60-inch bellows used as coffee table


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 have a 60-inch bellows that we bought in Michigan in the 1970s and used as a coffee table for years. It is beautiful and in fine condition. I am looking for a value range and best way to sell it.

A: Your bellows was most likely used in a metal foundry or similar industry.

“Industrial” items are very much in demand right now and your antique bellows would sell for $1,800-$2,000 based on the condition of the piece, the creative use of the bellows and the industrial aspect of it.

When selling something of this size and weight you need to be mindful of how you are going to get the item to the customer. Often it is easier to sell the item locally but experience has taught me that someone who lives thousands of miles away is going to be your buyer. It is very difficult to pack an item of this size so I highly recommend that you consult with several local shipping companies to get bids on packing and shipping costs so that you are prepared for the transaction. If you know the weight and dimensions of the bellows you can check out http://www.uship.com/ or refer the buyer to this website.

Craigslist.com is a great tool to use and eBay now offers a free classified ad option where you can sell locally. One thing that I have learned from Craigslist is to never put an email option in the ad, use only your phone number as a means of contact. Discover Vintage America, http://www.discoverypub.com/classified/index.html, also has a classified ad section.

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 where you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about one half or less 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.

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