Pricing for set of copper Jade Snow Wong plates?
June 14, 2007 9:50 AM   Subscribe

I have a set of 12 copper enamel Jade Snow Wong plates that I need estimates for.

I have a set of 12 copper enamel Jade Snow Wong plates that I need estimates for. I called an appraisor who wanted to charge me $400. I was informally told that they were worth about $700-900 per plate by someone else. Since then, we have posted on Ebay listing them with a minimum of $8800. We've received two responses, one said we were smoking crack, another said they have several items by this artist, and they are worth more like $50/plate. If they are worth $50/plate, I don't want to spend $400 to have someone tell me that. My google and ebay searching for comparable items hasn't led to much. I've also called the art appraisal society (which led to the $400 appraisal). I've since taken the listing down from ebay until I can get accurate estimates. Any suggestions where I can get the most accurate estimate or an appraisal that's not in the hundreds of dollars?
posted by healthyliving to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
It is my honest opinion that ebay is not a good place to sell valuable, speciality antiques. You will not get even close to what the plates are worth on ebay. The customers who are willing to lay down the money for plates like this are going to want to see more higher quality, more detailed photos of the plates and they are going to need to have a lot of confidence about you as a seller. Since you only have 4 feedbacks, buyers are going to be skeptical. A serious collector with $8k to spend on these plates needs to be reassured that you are an honest seller, that these plates are the real deal and that you understand how to pack and ship them carefully.

In my experience, estimates are often given in terms of insurance value. You have to really find the right buyer at the perfect time in order to sell it for close to the estimate. I'd recommend contacting an authorized art appraiser and pay for a certified estimate. If you are interested in selling the plates and if they are truly worth upwards of $8k, you may have a better experience working with a large auction house such as Doyle or Christies. These auction houses have access to international collectors and buyers and can present your items in an auction setting where potential buyers or their agents can inspect the plates in person.

Good luck!
posted by pluckysparrow at 10:11 AM on June 14, 2007

In my opinion it is completely wrong to say you got the estimate from the auction house, since, in fact, you did not. You have hearsay or gossip and there are any number of possible ways that could have been distorted. Saying the auction house gave an estimate is tantamount to false advertising.

Also, for an 8000$ sale, you really need some in-focus pictures. Details of bottom and the rim, and any marks. Seriously.

But then, I agree with pluckysparrow that ebay may not be the best place to sell these.
posted by Rumple at 10:50 AM on June 14, 2007

I can't tell where you're located, but some large auction houses like Bonhams & Butterfields and Doyle have Appraisal Days where you can have your items appraised for free.
posted by annaramma at 4:05 PM on June 14, 2007

If you want to avoid paying for an expensive appraisal, my best advice is to get thee to a library, book store or antique shop that has a wide array of up-to-date antiques price guides and see if you can find any comparable Wong pieces. Start with books that specialize in metalware and/or copper.
posted by pluckysparrow at 4:17 PM on June 14, 2007

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