Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Antiques Roadshow for the Do-It Yourselfer

I attended Antiques Roadshow back in July when they stopped through Indianapolis.  I've been watching the show for as long as I remember.  So, I was pretty excited to go!

The problem was -- what was I going to bring to have appraised?  Well mom went with me and she brought along this unusual pipe that belonged to one of her friends.  We thought it was neat and we wanted to learn more about it.

I chose a pair of swords that my husband's grandfather had given us.  He didn't know much about them besides that he had taken them out of a Mason's lodge near where he lived.  So, I though that they'd be the perfect item to bring so that I could learn more about them.

We waited in long lines to get our stuff appraised, but they went pretty quickly.  I don' have pictures of the appraisal part, because phones/cameras weren't allowed inside since they were filming.

Here's a pic of me outside after we were done!

The experience was fun and all, but I wish there had been an easier way to help me identify exactly what these items were (and how much they're worth!) from the comfort of my home.  That's where Worthpoint comes in.  They have been called the "Antiques Roadshow for the Do-It Yourselfer."

So, out of curiosity I decided to check the (Meerschaum ) pipe and the swords on Worthpoint.  I knew what the technical term for the pipe was, but I wanted to see where typing in "carved dog pipe" would take me, because most people aren't going to know it's a special material that happens to only be found in foam from the Black Sea.

My search resulted in over 90 pages of results!

Within a matter of minutes, I'm able to compare similar ones and gather that my pipe is probably worth around $25.  I got a very similar appraisal at Antiques Roadshow.

Next I wanted to see if I would be able to find my swords easily.  I used the search phrase "knight's head sword" because, well it's a sword with what looks like a knight's head on it.  I then went into the the "militaria & weapons" category.   This took me down to over 80 pages of results.

On the first page, I see my sword.  It matches the whole "I got this from a Masonic lodge" description that I was given.  However, even if this were a Masonic sword, I should still make sure I find several with that description to verify what I have.

I strike gold on page 2.

And on page 3.

If you look at the results with the red background, those are exactly my swords.  However, the difference between here and my appraisal from Antiques Roadshow?  The price.  The Roadshow appraiser said they weren't terribly valuable at roughly $40 each.  Even though the ones with the red background are from 3 years ago, there are still some recent ones that are showing they sold for more than $40.  If I had used ebay sold listing to search for this, I wouldn't have seen these sales from 3 years ago, because when you search sold listings, they only show recent sales.  I'm thinking they show somewhere around the last 6 months or so.

All in all?  I love Worthpoint!  So far it has proven really useful in helping identify finds that I was unsure about - which is pretty common even when you've been an antiques dealer for years and years.

So, there's a really cool thing happening with Worthpoint right now.  They are crowdfunding in exchange for a chance to invest in their company.  For a website that was built by everyday people, I think it's really cool that they're opening up an opportunity to invest in their company to that same group of people.  

The campaign launches Sept 22nd!

Worthpoint has also been awesome enough to offer a discount on their memberships to my readers!  On top of their 7 day free trial, you can use the code WPCF5 for 5% of their memberships.

*Although I was compensated for this post, all opinions are 100% my own.*


  1. Very interesting! Gonna check out the site.

  2. WorthPoint's equity crowdfunding campaign launches today - learn more about how you (and anyone!) can reserve shares in WorthPoint ahead of their upcoming live offering campaign.

  3. I have been on the fence about Worthpoint because I wasn't sure I wanted to pay but you provided some good info so I might have to give it a shot.


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