Yet another light we sold. When selling things on eBay, we are held accountable to the Nth degree which can be very frustrating. I gave the buyer a discount on this piece but then he complained about a blemish and wanted an additional discount. Over the years we've had a number of people abuse our accountability and at a certain point, I just have to ask myself: Is it worth $dollars to ruin my flawless reputation and will usually just give someone a credit or refund even if it's really not fair.
Another old light we sold. This sat on my shelf for months before I got around to posting it as I wasn't sure if it would sell and shipping stuff like this is a pain. Again, anything old Chinese right now seems to be pretty hot. It pays to visit museums and learn fancy terms like 'famille verte' to help get items seen by the educated buyers.
Most old books are a dime a dozen but we do try to look at everything we find. This book, originally published in 1898, told a flawless prediction of the Titanic disaster of 1912 - 14 years later. The work was re-issued at that time and is still worth $100 but a first printing would sell for $500 or more.
I generally don't post furniture sales here as most pieces simply aren't exceptional. This set retailed around $12,000 in 1994 and ONLY because of the name brand AND condition was I able to get such a wonderful second hand price and it took MONTHS of waiting to get it. MOST old brown furniture simply doesn't hold value.
Having some basic knowledge as to what things are collectible coupled with Internet research can yield some great results. Knowing that old chess sets can be desirable, plus recognizing this heavily stylized pattern, and comping it based on the name brand told us that it was valuable. So instead of throwing it up for an eBay auction, we sat and waited for the right buyer to come along who recognized the value and paid a fair price.
It is such a pleasure to handle premium collections of things we just don't find on a typical house call. When it comes to selling off a collection of any given type of item, in order to get that 'top dollar' price, you have to sell one item to one buyer at a time and that's where we come in and do just that. I could not find a single comp value on this piece but I knew it was special and would go to a good home for a great price.
We've talked before about how fickle the market is on Chinese antiques and now that China is such a wealthy country, their citizens are trying to reclaim 'lost treasures' pawned off by their ancestors. One piece could be worth nothing while another similar piece might be worth a fortune but without some kind of documentation from an authority on the subject, pieces like this could be anyone's guess on value.