Free Online Antique Appraisals

Free AppraisalsFree Online Antique Appraisals.. is probably one of the most used search terms for antiques & collectibles on all the major search engines. As I write this today, just on Google alone searching for Free Appraisals pulls up 17,240,000 results… While this may seem like a great thing for people trying to find out what their antiques or collectibles are worth, most of them break down to the following four types:

  • “Click Bait” Free Appraisal sites loaded with links that take you to other Click Bait sites…they get paid every time you click a link.
  • Auctions Sites, they will provide free appraisals for items they think they can sell, but generally only for items worth more than $1000.00
  • Antique Forums, thousands of postings from people looking for free appraisals, very few of them getting any response…and full of adds
  • Dealers Sites, they will provide a valuation, but the value they quote you to buy it is not an appraisal, it’s 30-50% of what they would sell it for.

In reality most of these sites are not in the business to provide free appraisals, but to sell advertising, or get stock at wholesale values. In the case of auction houses and dealers the initial appraisal might be free, but commissions they charge you to sell your item can be as high as 25%.

Of the ones where you actually might get an appraisal for free are the Antique Forums. The problem with forums of this type is you have no idea that the information received is accurate, after all, expert appraisers are in high demand and do not work for free. If you do get a response to your request it will probably be dozens of others saying they’ve got one “just like yours” and asking you “have you found out what it was worth yet”…….
So, the reality is there really are no free appraisals, you pay either with the time you spend searching, clicking and waiting, selling your item at an extreme discount or commission fees at time of sale.

At we don’t provide free appraisals, but appraisals are our only business. If you are really are interested in finding out what your item is worth quickly, easily and at a reasonable cost click here….we promise there will be no advertising…



Based on the images and the markings this melodeon is Rosewood and dates 1861-1871. It was made by George A. Prince, one of the largest producers of organs and melodeons during the mid 19th Century era. The company was established in Buffalo, NY in 1840, a time when furniture and instrument makers were changing from small shops into more highly mechanized factories. From the 1840’s throught the 1870’s the most common musical instrument in rural America was the small melodeon or pump organ, as they were a far less expensive item than a piano. Hundreds of thousands of them were produced. As piano makers themselves expanded production and prices dropped, the piano became more popular, by 1871 George A. Prince went out of business, his melodeons and organs a victim of changing fashions.

In the current market there is not a lot of demand for Melodeons or pump organs, at auction comparable examples in need of some restoration often sell for less than $150.00, the cost of restoring them often being prohibitive, which is why so many of them ended up beiing converted into desks.

“What’s it Worth Mike” -Singer Sewing Machine…


This Singer sold for $1400.00

Several times a month I get a call that starts like this, ” I have this Antique Singer sewing machine I got from my Great Grandma..” Quite often the tale goes on to add  ” A local Dealer tried to get it off  Great Grandma for a $1,000 10 years ago and she chased him out of the house with a broom.”  This is not to say these machines are worthless, only that some are worth  a great deal more than others.

Where the idea started that these old treadle machines had such huge value is anybodies guess, but it probably is the belief that because of their being over 100 years old they are Antiques and must follow the equation”100 years old X (Antique) = Valuable”.

The family stories that come with these machines to often inflates their age, rarity and value as well tales that generally include mention that some aged member of the family, a great-grandmother or great aunt, usually aged between 92 and 104 bought the machine used Circa 1894.

As with all things Antique or Collectible, the value for different models of Antique Singer sewing machines is based “Demand & Supply” rather than standard “Supply and Demand” equation used in the regular economy. The market for all Antiques differs from the regular economy for brand new items because the supply of an individual Antique item is always limited to how many were originally made way back when. When demand and value for an Antique item increases due to changes in Decorating or Collecting trends, there are no factories put into production to create new Antiques to fill demand.

This Singer Featherweight could sell for $450.00 at auction.
This Singer Featherweight could sell for $450.00 at auction.

In the case of Singer sewing machines, some models were made in such huge numbers their values remain relatively modest today, but some can go at auction for over $1500.00.


If you have one of these old Singer Sewing machines and finally want to know how old it is and what it’s worth, use our $4.95 Valuation option.


Mike Wilcox

Wilcox & Hall Appraisers

“What’s it Worth Mike?”- Hunzinger Rocker

A Hunzinger Lollipop Platform Rocker

This Rocker is just one of several models of ” Lollipop” types made by the furniture maker George Hunzinger. Hunzinger was born in Germany in 1835, his family had been in the cabinetmaking business since the 17th century. Hunzinger, with his training in Cabinet making complete emigrated to New York at the age of 20, he was just one of many highly trained German cabinetmakers, including the Herter Brothers, emigrated to the United States for a better life away from the political and economic turmoil in Germany in the mid 1800’s.


An example of a Hunzinger Patent drawing

Hunzinger was one of first to take advantage of this very latest technology for woodworking, between 1860 and 1898 he was  awarded 21 for the multitude of  mechanisms used in the design and production of his furniture. A great deal of the machinery his company used to construct these elaborate pieces were also built to his designs. His work being very popular at the time spurred competition, his pieces  widely copied by other manufacturers during the last quarter of the 19th Century.

