Irwin Weiner ASID - My clients often ask me if something they've inherited is of any value. That triggers a series of questions from me: Is it an item you love? Does it hold wonderful childhood memories for you? Has it been passed down in your family for generations? Do you personally find it useful and/or beautiful? You can see where this is going. I'm not trying to get at monetary value at all. I think it's a great fringe benefit to own something of strong value, but the personal connection is an oftentimes overlooked consideration of the value of an antique, piece of furniture, or collectible. If there's a personal connection to a piece of furniture - "This is the dining room table we always used for family gatherings. Oh the Thanksgiving dinners we used to have!" - then I'll try to incorporate it into their decorating scheme.
An antique's value, apart from its meaning to the owner, is another matter ... and I think a secondary consideration unless the owner is thinking of selling the object. The following video from AntiqueJars.net covers very well the basics of defining and valuing an antique. While the narrator's voice is a bit ... unusual ... his information is solid and I think you'll find it useful. But once again, any object's value can be defined two entirely different ways: the most important is its personal appeal and attraction to the owner; and of lesser importance, its monetary worth in the marketplace and with collectors.
LEARN MORE: Watch our Design2Share video on Can I Use My Collections When I Decorate? to learn more about how to incorporate antiques and other collectibles into your everyday decor. And our article on Antiques: Investment & Fashion will give you more help on the subject of valuation.