Whether it is a mahogany cabinet or a Georgian sofa set that you bought at an auction or inherited from your family, appraisal of antique furniture is best done by an expert. At Mearto, professional antique furniture appraisers are ready to help you find the value of your antique furniture. We consider the piece’s age, style, size, origin, and condition in order to determine its value. No matter the type, style or condition your antique pieces, we can provide a fair market value within 48 hours, or even faster (24 hours), if needed.
Below you will a complete guide to determining the value of the furniture. You will also see furniture appraisal examples from our experts. If you would like to submit your own item for review, simply provide some information about your piece with our easy-to-use form. It helps to have as much detail as possible about the condition and history of your item. We also need photographs of the furniture on a neutral background and from numerous angles.
After your piece has been appraised, we can also put you in contact with local auction houses that may be interested in taking it on consignment. They can help you reach the widest audience - advertising your furniture to hundreds or even thousands of potential buyers - and get the highest price for your piece. Click the "Start Appraisal" button below to get started!
Click the "Get Started" button below to set up a free account.
Answer a few simple questions and upload images of your item.
Receive a specialist's valuation by email in 24 to 48 hours.
Get help with the next steps, including consignment and sale.
Aside from its age and authenticity, one of the most important factor's to consider is the furniture's condition. Because furniture serves both an ornamental and a functional purpose, most pieces needed to be repaired or re-upholstered over centuries of use. Preservation with respect for original materials usually indicates a higher value. Another very important consideration is the quality of the piece. How fine is the work and how rare would it have been for the time period in which it was created? As a final step, we can often identify the workshop or master who created a piece of furniture. Some are more in demand than others.
The first thng we look at when we appraise antique furniture is the style and material used. This is to assign a date to the piece. We also look for defects. For example, we often see that a piece of period furniture has a nice front, but that there are a lot of mistakes on the reverse side, which faces the wall. We ask ourselves questions like: are the drawers properly constructed, or is there hardware, like screws, present which is not period-appropriate? Then, of course, we have a look at the overall condition to see if the piece was used. In certain instances, this can point to a forgery or marriage (later combination of original and newer parts). For example, no polished areas under the drawer would be a clue that the furniture, or at least parts of the furniture, are not original.
The world's most expensive piece of antique furniture was sold in 2004 for the massive sum of $36.7 million. The ornate piece is known as the badminton cabinet and is inlaid with precious stones. It was sold by the 3rd Duke of Beaufort's descendants and now resides in the Liechtenstein Museum. The second highest price was paid in 2009, when Christie's auctioned a leather and wood "Dragon's Chair" for approximately $26.6 million. The chair was designed by Eileen Gray and once owned by Yves St. Laurent, underlining the impact provenance can have on the value of antique furniture. Though not every piece is going to fetch an eight-figure price - and, in fact, most don't - there is certainly a demand for high-quality pieces with interesting history.
Antique furniture is one of the segments of the art market which fell in price in the last years. Currently, the market is focused on high-class pieces or pieces which are directly connected to a known person or provenance. Reproductions from the second half of the 19th century have flooded the market and are of such high quality that they can easily be confused for an original. However, their value is usually significantly lower, so it's important to know whether you have an original or a reproduction if you want to know the value of your antique furniture.
Antique furniture is one of the more straightforward items that we appraise. By providing a thorough description and some detailed images of your piece, our experts can provide a reliable online appraisal within 48 hours. Because antique furniture can be extremely heavy and difficult to transport, an online appraisal from Mearto makes it easier to know the value of your antique furniture without having to move it or pay for an appraiser to visit your home.
Mearto offers two opportunities to sell your antique furniture based on its current fair market value:
Customers with antique furniture expected to sell for $5,000 or more can take advantage of our complimentary Consignment Concierge service. We will contact leading auction houses on your behalf, collect offers and help you negotiate the terms of a consignment agreement. There is no additional fee or commission for this service.
For customers with antique furniture valued between $50 and $5,000, Mearto offers an exclusive Marketplace, which is accessed by a number of art, antiques and collectibles dealers around the world. If there is interest in your item, you will be contacted directly with offers through our platform. In the event of a successful sale, Mearto takes a 7% transaction fee.
To learn more about options for selling your antique furniture through Mearto, please click here.
Leah Illingworth is a content specialist here at Mearto. She loves learning and writing about art and antiques each day in addition to exploring the history and stories behind art movements and objects.