Getting Things Appraised

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Questions on This Page Appraisal Topics on Other Pages

Old records

Jan 2007

My 88-year-old aunt died last November. She left, among other things, a substantial collection of records (classical, popular, etc.) going back many years. My mom thinks some/all of them may be valuable. Wondering if anyone knows who I could ask, where I could take them, if there's anyone would come out and look at them (like people evaluate book collections). Any leads appreciated. Thanks. Norm

Amoeba Records is usually a pretty good place to go. record lover
Try Down Home Music on SanPablo in ElCerrito/Richmond (not sure) anyway, they are really nice, not sharky at all & if they aren't buying, will steer you honestly. Another idea is Aeomeba (sp?) on Telegraph. I know they pay more than garagesale there but actually, to be sure you don't get taken, you should talk to one of the people at Down Home first. Hope you get rich!

Informal Appraisal for eBay Sales

May 2003

I inherited a few collectables I want to sell on eBay (1930s Hummel 10'' full Nativity Set and some other cheaper porcelain figurines) and I don't know how to determine their value. Is there someone around who knows how to do this? Thanks! molly

The simplest thing to do is a search of ''ended auctions'' on eBay itself for similar items. Take note of what items didn't sell and the selling price of the items that did. Also take a look at current auctions and keep track of the results for a few weeks. This will give you a lot of information not only about how to price your figurines but also what kinds of photos and descriptions and so on are most successful. An eBay ''100'' rating
Harvey Clars Auctions on Telegraph does free appraisals for up to 5(?) items once a week or so. call them at 510-428-0100 or email info AT to find out when they will next do appraisals. a happy bidder!


Jan 2004

We have a set of very old French Limoges bone china from my mother-in-law that we would like to sell (my husband hates it). We plan to sell it ourselves, but first we need to get an idea of what it is worth. We will check on EBay and Craig's list, but does anyone know a local place that would do an accurate but inexpensive appraisal? Ela

Regarding your Limoges china - I recently have been dealing with a similar situation with Wedgwood china (Florentine pattern) inherited from my mother and split among 4 siblings. My sister and I have been buying more of it on ebay to fill out our portions, so we did some research first to get price estimates. Here are my recommendations:

1 - don't bother with craig's list - I like it but not for this kind of item.

2 - get a book on procelain marks, a good one is Dictionary of Marks ~ Pottery and Porcelain By Ralph and Terry Kovel you can find it in the research section at the main Berkeley Library, or on line at Amazon, or used on Ebay. I would recommend the library to start with. I ordered the wrong edition on-line (they have at least 2 versions, 1 for pre-850 or so, and 1 more recent), had to swap it out for the edition I needed. I wish I had gone to the library first!

3 - log on to to see if you can identify your pattern. There are a lot of manufactures using the term Limoges (refers to an area in France), as I discovered when researching my set of Limoges ( from my Grandmother) made in France but for the American market. Prices on are very high though, I would use their quotes for insurance purposes only.

4 - Once you've identified your Limoges pattern, track it on ebay to get some current market estimates.

I'm not familiar with bay Area appraisers for china, but I think you cannot go wrong with ebay when you have items such as Limoges or Wedgwood china. They are easily identified and priced, unlike more obscure items without identifying marks

good luck anon


Aug 2003

I have a lot of old dolls that belong to my elderly doll collecting mother, that I need to have appraised (and to sell). There are large size baby dolls, smaller size ''model'' dolls and a variety of other kinds. Some are pretty old, some not so old, some in need of repair and some in great condition. Ideally I'd like someone to come to my house because it would be a lot to take someplace. If anyone is a doll collector or knows someone who is, or knows a good resource for finding a doll collector, please e-mail me. PS. Since this is a request for a doll collector rec, and not an ad. for dolls for sale, please do not contact me if you are not a collector and just want to buy dolls. I hope that made sense. Thanks. June

Hi. I don't know if you are aware of a local auction house, Harvey Clars. The address is 5644Telegraph. Phone number is 428-0100. They also have a website,

They will appraise your doll collection and sell it for you if the value of the estate is worth a certain amount. I used to work there 3-4 years ago and the amount that was needed for them to sell an item was $500.00.

Of course, I strongly suggest you call them to get the most accurate information. You can make an appointment to have your collection valued and handled through them.

Another option is to go to the free appraisal clinic on Thursdays. I just went to the website to try to find the times for the clinic and couldn't find anything.

At any rate, check out the website. It's a great way to sell a collection without the hassle of trying to do it yourself.

Plus, they are great people. beth


Sept 2003

Can anyone recommend a piano appraiser? I purchased an antique piano from an estate sale several years ago in hopes that someone in the household would start playing. Unfortunately, no one is using it and it is taking up space in my living room, gathering dust. It is quite nice and I would like someone to help me establish a value for it. Janice

When I bought my piano, I used Mark Skowronek to help me figure out how much I should offer. He is VERY experienced in piano repairs, so he knows how to value older pianos, based on both their make, model, and year, as well as any repairs they may need. Mark can be contacted by email at: mark AT or by phone at (415) 864-4688. Hilary