One of my favorite emails to open every day are the many photo’s people from all over the country send me of their iron beds. Some are simply looking for whatever they can learn about the origin of their beds and others are looking for more of an appraisal.
Appraising a bed can be very difficult because their values are very regional. A person with a beautiful Victorian bed can’t expect to get as much for it if he lives in the middle of Oklahoma as he would if he lived in Manhattan. True……. the internet and such sites as Ebay and Craig’s List have definitely helped level the playing field when it comes to trying to sell an item. Freight company’s have made it easier and more cost effective to ship things like beds from one coast to the other.
When I first got into antique iron beds back in the late 60’s, everyone in the antique business use to say how easy it was to sell anything out in California. At the time Californians were ravenous for American antiques that were far more prevalent in the East. It was true………I use to fill up my truck with everything from quilts, stain glass windows and beds and be able to usually sell the entire load to no more than 2 or 3 dealers.
Back to appraisals ………… What I get a kick out of most from a person sending me a photo of their bed, is when they ask me what it’s worth? Again…… it depends on if you intend to try and sell it retail or wholesale, also where you plan on selling it or if you’re OK with shipping to someone out of state. But what usually ensues, after I’ve told them what their bed is worth, is their question…….“would you be interested in buying it”?
Now that they are armed with the value of their bed, they’re ready to ask top dollar for it. From me…….
I patiently explain to them that my beds come directly from the source…….people that were actually sleeping on them much of the time. Occasionally we get a bed from a “picker” who is very reasonable in the marginal mark-up he wants to get for his beds.
But I will say, it’s always fun seeing the beds people bring to me for an appraisal or just a little history and background. Surprisingly enough, many of the beds people have come to me with have been beds that I’ve never seen before. Which continually amazes me……having been in the business for 40 years and having seen and sold thousands in that time.
So if you’re out there and you have an old bed you may have inherited or picked up at an auction or yard sale, and you want a little background on it…….email it to me. I’d love to see it and offer my 2 cents worth. Who knows……you might just have yourself a $20,000. “one of a kind” museum quality “commission” bed.
I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website
to answer any and all questions you might have about antique iron beds.
I also invite you to take a look at our company Face Book page for multiple photo albums on Custom Finishes, Canopy Conversions and a comprehensive “Before & After” King Conversions album.