What to do with inherited stuff/antiques?
February 23, 2012 11:31 AM Subscribe
I have just inherited about one hundred boxes full of 40-100 year old stuff from 2 or 3 generations. I can't really use any of it and some of it may be very valuable. How can I best assess the values of the thousands of items so that I can sell/donate/throw out everything?
posted by meantime to grab bag (8 answers total)
Within the boxes are over one thousand books (many of which are hand bound), many sets of dinnerware (much of which is hand painted and some silver), various pieces of art, old magazines and various random but seemingly quality pieces. This is mixed with a whole bunch of junk that appears to be the remains of hoarders. Its possible, however, that even some of the junk might be interesting to some given its age/quality/category.
I have to do something with this stuff and though I think at least half of it isn't worth anything - I don't know how to begin sorting through it all. There are thousands of items here and I'm afraid to throw anything out because maybe one small piece that seems like "junk" might actually be of value - if not financially, then perhaps to someone.
Ideally, I would get rid of the "junk" and then clean up and sort the rest of it to present to people who might be interested. But this has been difficult for me to do.
- the stuff is full of dust, etc, so at least the initial stages are 'dirty work' that I can't do in random slots of free time - i have to dedicate half or full days so that i don't waste my time cleaning
- I have to move through it relatively quickly because space is limited and the boxes have to be cleared
- The items are in the Czech Republic (so am I) and primarily of Czech and German origin - so besides having no background in antiques, I have limited ways to educate myself in what might have value or how to locate people who might be interested in these items (i.e., i can't google search each item nor do I know if this is stuff for Sotheby's or a Czech version of ebay)
How do people go through this process when someone passes? Is there a best practices for something like this? Any suggestions given the special circumstances?