Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

This is an introductory lesson from Kersten on how to discover the hidden potential your item might have. Just follow these four easy steps! 

  • Step 1: Describe what general category of your item. Is it a book, painting, tool, jewelry etc.?
  • Step 2: Look over your item. Turn it upside down and inside out. Look for the identification mark of the maker manufacturer (This may be in the form of an engraving, sticker, etching, stamp or signature.) This will be the identifying mark of the artist or manufacturer of the item.
    • Helpful hint: The watermark or signature may be concealed by material added after production.
    • Example: The signature of the painting may be hidden by the matting or frame.
  • Step 3: Try to figure out where and when the item was made. This may take some guesswork. Something as simple as “looks old and Asian” can be helpful in determining who is best to appraise your item. Describe the item’s condition. Make note of any dents, dings, chips, cracks, fading, rust, age spots etc. Remember the condition does not always decrease the value of an item. In several cases, the patina of an item can increase its value.
    • Helpful hint: In some cases the date is listed near the watermark, under a signature, on the bottom or on the back of a piece. This is a date stamp or manufacture date.
    • Helpful hint: DO NOT clean your item or attempt to have it restored before having it appraised. In many cases cleaning or restoring an item can decrease its value.

For additional information, helpful hints, or help deciding what category your item is in, feel free to contact a Kersten’s Antiques representative.