Everyone who’s seen an episode of Antiques Roadshow has dreamt of finding a treasure in their home.
The idea of striking it rich is motivation to clean out your attic, that’s for sure.
As one of America’s most pawned items, antiques can indeed bring a hefty profit. The key is identifying what you have and knowing where to sell it.
Antique clocks are a unique and often lucrative type of antique. How do you know if yours is valuable, though? Try these tips to find your antique clock’s value.
Tips to Find Your Antique Clock’s Value
Just because a clock looks old doesn’t mean it is, and not all antique clocks are valuable either. These tips can shed some light on your clock’s value.
1. Look for a Label or Signature
One of the largest factors in your clock’s value is the manufacturer. Examine it closely for a signature or a label or any kind. If you don’t find one, don’t be discouraged. That doesn’t always mean your clock is low-value.
2. Look for Evidence the Clock is Handmade
Part of the reason antiques are so valuable is that they were built with craftsmanship. There are several ways to tell if your clock is handmade.
The primary sign to look for is a slight irregularity. Curves may not be sculpted as perfect, symmetrical arcs. If your clock has dovetail joints, this is a great place to look for irregularity. In some cases, the clock may use different types of hardware rather than one consistent shape.
3. Find Out What Category Your Clock Fits Into
As you look for your clock’s value, it’s much easier if you can categorize it. There are countless possibilities, from grandfather clocks to longcase clocks to skeleton clocks. It’s worth your time to read up on your clock’s style and find out how to describe it.
4. Look for Signs of Age
While it isn’t an exact science, older antique clocks tend to be worth more than newer ones. Hints about your clock’s age can also help you determine if it’s a true antique.
Look for wear on any moving parts in your clock. Another common indicator is a single slot screw. Look for that telltale “old wood” scent as well.
5. Use Online Pricing Guides
After you have a grasp on your clock’s manufacturer and style, you can look up the value. An online antique clock price guide has thousands of photos and descriptions. When you find your clock on a pricing guide, you can see the value based on how others have sold.
6. Get a Reliable Appraisal
Even if you find a price estimate online, an in-person appraisal is important as well. The appraiser can examine your clock’s quality and give a more accurate value.
In the pawn industry, we’re happy to offer free appraisals. If you do choose to pay for an appraisal, though, use caution. Agree on a fee ahead of time, and make sure it’s a set fee per item. Don’t agree to pay a percentage because the appraiser could inflate the price.
For a paid appraisal, look for someone who is a member of a professional appraisers’ organization. The International Society of Appraisers is a great organization. You can also look for appraisers from the American Society of Appraisers or the Appraisers Association of America.
Getting a Fair Price for Your Antique Clock
If you have the right clock, it can be the key to retirement savings, further education, and more. To get a fair value, though, you need to find out your antique clock’s value.