How to Tell the Value of Your Antiques—in 5 Simple Steps

A few years ago, I drove an hour to snag an old dresser from the garage of a vintage dealer. It was quite a trek, but the piece was too special to pass up. A dimensional crest topped with a waving ribbon was sprawled across its four drawers, and, save …

A few years ago, I drove an hour to snag an old dresser from the garage of a vintage dealer. It was quite a trek, but the piece was too special to pass up. A dimensional crest topped with a waving ribbon was sprawled across its four drawers, and, save for a few chips, it was in wonderful condition. Better yet, it only cost me $100.

The seller couldn’t tell me much about it, other than that he estimated it was built in the 1930s because of its extravagant style. To find out more, I recently DM’d Tilt Top Living’s Hayley and Craig Redmond Cilley, a pair of history buffs who help their followers identify and date their antique or vintage furniture for—get this—just $25. “We wholeheartedly believe that knowing more about your pieces’ stories creates a greater sense of connection and appreciation for them,” Haley says, adding, “There is something really special about knowing an object has experienced a long journey before you and that you get to add to it.”

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The French Pottery I’ve Spent 30 Years Collecting

An object is often worth more than its material form. It can bring with it cultural echoes, family history, and personal memory. In The Things We Treasure, writers tell us about their most priceless possessions—and the irreplaceable stories behind them…

An object is often worth more than its material form. It can bring with it cultural echoes, family history, and personal memory. In The Things We Treasure, writers tell us about their most priceless possessions—and the irreplaceable stories behind them.


I grew up in the Baby Boom years. As my parents ascended from working class to middle class, I noticed (even as a child) that there were things they acquired that were often meant to be used. They had “fancy” dishes that only saw the light of day at Thanksgiving, table linens too pristine to ever be served on, and rooms that were deemed suitable only when we had company (even though we rarely had any).

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