The value of an antique brass tray

An antique brass tray may have limited or substantial monetary value. The value of an antique brass tray depends on the brass used, design features, and provenance. Take any presumed antique to an expert for evaluation.

Time Frame

According to the U.S. Customs Office, antiques must be at least 100 years old. As of 2010, brass trays over 100 years old usually have a lower value than other kinds of antique trays, including porcelain.

Brass may be tested for type. According to Robert Henry Thurston, certain formulas help to date brass. Pinchbeck specifically attracts some antiques buyers. Christopher Pinchbeck, from whom the brass receives its name, marketed the alloy's resemblance to gold.

Identification and Retail Value

The ability to verify the brass used, the unique design, or the fabrication may provide more details. Antiques' value depends on multiple factors. Look for hallmarks or makers' marks. Gilt, coated with gold, or silver-plating often adds value to an antique brass tray.

Antique brass sold at recent auctions netted relatively modest prices. For instance, in 2009 at Boston's Skinner Auction House, a large Persian brass tray on a stand sold for £173. While in 2010, an Indian brass tray failed to net the estimated £162 to £227 bid, selling for only £96.


Take any antique to an expert to verify its characteristics. Never buy an antique without the opportunity to obtain independent expert verification.

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About the Author

Laura Lemay started writing in 1996. She has published articles on Luxist, Paw Nation, StyleList, Gadling, Urlesque, Asylum, BloggingStocks and other websites. Lemay also worked at "Ladies Home Journal" and "Institutional Investor." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Smith College and a Master of Arts in education from Virginia Tech.