Home & Garden

The top 5 overlooked valuable objects in your home

Pictured is Kenneth Jay Lane original designer costume jewelry worth $500. Jewelry is one of the top overlooked valuable items.
Pictured is Kenneth Jay Lane original designer costume jewelry worth $500. Jewelry is one of the top overlooked valuable items. Photo provided

Ever wonder what valuable antiques are hiding in your house? There are many antiques, works of art and collectibles that have significant value, which many people want you to just toss out with the trash or put out on your front lawn at a low market priced yard sale.

I evaluate quality antiques all the time, and I know value when I see it. At more than 150 public and corporate events every year, I tell people what their antique is and what it is really worth. Here are my top five overlooked valuable objects that you should cherish and might be hiding right under your nose:

Jewelry: Hold on to Grandma’s old brooch, earrings or rings. Those pieces of jewelry featuring precious metals, faceted or cabochon gemstones, pearls, etc., can have big value on the antiques and collectibles market. Look for the authentic marks on gold like 14- and 18-karat and the embossed marks on silver, like sterling or 925. Remember that even costume jewelry pieces by Trifari, Kenneth Jay Lane, Renoir and Matisse, Miriam Haskell and others are trendy and valuable dating back to the 1940s to the 1980s.

Paintings: Some of the most commonly overlooked objects in our homes are works of art, such as oil and acrylic paintings on canvas depicting landscapes, still lifes, portraits and famous or historic places. These paintings, in good condition, can represent a windfall once they are properly appraised and authenticated. Remember, do not have your paintings cleaned before you have them appraised.

Sculptures: Do you have an old bust hanging around the house? The most valuable sculptures are those made of good quality materials like cast metal, constructed metal or carved wood. Look for three dimensional sculptures depicting famous figures, well-known people, literary figures and the like. Many interior designers are bringing these accessories back into favor and others are using them as starting points for repurposing projects.

Furniture: Modern furniture is making a big splash in the marketplace now. Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, Art Moderne and vintage pieces from the 1920s to the 1980s are all the rage. Also, some specialty pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries are also valuable. I have heard many people talk about “brown furniture” as being worthless when that simply is not true. Some dealers and auctioneers who don’t want to be bothered moving large pieces of vintage mahogany furniture and are telling folks it is worthless. The oddity is that I have seen many millennials seeking out such pieces of furniture that remind them of Grandma’s house when decorating new homes. Durable, good looking and strong pieces of furniture made of hard woods dating from the early 1900s are finding their place in trendy, youthful apartments and newlyweds’ homes.

Remember, if someone convinces you that your piece of furniture is not marketable or not valuable, they get to buy that furniture from you for a steal. Don’t be fooled.

Glass: Don’t bypass that piece of Murano glass from Italy, a Dale Chihuly sea form sculpture, Grandma’s Carnival glass candy dish or a striking stained glass window from a local church because these items are sought after the world over. Glass remains a very desirable collectible. Good looking and alive with color still attracts collectors to art glass.

Lori Verderame is an antiques appraiser, nationally syndicated columnist and author, and award-winning TV personality with a doctorate in the field. She presents antique appraisal events, keynote speeches and lectures to worldwide audiences. Visit www.DrLoriV.com. Follow her on Facebook.com/ DoctorLori or call 888-431-1010.