19th century Chinese doors


Michelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form. Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:

Q: We are trying to learn about this door that we have and see if it is something valuable. We have had it for many years and through a friend of a friend, bought it from a gentleman in the UK.

He said that he had bought it at an estate sale decades ago and said he believed it was a door from a castle in China and is hundreds of years old. So that is what we have gone with, “A door from a castle in China”. We’re just not sure. It seems very short for a door. We have reached out to several “antique dealers” across the country and all state that they have never seen anything like it. The dimensions are – 62″ tall – 32 1/2 ” wide – 2 3/4 ” thick. I have included a number of photos. If you can help us or know anyone who can, we would greatly appreciate it.

 A: You clearly do have a Chinese style gate door, typically found not only in the entranceway to “castles” but to many private homes as well. The reinforcement is typical of pieces manufactured in the mid to late Qing Dynasty era.

Based on the construction, which includes bent over tipped nails indicates that it is likely not much older than the late 1870s and clearly was an outer door, as the inside is not finished. Earlier doors would not have that type of nail. These are sometimes called decorative “barricade” doors, which were intended to deter entry from unwanted guests.

Today it is considered an architectural antique; the typical market retail would be from $2,500 to $4,000 in most markets, pending actual condition and demand at any given time.

note – All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about half of resale value.

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

See all posts by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *