Silver and Flatware/Rhapsody International Flatware
I have a 12 place setting and serving pieces set (84 pieces in total) of "Rhapsody" by International Silver Company, in the original chest. It is in Mint condition and has never been used. I know that it is quite valuable and have seen a 66 pc set on the Silver Superstore for sale for $15,000. I have contacted a couple of antique dealers and the most I am being offered is $1250. Do you know how/where I can sell it to a private collector who will pay what it is worth? I don't expect to get $15,000 but I certainly expect more than $1250. Pictures attached. Thank you so much.
There are two "Rhapsody" patterns from International. I can't see clearly all the details of your pattern in the picture but I believe it might be the "new" Rhapsody introduced in 1951.
It's unfortunate that it's hard for an individual to get a decent price for sterling flatware. A dealer looks at what he or she can sell if for and generally makes offers of 25% to 35% of that ultimate selling price.
There are very few "private collectors" of sterling flatware except in the cases of the rarest of patterns. Neither Rhapsody pattern falls into that category.
As to what the value is, the best gauge I've found is to look at actual sales on eBay. Here is an example of a small set that sold recently: http://www.ebay.com/itm/RHAPSODY-BY-INTERNATIONAL-STERLING-SILVER-FLATWARE-8-SER
. The selling price was $1,485.00 which works out to an average per-piece price of $45.00. Compared with other patterns, the $45 was quite high, especially since there was only one serving piece in the set. Applying that $45 price to your set would value it at $3,780.00. I imagine you have several serving pieces so the average price could be a bit higher for comparison purposes.
On the down side, here is a recent sale of a 36-piece set for only $648, an average of $18 per piece: http://www.ebay.com/itm/International-Sterling-Silver-Rhapsody-Flatware-36-Pc-Se
Here is a sale in between: http://www.ebay.com/itm/INTERNATIONAL-RHAPSODY-STERLING-SILVER-SET-FOR-8-44-PCS-
. The average price per piece was $33.64 .
The fact that your set has never been used helps some but, unfortunately, not a lot. If the pieces are still in their original unopened plastic bags, that could help significantly.
The best route I've found for an individual to sell sterling flatware is on eBay. You have a huge potential customer base. I would sell at "fixed price" rather than the "auction" option.
I hope this has helped. Feel free to ask a follow up question.