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How to identify china cabinet

Posted by pinktoes (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 21, 07 at 15:40

I'd like to sell an antique china cabinet, but don't know how to start. First, I don't know how to describe its' style; identify the wood (a veneer on front, looks like a burl of some sort); etc.

Once I do that any ideas on where to get an approximate value (other than paying for an appraisal)? It would need repairs, but I want to sell it in its current state.

Any help is much appreciated. Hope I've posted the photos correctly.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to identify china cabinet

Late Victorian oak china cabetinet, with quarter sawn veneer trim, curved glass sided and leaded glass front with beveled glass inserts.
If the glass is all original and is not cracked nor chipped, that alone adds tremendously to the value.
What repairs are needed besides that little spot of missing veneer?
Price depends on where you are and how you choose to sell it.
From an ad in the paper you could expect maybe $350 fast dollars....in a fancy shop, well displayed and no hurry to buy, perhaps $850.
Linda C


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RE: How to identify china cabinet

Only damage is that to the veneer you see and another chunk out at lower right toward the rear (slightly visible in last photo); plus some tiny white paint spatters here and there.

All glass is original and intact. Original mirror inside on rear is intact top to bottom and is aged. Shelves inside are wood; no problems.

We paid for an appraisal about twenty years ago; at time appraised at $2500. as is now, so I'm quite surprised. (I feel like one of those people on Antiques Roadshow!)

Thank you very much for helping us ID it.


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RE: How to identify china cabinet

In the right location , a high end antique shop this would easily bring in $2000.
I'll buy them all day long if they are selling for $850.

It's a GREAT china cabinet !


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RE: How to identify china cabinet

Was the price you paid for the appraisal based on the valuation of the piece?
The piece is worth what someone will pay for it....if you want to sell it.
Do a search for late Victorian curved and leaded glass china cabinets ands ee what you find.
Good Luck.
Linda C


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RE: How to identify china cabinet

Yes, a member of whatever the trade assn. for appraisers is came to the house and examined it for the appraisal.

I've always felt that the market establishes the "value" of the item, however.


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RE: How to identify china cabinet

When you have a special piece like this one, there is a base to it's starting value. Unlike lets say a Deco walnut , waterfall cedar chest that is redily accesable. Their value is "what someone is willing to pay" You can find one in any antique shop.
Your china is a fabulous piece that is NOT a dime a dozen.
LOCATION,LOCATION,LOCATION . In the right shop you'll sell it for top dollar.
Via the classifieds in your local paper, you'll have a terrible time selling it.
Take a look for one on ebay, see if there's anything simliar.


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RE: How to identify china cabinet

We're ready to sell it, but don't know how to go about that. Here in Atlanta, GA. How to you go about finding and approaching antique dealers? Do you have to move the piece to their shop? Are there special movers who do this type of moving? Then, do you just leave the piece there and if it never sells, for an acceptable price, then you have it moved back home? We don't want to ship it ourselves to an out of town buyer.

Googling just gets me names of consignment shops. DH is contacting appraisers. Do antique dealers want an appraisal?

We're just lost here in antique selling land!


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RE: How to identify china cabinet

A appraiser that you will find in a search means nothing. Just that they are either "in the business of selling antiques" and have paid their licensing fee, or have taken a required course of study. Someone who really knows high end Federal mahagony furniture and Chinese import porcelain, may not be qualified to value your fine English silver or your oak china cabinet....It is worth only what someone will pay. And never EVER have anything appraised by someone who charges based on the value of what they are appraising. They should charge a flat hourly fee.
If you sell outright to a dealer, you can expect the price he will offer to be less than half of the selling price that dealer expects to get. If you sell in a consignment shop...every shop will have a different set of "rules". Some may pick up for you...some may not. Some may have a limit of 3 months before they charge you a fee and say get it out of here or sell it for the best offer. Some may have you sign over the piece to them when you consign it and agree to give you 40% of the selling price. Some mau charge 30% comission some more or less. Some may allow you to set the price, others want to set the price themselves and I know one who does it either way.
You will get the best price by selling it yourself through an ad.
You will find out what it's worth by searching for others similar have sold for...NOT what someone is asking for it.
Look at completed sales on ebay and look at local auction houses.
A Dealer won't ask you for an appraisal. A good dealer will know what they can sell it for.
And please realize that there are 2 kinds of appraisals...one for insurance purposes....that is what you might have to pay retail to replace it tomorrow. And the other type is an appraisal for sale....that is what you might hope to get for it tomorrow by selling to a dealer.
How do you find a dealer? I am sure in Atlanta or Marietta or another suburb, there are many many antiques shops....and areas where you will find many shope within the area. Take a picture of your cabinet and wander the shops and show the pictures and ask. Take it to someone who deals in similar types of things.
Hope this helps a little.
Linda C


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RE: How to identify china cabinet

There is a dealer in Waxahatchie, Texas,which deals in American Oak. She generally has several pieces similar to yours and they are usually in the $1,500 to $2,500 range. There are also some pretty remarkable reproductions but rarely with leaded glass doors and fronts. As Linda C. said, the trick is finding some one to pay what you think it is worth.


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