Our Yard Sale $4.95 Valuation Find of the Week

Lladro Limited Edition Horse

We’ve had quite a few people take advantage of Yard Sale Valuation Special offer. This piece is a beauty, What’s it worth? Value at auction $4500.00. It’s a limited edition Lladro figure, “Oriental Horse”, sculpted by Salvador Furio (Spanish, 20th c) It was issued in 1971 and retired in 1986. it had been stored away for over 20 years, a wedding gift never displayed.

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 Antique-Appraise.com 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…

Big Find at the Salvation Army Thrift Store


We had a big find come in from a Salvation Army thrift store of all places, I guess I shop in all the wrong stores, because it appeared to be a  Louis Vuitton suitcase, with a $25.00 price tag on it. Sometimes all these things are is knock offs with some miles on them. Upon examination of this one though, it proved to be the real deal and in pretty good condition. Right now at auction a comparable Louis Vuitton suitcase would go at auction in the $800.00- $1200.00 range.

Mike Wilcox at the Miami Antique Show

Antique-Appraise.com has contracted our services to a number of other firms and insurance companies over the years.  In this video I’m partnered with Worthpoint.com for their Appraisal Days event at the largest Antique show in North America, the Miami Antique Show.

Along with their team of experts we verified every piece that came in for sale at the show was a genuine antique and participated in their Antique Roadshow event.

What can’t be appraised online?

For a variety of reasons roughly 10% of the appraisal requests we receive every month we have to decline, they really can’t be appraised online from images or descriptions. Generally it is a case of items that really require a physical examination by a Specialist or cannot be adequately identified from images. Items in this category tend to be things such as:

  • Oil Paintings
  • Original works of Art
  • Ancient Relics
  • Unmarked Jewelry with gemstones
  • Rare Manuscripts with signatures

In other cases it’s a matter of inadequate images, either they are too small, poor lighting in the area of the photo or they are not clear enough to determine a positive identification.

In some cases we will identify items that we normally would decline, but only if they come with documentation (known as a Provenance) from a reliable source that has previously identified the item and there is a chain of ownership that can be verified. If you are not sure we can provide you with an appraisal for your item, feel free to leave us a message.

Mike Wilcox


Amazing what hangs on the wall

It’s amazing what just hangs on the wall for years on end and nobody realizes its value. We had one of these items come in last week, the shock on the owner’s face when I informed them what it would go for at auction made me think I might have to call an ambulance.  To say there were amazed was an understatement.

The item in question they contacted us to appraise was a Wall clock, not much to look at from the average persons eye, but to a Collector or an Appraiser it would set off alarm bells. This rather plain looking clock is a late 19th Century E. Howard No. 70 Regulator, which could sell at auction in the $15,000.00- $20,000.00 range. Some of the even rarer Howard wall clocks, such as their model No. 47 Astronomical Hanging Regulator have sold for over $250,000.000.

Appraisal Find of the Week

We often provide appraisals for some wonderful things here at Antique-Appraise.com. This week we had an exceptional piece sent in for an appraisal, a Tiffany Studios “Zodiac” Calendar Holder or Photo Frame , Circa 1900-1910 . These were generally once part of a larger matching desk set that could have included a blotter set, bookends, inkwell, letter holder, note holder and pen tray.

Tiffany items have always been highly sought after by collectors, and values for them have weathered the ups and downs of the market in recent times quite well compared to items by less known companies.

This one’s owner reports it’s sat in a spare bedroom of an Aunt’s house with an old photo in it for years, nobody thought it was worth anything. We provided a nice surprise for them when they got their appraisal, as one like this could retail for over $2000.00, comparables at auction often sell for over $900.00.

Toby Jugs, a Pottery Icon

A Pearl Ware Toby

The Toby Jug,  a pottery Icon,  originally depicted a heavy set man in 18th Century attire with a a Tricorn hat holding a a pipe of tobacco in one hand and a tankard of beer in the other. The tricorn hat forming a spout, sometimes with a  lid, and the handle is attached at the rear. Jugs depicting just the head and shoulders of a figure are also referred to as Toby Jugs or more formerly, “Character Jugs”. The example shown is a Staffordshire Pratt type “Pearlware” Toby, Circa 1780.

There are a number of theories regarding the origins of the name “Toby Jug”, one being it’s based on a character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth  Night “Sir Toby Belch”, a hard drinking character in Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night. The other being they were were named after a well known  18th Century Yorkshire-man of prodigious drinking abilities, Henry Elwes. Elwes’s  nick name, “Toby Fillpot” , is also named  in an old English drinking song, “The Brown Jug”,  first published in 1761. In any event they first seem to appear in Staffordshire England about 1760 and spread from there and have seldom been out of production since then.


Royal Doulton Toby
A Royal Doulton D6588 “Ard of Earing”


The best known maker of them today is Royal Doulton. Toby Mugs are a tradition with Royal Doulton that dates back to 1933 when they were introduced by Charles Noke. The Royal Doulton Character Jugs range features popular personalities, characters from history and fiction that has included more than 300 different subjects.

The creator of Doultons Toby’s, Charles Noke was in his seventies when he introduced character jugs in 1933. His famous toby’s were expanded into a collection of gift ware using variations on the Tobys to make musical jugs, tobacco jars, sugar bowls, toothpick holders and teapots in 1939. In recent years values for these Toby jugs has been in decline, a result of the current economic climate and changing collecting trends. The one pictured here, a model D6588, was issued 1964 – 1967 and currently retails at Specialist Dealers for Royal Doulton in the $1500.00- 1700.00 range, the last one we’ve seen at auction went for $610.00.


Mike Wilcox

Wilcox & Hall Appraisers