Treasures in the Attic: Are Your Antiques Worth Anything?

A person's hands holding an old book made of brown, aged parchment with script handwriting.

Have you ever wondered if you could resell your thrift store finds for a decent profit? Do you want to know once and for all if the family heirloom that’s collecting dust is your ticket to an early retirement, or at least a fancy dinner? Are you curious about the value of a cherished object to determine if it should be insured or protected? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not alone. Antiques Roadshow – the reality TV show documenting free antique and collectible appraisals – is still the most-watched ongoing series on PBS

So, what should you look for when determining the value of your belongings? An antique's value is often considered subjective. It is influenced by factors like rarity, condition, provenance, and demand. A skilled appraiser can use their wealth of education, knowledge, and experience to navigate these factors objectively and arrive at a fair and accurate assessment.

Provenance, or the documented history of an object's ownership, can be a major indicator of an item’s value. While knowing your item’s provenance can help validate its authenticity, it can also add layers of historical significance to current and future generations both inside and outside of the family. An artwork or antique with a well-documented provenance linking it to a famous figure or historical event can command a premium on the market.

Another crucial aspect of an antique or art appraisal is authenticity. In a market packed full of reproductions and forgeries, distinguishing genuine artifacts from imitations often requires a discerning eye and specialized expertise. Appraisers use a variety of techniques like microscopic analysis, black lighting, and chemical testing to try to identify an item’s legitimacy and to help detect any signs of alteration, conservation, or restoration.

While appraising art and antiques can be a technical endeavor for the appraiser, it's often a deeply personal journey for the owners. Sometimes we can connect to the past in profound ways through the unique stories of our personal property. Whether it's a family heirloom passed down through generations or a newfound treasure unearthed at a flea market, each artwork or antique carries memories, emotions and nostalgia.

On May 29, 2024, Antiques Roadshow came back to Colorado for the first time since 2009 to film for their 2024 Production Tour. According to PBS, more than 20,000 people applied but only 2,000 tickets were given out. That means that only 10 percent of hopeful participants were able to get their belongings appraised. Luckily, this summer Anythink is offering you the opportunity to get your cherished artwork or antique assessed by Brady L. Dreasher, a professional appraiser with Art of Estates who doesn’t buy, sell, or take personal property into his possession. 

During Anythink's “Appraising Your Treasures with Art of Estates” programs, each Anythink Library branch only has space for 15 people to get one item appraised,* but visitors can still attend the workshop as audience members. During the workshop, Dreasher will share his knowledge of the appraisal process with all attendees to help you decide if you need a professional appraisal or what to look for when treasure hunting and building a collection.

See our program schedule to know when Art of Estates is visiting your local Anythink this month. To get an item appraised, register at our events calendar by clicking the links below.

mySummer: Appraising Your Treasures
with Art of Estates

Saturday, June 8, 1-4 pm
Anythink Wright Farms
Register to have an item appraised:

Tuesday, June 11, 10 am-1 pm
Anythink York Street, hosted at Anythink Wright Farms

Register to have an item appraised:

Thursday, June 13, 1-4 pm
Anythink Huron Street

Register to have an item appraised:

Saturday, June 15, 10 am-1 pm
Anythink Bennett

Register to have an item appraised:

Tuesday, June 18, 10 am-1 pm
Anythink Brighton

Register to have an item appraised:

Friday, June 21, 2-5 pm
Anythink Perl Mack

Register to have an item appraised:

Saturday, June 22, 1-4 pm
Anythink Commerce City

Register to have an item appraised:

* Event Disclaimer: All participants must transport and bring in personal property objects at their own risk. Art of Estates and Anythink are not responsible for any loss or damage of personal property objects. Weapons, guns, firearms, knives, swords, jewelry, wine and spirits are prohibited for these events. Appraisals for insurance, divorce, taxes, donation, claims, and disputes require professional formal appraisals, which are signed, certified, and USPAP-compliant and that is not the intended purpose of the estimates provided on personal property brought to the event. Art of Estates does not buy, sell, or take property into possession; therefore, the process is unencumbered by personal gain. Registrants understand that all appraisals are verbal approximations of value and that any opinion offered is only for their personal information and will not be used in connection with any commercial transaction and cannot be used for insurance.

About Brady L. Dreasher and Art of Estates

Denver appraiser Brady L. Dreasher (ISA CAPP, GPPA, CES, CAGA, WSET1) entered the art field in 1998 and has served the arts industry as an appraiser, artist’s representative, broker, art fair VIP director during Art Basel, exhibition curator, consignment contract negotiator, estate consultant, auction conductor, collector, private-treaty acquisition consultant, expert witness (deposing & testifying), and collection manager. Dreasher is the recipient of the International Society of Appraiser's 2014-2015 Leadership Award, is a member of four respected appraisal organizations, and has experience participating on multiple International Society of Appraiser committees. After starting Original Art Brokerage in 2000 while earning his Bachelor of Arts degree, the company grew and transitioned into the nationally known and regionally recognized Personal Property Appraisal Firm, Art of Estates. The Art of Estates appraisal firm won the Better Business Bureau’s coveted BBB Torch Awards for Ethics in the summer of 2023.