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10 Things You Should Never, Ever Pass Up at Antique Shops

These hidden gems could be worth a lot of money.
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Going antiquing is kind of like going on a treasure hunt. The only problem is distinguishing the actual treasure from cleverly-disguised junk. We consulted veteran appraiser Dr. Lori Verderame for the insider tips on finding the proverbial diamond in the rough.

Stained Glass


These are easier to source in stores than online due to their fragile nature, advises antiques expert Dr. Lori Verderame. "Look for the leading," she says. "You want to see a sharp, clean line."

Costume Jewelry


The gems don't have to be real for the piece to be valuable. Baubles by well-known makers like Sarah Coventry, Weiss, Trifari and Renoir can fetch big bucks, like $500 for a pair of earrings.

Antique Purses


You might already own a vintage beaded bag, but the market is trending toward more retro offerings as well. Try searching out brightly-colored lucite purses from the late '50s the next time you're out shopping.

Native American Baskets


People often overlook these woven works of art, but the shape, pattern and the type of weaving itself can tell you a lot about a basket's function and provenance. Depending on its age and condition, a single container can range in value from $5,000 to $50,000.

Kutani Chinaware


"You've got be careful with ceramics because the markets do change a lot," Verderame warns. "What keeps its value pretty well is Kutani chinaware." The Japanese white porcelain offers such craftsmanship, you can hold it up to the light and see exactly how thin it is.

Meissen Porcelain


Another valuable type of ceramic? Meissen porcelain, from the German town of the same name. Don't pay big bucks just because it's authentic though. "With any antique or collectible, if it's not in good shape, leave it there," Verderame advises.

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Tin Toys


For the young at heart, vintage toys are the way to go. The lithographed tin variety are especially covetable. "They can sell for $45 and you flip them online for somewhere between $250 to $350," Verderame says.

World's Fair Memorabilia


Paris, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia — no matter where it was held, World's Fair collectibles in general command a lot of interest. The souvenirs can include everything from snow globes to pocket watches.

Duncan Phyfe Furniture


In case you've missed it, mid-century furniture is having a moment, but traditionalists don't have to give up on collecting classics. Verderame recommends looking for pieces done in the style of 19th-century furniture maker Duncan Phyfe since they go for reasonable prices while still maintaining value.

Maria Martinez Pottery


The famous Pueblo artist produced so much of her iconic blackware, you can now find it all over the country, Verderame says. Take note: Martinez often signed her pieces different ways and with other members of her family, dating her creations to specific timeframes.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Picard
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