Ah, if I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “I just know it’s worth a lot of money.” It’s not that I don’t want the item to be valuable, it’s simply that over the many years Syl-Lee has been in business, we haven’t worked with many sellers that have art or antiques that can command tens of millions of dollars!
Is it possible that the antique or painting that you discover in your attic or a relative’s house is extremely valuable? Of course, it’s possible, however, my experience is that it’s not probable.
What’s important is knowing the “provenance” or the background of the item. For instance, has the item been passed down by a relative? Did they acquire the item at an auction or purchase it at an art gallery? Do you know the “history” of the item and is it verifiable?
The more “proof” you have will help to determine the authenticity of the item and will, of course, assist in the selling process. If you can’t verify that an item is authentic, it will be difficult to attract buyers, and sites such as eBay have established an “authentication program” to help both buyers and sellers alike.
Receipts that show the chain of events leading to the purchase of your item, or serial numbers are useful to verify authenticity. Verification of authenticity can also be provided by a recognized expert on the artist or type of antique.
If you don’t have any information about the background of the item it doesn’t necessarily mean that it ISN’T valuable. After all, there are cases where valuable art has been found in thrift shops, attics, and basements.
Be realistic and start the evaluation process with professionals that can help assess the value of your art or antiques. You never know, it might very well be a Picasso!