Probate Valuations for Antiques

Pete Liggins
August 2, 2023
An accurate probate valuation for antiques and collectables is an important aspect of estate planning and distribution.

Antique items are defined within the industry as any item older than 100 years. 

An accurate probate valuation for antiques and collectables is an important aspect of estate planning and distribution. Executors and beneficiaries might not necessarily be aware that certain contents have a high market value, and that means they require careful consideration. Here at Dawsons, we would always recommend the best course of action is to consult with an expert valuer. 

It is also worth noting that sometimes the perceived value of an item(s) may not match that of the current market – the item(s) in question could have been purchased when at the height of popularity, and market trends do fluctuate over time. Specialist valuers will be able to attend the property and identify any items of value. It is always a good idea to ensure any smaller items hidden away from sight are put together in a box for the valuer to sort through. 

Antiques such as ceramics and glass can vary greatly in value depending on factors such as age, rarity, condition, and provenance. The demand for porcelain figures and decorative jugs has fluctuated greatly over the years, significantly influencing the value.

Antique jewellery, silver, and objects of virtue can often be items that hold both intrinsic value and historical significance. Valuing these items requires assessing factors such as weight, craftsmanship, hallmarks, composition, condition (damage or repairs), provenance, and any additional decorative elements like enamel or gilding. Silver plate refers to items made from base metals which are coated with a layer of silver. While not as valuable as solid silver items due to their composition, they still hold some worth based on the brand reputation, such as renowned manufacturers like Elkington or Christofle, and overall condition. A thorough understanding of the silver market is crucial to ensure a fair valuation.

Clocks and watches are another category that demands expert knowledge for accurate probate valuation. Features such as age, brand, maker's mark or signature, size, condition of the movement and case all contribute to determining the value of a clock. 

Furniture is a broad category that encompasses various styles and periods. Antique furniture can range from delicate Victorian pieces to sturdy Georgian designs or even mid-century modern classics. Evaluating the craftsmanship quality, materials used, such as solid wood versus veneer, condition - including any restoration work, provenance or historical significance helps determine its value.

Lastly, carpets and textiles also fall under the purview of probate valuation for antiques. Factors like origin - Persian rugs being highly sought after, age – certain older rugs often having higher value, design intricacy, condition - including any damage or repairs, and size all play a role in determining their worth.

These are only some of the categories where antique valuables can be found, other items that have potential for value include paintings, Asian art, decorative art, sculptures, medals, coins, musical instruments, autographs, memorabilia, toys, cars, wine, spirits, cigars, luggage, handbags, fashion and many more.

When considering a probate valuation for antiques and collectables, it is essential to engage the services of experienced appraisers who specialise in these areas. Their expertise ensures that valuables are identified, and accurate valuations are provided based on their knowledge and market trends. 

Dawsons’ team of expert Valuers specialise in valuing antiques and collectables and are here to help. Please do get in touch, we would be delighted to assist.  

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