Attic Finds

Appraisals: Attic Finds


Hunting in your own home for attic treasures can be very fun.

Almost everyone has something in their attic treasures or in the back of their closets that could be a valuable collectible.  Let me give you an example: a lady came to me 2 years ago with a Japanese samurai sword that she found in the back of her closet and had been brought back from World War II by her late husband.  Japanese samurai swords are very difficult to appraise because you must be able to read Japanese in order to decipher the maker’s name which is often times located under the grip.  I took the handle off of the sword and sure enough there was a maker’s name in Japanese “canji,” which is the word for Japanese symbols.  The symbols often time can tell the reader a lot about the sword: when it was made, who made it, where it was made, any cutting test that might have been performed using the sword, sometimes, swords even are given names.


I could easily write a book on Japanese samurai swords, so I can only give you a small amount of information in this blog.  But, one of the most important things that people need to know is that these swords have been around for a very long time, hundreds, and hundreds of years.  Another thing that you need to know is that some Japanese samurai swords can be worth a lot of money.  However, finding out the value of the samurai sword takes a lot of time, effort and research.  To make a long story short, this very nice lady wanted me to do whatever it took to figure out what that sword was worth, and so I did.  About six months later, we were able to sell that sword for $80,000 cash.  She was so excited when I told her about what we were going to get for that sword that I thought she was going to have a heart attack.  I know I had to sit her down and allow her to regain her stability before I could allow her to leave.  This is a very good story, but not entirely unusual.