> I have just recently joined this news group, and I know very little about
> antiques. How can I tell if something is an antique and of value, or if it's
> not valuable?
starting out by reading Emyl Jenkins' Appraisal Book (That's not the
exact title, but should give you enough info to locate it on Amazon.)
and a general price guide (I'd recommend Schroeder's). Don't take the
price guide as gospel, but it's a start in determining value.
Beyond that.... read everything you can, visit every shop and show, hang
out here and ask questions, etc.
I am especially curious about an old school house desk I saw at
> kind they used to bolt into the floor, with the seat (hinged) in the front, and
> the next kid's desk in the back.
exceeds demand on these, so, unless the ironwork is really nice, it's
not worth a lot. You're right that it could be a nice conversation
piece, and that should be sufficient to justify the purchase if the
price is right.
engines for used books. I usually use <http://www.bibliofind.com>, but
there are a half dozen other options. You can search their database to
find out what used book dealers are asking for copies of the same book.
Two points to remember: (1) These are asking prices; you don't know if
anyone will actually buy the book at that price. (2) The details of
edition and condition can make the difference between a $5000 book and a
Hope this helps. Stick around.