Silver and Flatware/Value of large collection of sterling flatware
I inherited a large collection of sterling flatware that I believe is pretty old. My father requested that I sell it and the money be split between me and my two sisters. I'm having a very hard time getting an accurate estimate of what it is worth, and determining whether it has collector value or only silver value. Estimates have been all over the spectrum. I obviously want to get the highest price (We are in a dire financial situation currently, due to my husband losing his job.) Is this the type of thing you can advise me on? Or help me find a buyer for?
This set contains about 150 pieces, and it is in very good condition. Some of the pieces are still in their plastic sleeves and look as though they've never been used. From my research I have discovered the pattern is called Pointed Antique, with engraving style #3 by Dominick & Haff. It is stamped Bailey Banks & Biddle 1895 on the back. All the pieces are monogrammed with the letter B. I know the monogram is unfortunate, but it has been suggested to me that the engraving could be buffed off. I have attached a couple of photos.
Any advice you could give me, or referrals, would be greatly appreciated!
You will receive the highest price from someone who wants pieces for personal use. The problem is in finding that buyer. eBay is an obvious choice. You can look on eBay to find recent sales of this pattern to help you estimate what you might receive. Don't bother with pieces that have not sold yet because the prices often are unrealistic. The monogram generally causes the value to be less but not always. Monograms can be buffed off but that still devalues the pieces. You might advertise on craigslist.org to check out the local market. However, be aware that some "buyers" for craigslist items are actually scam artists.
I always sell pieces individually on eBay because that opens the market up to people who are looking to add to an existing set. However, you could try selling the entire set first. As you advertise your set, add "Reed and Barton" in the description since they bought Dominick and Haff.
If you live in an area where antique shows come to town from time to time, take your set to a show. You may find several silver dealers who might make an offer.
I will be willing to make an offer for your set if you like. Keep in mind that an offer from me will be lower than an end user buyer would pay. At a minimum, it will give you additional information. If you want such an offer, send an inventory of pieces along with their lengths to GeorgiaSilver@bellsouth.net. You might also seek offers from www.replacements.com and www.antiquecupboard.com.
Feel free to ask additional questions as you move through the process.