Bermuda Tea Table, ca. 1780
I bought it from an estate sale about a year ago. You want to know how much I paid for it?
Of course I want to know how much. I need to know the gory details.
I paid $75 for it.
Do you think you got a good deal for that table?
Here's the scoop: it's English, but it's not England-English; it's Bermuda-made, because this top is actually cedar. What's also indicative of English it has a wide thigh and knee, and then it tapers down into a narrow ankle, and then it literally is like a foot with that almost genie or elf scrolling shoe. We see similarly treated feet on candle stands or tea tables from the Isle of Man, but they don't use cedar up there. So the combination of this type of leg with the cedar top makes me believe it's Bermuda and it's probably 1780. Your $75 was a good investment because it's worth probably $2,000 to $3,000 at auction.
Very nice, very nice.
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Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
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