As with all things Antique, over time similar items tend to get generic labelling. Hunzinger’s name today has become a generic term as  “Hunzinger style.” used to describe furniture made with elaborate turned spindles, barley twist legs, metal sliding, folding and rocking mechanisms. Unlike a lot of other makers of furniture of this type that did not mark their pieces, genuine Hunzinger furniture is generally easy to identify.  Being such a stickler for protecting his designs and market share from his many competitors, Hunzinger made pieces are quite easy for us to identify today, because the metal fittings and often the chairs themselves are stamped with his name and patent dates.  As for value, in the current market a comparable Hunzinger Lollipop rockers today list at some higher end dealers for over $5500.00. Values for all Hunzinger furniture varies a great deal, to get an appraisal for yours Click Here


Mike Wilcox

Wilcox & Hall Appraisers

“What’s it Worth Mike?”- Oscar Bach Furniture


A signed piece by Bach Circa 1927/28

Determining ‘What’s it worth’ for Art Deco period pieces like this one can be a bit of a puzzle for Collectors because of the mix of styles used to create them. This one dates Circa 1925  and is probably a creation of the Designer Oscar Bach (1884-1957) or his former partner Bertram Segar.

As you can see, the style of these Bach/Segar pieces is unlike just about anything else at the time, the reason being unlike a great many other studios, Bach worked in a large numbers of styles from Gothic to Art Deco, often mixing styles to get the effect he was looking for.

Furniture by both are generally marked, but it often takes a bit of looking to find the markings. The Bach pieces were marked in a variety of ways, the early pieces with a medal that reads “OSCAR B BACH / NEW YORK / STUDIOS INC.” or a stamped marking that reads “OBASO-BRONZE / OSCAR.B.BACH. STUDIOS.” The pieces made after the split with Bertram Segar in 1923 can have a metal tag with the Artist’s name in script. On the later pieces dating from the 1930s they could be stamped “OSCAR B. BACH” and tagged “BACH PRODUCTS.”

a Bach signature mark from the late 1920’s

Bach is better known than Segar, he was born in Breslau, Germany in 1884, embarking on a career as a Metal Smith after completing his studies at the  Royal Academy of Berlin and the Imperial Academy of Art in Berlin. Bach further expanded his knowledge of  a wide variety of cultural, design and metal working techniques through his travels in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Bach emigrated to North America in 1911, opening a business in Greenwich Village Bertram Segar and his brother Max Bach, operating as Bach Brothers. The company moved shop to 257 West 17th Street and changing the company name to Oscar B. Bach Studios. The early Pieces by Bach were Decorative Arts pieces created for the upper class market of New York and Architectural pieces and hardware  custom made for estates.

By 1923, Bach had severed his ties with Segar and set up a new shop, Segar remaining at the old West 17th Street studio location . Segar continued to operate in the original location under the name “Segar Studios”, but from the pieces we have seen produced in his studio they appear to be variations on Bach’;s original designs or reproductions. Segar pieces were not always marked and at times attributed as “Unmarked Bach” today.

Bach Patent drawings

Bach patented some of his designs, likely a way of protecting his market from Segar, the table pictured above looks very similar to the top patent drawing from 1927 seen here to the top left . Bach continued to be involved in Decorative Arts pieces until 1941 and his work can be found displayed in permanent collections in the Minneapolis Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bach continued to work until his death at age 72 on May 4, 1957.

In terms of value,  prices vary quite a bit depending on labels and marks or if they can be attributed to Bach via patent drawings or provenances to the original owners. In recent sales values for signed Bach pieces are on the increase, a table matching the one above recently listed with an auction pre-sale range of $3000.00 -$9000.00, the last one we have a record for of the same model sold for $1500.00 in 2006.






Mike Wilcox
Wilcox & Hall Appraisers

Wells Fargo/Plantation Desks

Plantation DeskIn the antiques trade, these are usually called “Plantation desks” because the type was often made in Southern cabinet shops and used in plantation offices. Of course, they were produced all over the established inhabited areas of the country, including the Great Lakes region. Another generic name sometimes used for this type of desk is the “Wells Fargo desk,” again referring to a sometime use of this style of desk by cartage companies, railways and general stores. Most desks of this type are what are referred to as being “Early Victorian”—such pieces were made from about 1840 through the 1860s. Most were the work of rural cabinet makers or small furniture factories working from English furniture design books, using native hardwoods, such as cherry, maple, oak and walnut in their construction. Walnut examples like this one date circa 1850 and originate from North Eastern states. Values for them depend a great deal on vintage, condition, overall design and wood type.

If you have a Desk Like this or one very similar and want an Instant Evaluation of it’s current value, we do have reports listing their current Retail and Auction values on file. They’re ready to deliver for $4.95, a very substantial saving over our regular $14.95 appraisals.

Mike Wilcox

Wilcox & Hall Appraisers