The Value of an Antique Brass Tray

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Fabrication of brass may help collectors to verify its origin.
Fabrication of brass may help collectors to verify its origin. (Image: mirror tray image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

An antique brass tray may have limited or substantial monetary value. The value of an antique brass tray depends on the brass used, design features, and provenance. Take any presumed antique to an expert for evaluation.

Time Frame

According to the U.S. Customs Office, antiques must be at least 100 years old. As of 2010, brass trays over 100 years old usually have a lower value than other kinds of antique trays, including porcelain.

Brass may be tested for type. According to Robert Henry Thurston, certain formulas help to date brass. Pinchbeck specifically attracts some antiques buyers. Christopher Pinchbeck, from whom the brass receives its name, marketed the alloy's resemblance to gold.

Identification and Retail Value

The ability to verify the brass used, the unique design, or the fabrication may provide more details. Antiques' value depends on multiple factors. Look for hallmarks or makers' marks. Gilt, coated with gold, or silver-plating often adds value to an antique brass tray.

Antique brass sold at recent auctions netted relatively modest prices. For instance, in 2009 at Boston's Skinner Auction House, a large Persian brass tray on a stand sold for $267. While in 2010, an Indian brass tray failed to net the estimated $250 to $350 bid, selling for only $148.

Considerations

Take any antique to an expert to verify its characteristics. Never buy an antique without the opportunity to obtain independent expert verification.

References

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