Caring for Your Collection, Where to Begin? – A Primer to Approach Collections”.

Fendelman speaks to the heart of the matter urging the intervention of a specialist in scenarios involving damaged or soiled antique items, “Never attempt this work yourself. Turn to a professional like an appraiser or a museum curator who can connect you with a specialist.

Can You Add Value to Your Antiques? Spoiler Alert

We don’t want to spoil the article – it’s a worthwhile read, however the quote from Lillian Naussau’s Eric Silver, frequent on The Antiques Roadshow, notes there’s not much one can do to add to the value of antiques.

“It’s more about preserving value,” according to Silver.

Today whitewashing and distressing old furniture is a current trend but may affect value.  “A mint-condition piece that has zero alterations will always have the highest value” is the advice of Rebecca Rau of M.S. Rau Antiques in New Orleans.  This is assuming the piece had any value in the first place. Best to check before busting out the brushes and steel wool.

What to Look For

In the article, Rau also speaks to the importance of the marks on antique furniture in determining value.  Furthermore, the usefulness, yet rarity, of paperwork associated with an item, is addressed.


Read also:

Caring for Your Collection, Where to Begin? – A Primer to Approach Collections