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Old and Antique Pottery Value

Something is worth, whatever someone will give you for it!  That is always true however, you'll want to have a ballpark idea of a pieces value before letting it go.  Here are a couple ways to find out what pottery is worth...

1.  Here's a free way to track down an approximation of value on your own.  First, identify the maker, line name (if there is one), approximate year it was made, etc.  (At the bottom of this sites homepage there's information about identifying pottery without any marks.)  Next, search using Ebay, Google Shopping, Amazon and antique pottery retail sites. (such as  After you locate at least three of the exact same piece for sale, add up the prices and divide by three.  This is probably a pretty good estimate of what you could expect to receive for it.  It should be noted that you have to be realistic about the condition of your pottery.  If your item has nicks, chips, flea bites, cracks, etc.  Cut the price in half.  If the damage is significant, the piece can be worth virtually nothing.

2.  Try locating your piece on (free registration required).

3.  Register at pottery discussion boards and forums.  Leave a post or message & describe your piece in great detail by including measurements, colors, condition, any marks etc.  You cannot be too extensive in your description!  Always include a picture if given the option.  Politely ask if anyone has an idea of value and thank them in advance.  More often than not, people are happy to help newer collectors. (try my forum first! :)

4.  Become a member of a collectors club.  Depending on who made your piece of pottery, there is probably a club online (maybe even in your hometown, depending on your location).  I'm pretty sure most of them require a small yearly membership fee, but if you are interested in a particular line of pottery the cost may be worth while.  Often times membership includes newsletters, access to information not given to the general public and sometimes valuations.  To find this clubs just do a search on Google like "McCoy pottery club"  or see if a collectors society is listed Here.

4.  Either buy a pottery price guide book about your maker, or visit your public library and look through their related offerings.  Often times the reference section will contain many pottery related value guides.

5.  If you are looking for Native American pottery values try Sagebrush Gallery, they give free appraisals.

6.  Check with Auction Wally for a free appraisal.  [Although, at the time of this writing (11/2010) he is currently not accepting new submissions, he states that he will be caught up soon & resume this free service.]

7.  If you intend to purchase or sell an expensive piece, you will definitely want to have a little more concrete idea of value.  If it were me, I would consult a professional in person.  There are several online appraisers but, I have never used any so, I cannot recommend any particular service.  Here are a couple I've come across that look reputable - Just Art Pottery & Dr. Lori

You may also want to check out the International Society of Appraisers or try the Association of Online Appraisers




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