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Are These 20 Valuable Items Collecting Dust In Your Attic?

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Tue, Jan 28, 2020

valuable item in attic

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to clean out your attic or garage, you may be rewarded with more than just newfound space. Some of the items stored away in the corners of your attic may be valuable to collectors. Check out this list of valuable items that may be hiding out in your attic or garage.

  1. Old Typewriters. Do you have a mid-century Royal, Hermes, Remington, or Smith-Corona typewriter stored in your attic or garage? Collectors are looking for these to display and use. Some collectors may pay a few hundred for one depending on its condition.
  2. Pyrex Dishes. Older Pyrex dishes, including bowls, teapots, and casserole dishes, are valued for their colorful, intricate designs. Plus, they're still useful in the kitchen. A single Pyrex "Lucky in Love" dish with a design featuring hearts and four-leaf clovers sold for $4,000 in 2015 on eBay.
  3. Wristwatches. Old wristwatches that have run down have a way of ending up in jewelry boxes. Focus on finding men's watches made of gold that need to be hand-wound. Extra features on a watch, like a chronograph, jewels, days of the week, and date, can increase its value.
  4. Old Postcards. Check your boxes for old black-and-white postcards featuring ocean liners, biplanes, famous bridges, old hotels, and exotic locales. You may have one that's been passed down through your family and is now valuable to collectors.
  5. First-Edition Books. Do you have any first-edition books by famous authors hiding in your attic? A first edition of Ulysses by James Joyce is worth about $355,000 today.
  6. Vintage Christmas Ornaments. Check your box of Christmas tree ornaments. Ornaments in the shapes of animals, people, or fruit are especially valuable to collectors. One particular vintage glass Puss in Boots ornament can be worth from $800 to $1,000, for instance.
  7. Baseball Cards. The player and year on a baseball card are two things that determine its value. A Mickey Mantle card from 1952 is valued at $3.5 million. Grand slam!
  8. Antique Tools. Antique tools with handles made of ivory or with engraved casting are valuable to collectors. As an example, a cornice molding plane made in the 1730s by Cesar Chelor was sold for close to $28,000 at one auction. Some of these tools are valuable pieces of history.
  9. Old Perfume Bottles. Do you have some old perfume bottles that could be works of art? Perfume bottles made by Tiffany and Thomas Webb & Sons are particularly in demand.
  10. Vinyl Records. With everyone streaming music these days, vinyl records are becoming more valuable to collectors of all kinds. An album by the Beatles or Bob Dylan may be worth as much as $15,000 depending on the particular record and its condition.
  11. War Memorabilia. If you have memorabilia from World War I or World War II, it could be valuable. Medals, coins, photos, and military clothing items can all have special value to a collector depending on their condition.
  12. An American Girl Doll. One of the first American Girl dolls, Samantha, is a valuable find in any attic or garage. If your doll has her original clothing and is in good condition, it could be worth between $600 and $3,300.
  13. Old Coins. If you find a bag of old coins, pay close attention to the dates on them. A 1943 Lincoln copper penny is worth $10,000 or more. That's a big return on a penny! Coins with design errors can also be very valuable.
  14. Cookbooks. Do you have an old cookbook that belonged to your grandma or great-grandma? If you can part with it, it may be valuable. Cookbooks that are out of print are especially attractive to collectors for their language and unique images. A first edition of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking volumes one and two can go for $9,500.
  15. Video Games. Check your boxes for old video games made by Atari or Nintendo. One particularly rare, unopened Nintendo video cartridge sold for $40,000 in 2017.
  16. Vintage Sneakers. A pair of Air Jordan sneakers made in the 1980s can have a value of hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars to a collector. Check for unworn sneakers from the 1980s to see if you can cash in on your old footwear.
  17. Old Cookie Jars. Check your boxes for old, painted cookie jars made to look like famous cartoon/fairy tale characters, teddy bears, dolls, or houses. Jars from the Abingdon collection are especially valued among collectors.
  18. A Vintage Lamp. A vintage lamp made by Handel, Pairpoint, or Fulper can be a valuable find. This is true even if you only have the base and not a shade for it. Lamps made by these manufacturers can be worth up to $45,000.
  19. Comic Books. Look out for comics that introduce famous characters. Did you know that a comic book with Superman on the cover for just the second time in history has sold for as much as $188,000? Comic books from the 1930s and 1940s are in demand as well.
  20. Trunks. Check your attic for an old-fashioned wooden trunk. Trunks with a domed-top design are especially valuable. If you have the keys to the trunk's lock, it's even better! Trunks made by Louis Vuitton, Maier, and Goyard can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

I hope you find a treasure or two in your attic. Thanks for reading.-Alan

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