The number of times people bring in a box of items for me to value, and comment that they have ‘spent days or sometimes weeks sorting things out and throwing away the rubbish’……. unfortunately that is the way some ‘gems ‘ are lost for ever. I know that in some circumstances when clearing a house, things have to be sorted out in a hurry, but my advice is still the same… Check it out before you throw it out!
There are several ways of doing this. 1 you can call out a dealer like me to come to the premises and do an evaluation,2 you can send photos to me or another dealer, or auction house.You can look things up in books or on the internet…BUT BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING THERE ARE CERTAIN ITEMS THAT CAN BE SAFELY DISPOSED OF:-
Upholstered furniture which has no fire safety label ,and is post war usually has no value as it is illegal to sell it. Most local councils will collect these items, but a small fee may be charged. This is usually cheaper than hiring a skip however, unless you have lots of this type of item to dispose of.
Beds are also a problem, unless they are antique,and even then the mattress may need replacing, so it is better to dispose of old mattresses before attempting to sell the bed. Modern, and post war unwanted beds can also be collected by the council.
All electrical appliances must have a P A T certificate of safety before they can be sold, or have the wiring completely removed . It is therefore difficult to dispose of many secondhand electrical items. Old fridges , freezers, outdated TVs , vaccume cleaners etc can ,if you have transport be taken to the council tip. (However businesses are charged to do this and will take this into consideration when quoting for a complete house clearance.) Some early 20th lamps and lighting may be worth saving and getting tested,or rewired, and it is worth getting advice on old 1930’s radios and early telephones.
NOW FOR THE REST…………
Take one room at a time, and go through it carefully, in the KITCHEN you can safely dispose of old saucepans, damaged china, stainless steel cutlery etc, but look out for silver spoons etc lurking in the kitchen drawer (Silver has a hallmark with a tiny lion on it) some plated cutlery is also worth checking especially if it has mother of pearl handles, or pretty engraved designs, tea strainers, carved breadboards, bone handled knives. There may be valuable china lurking at the back of a kitchen cupboard too! I WILL POST SEPARATE PAGES ON DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE HOUSE AS TIME ALLOWS .
1)Manufacturers Mark 2) English Silver Mark 3) Assay House 4) Date Letter 5) Reign Mark
Meanwhile pack any items you are doubtful, or hopeful about in a box for later evaluation. I will always check things out for you if you bring them to the shop …..there will be no valuation fee, unless I have to travel to you. Just ring to make sure I’m there. Larger items eg kitchen chairs ,pine tables etc can be photographed and an email sent to me with details of size condition etc, with the photographs attached This will give me an idea of their desirability and I will then be able to advise on where to dispose of them, if I can’t accomodate them in my shop Megarrys antiques. I do sell on commission for my customers if I have room, and obviously will be prepared to buy some items, but if neither option is possible I am in contact with lots of other dealers and auctioneers, or can tell you if they would be better placed in a charity shop or sold at a boot sale , or if you should call in a house clearance firm. It may be necessary to store items or even a houseful for later evaluation. I can also recommend a good storage company.