How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Nora Your Own Question
Nora, Expert in Fine and Decorative Arts: Renaissance through Contemporary
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 12074
Experience:  Liberal Arts BA College Degree, Post-Graduate Christie's Education in London, 10 Yrs Art World Experience in NYC, President & Founder own Corporation. Member AOA & ISA USPAP Compliant through 2017
Type Your Antiques Question Here...
Nora is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a big (18 ft x 5 ft gh) beautiful bookcase custom

Customer Question

I have a big (18 ft long x 5 ft high) beautiful bookcase custom built for my grandfather in the 1940's. How can I find out what it is worth? Is there a name for this style (like art deco)? Is it a one-off or a recognizable pattern? What would be the best way to sell it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The bookcase is symmetrical with two square end sections and a raised center section. It is made of pine or birch and is painted avocado with an antique finish. The paint is peeling, so it could use refinishing. The end sections are deep enough to hold home theater equipment. The center section would be books only. Because it is 5 ft high, an LED TV could be placed on top and be at a comfortable viewing angle.
Expert:  Nora replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the request here. In general, custom built furniture pieces are one-off or unique pieces because they are designed for the particular living space and with the owner's style in mind. The style here is loosely based on Japanese aesthetics and can fall under the category of 'Hollywood Regency'. This would sell for as high as $800 - $1200 on today's market. I recommend listing this for sale on They do not charge a listing fee and they take a 20% commission when the item sells. They are great because they help arrange the shipping. While you have this listed for offer on you should simultaneously place it on Craigslist at the same asking price. On Craigs stipulate that this is pick-up only. That site is to free to list on and they do not take a commission on the sale.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Nora,
> This would sell for as high as $800 - $1200 on today's market
Does this estimate take into account my statement that the bookcase needs refinishing? What would the bookcase be worth if I had it refinished in the same avacado/antique finish? Or maybe it is best to leave the finishing to the purchaser. Because it is painted, the purchaser could paint it any color they want.Thank you for your detailed answer. I will close this out with an excellent rating. I have other questions which I will submit later.Jeff
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I mean I have other items which I will submit in another topic.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, when you offer a 10 min phone conversation for $35, does it have to be about this bookcase, or can I bring up other items? Is there any way to send you pictures prior to the phone conversation?
Expert:  Nora replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for your patience. The sale value is based on present condition. I personally only sell as-is and let the buyer do as they please with the item. In addition, painting, to do it right, is alot of labor and expense.....spare yourself that, honestly :)

I would be happy to help you with any items in the future, however I only assess one item or matched set per question here.

For the phone, on this thread, it would be to discuss the item in question. For another item, I would need to see new photos before the call.

When you post a new question, please add "For Nora" or "Hi Nora" at the beginning of your question so as to ensure that I will be the one who answers your question for you.

The only items I do not assess for value are clocks, coins, watches, sewing machines, swords and firearms.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Nora,I apologize for the long delay since your last reply, and I intend to give you a 5 star rating. My experience in the past is that once I give the rating I can no longer communicate with you, so that is why I have been holding off.In your last communication you said that you can only appraise or help me with one item at a time. My problem is that I have 22 boxes of books, many from the late 1800's or early 1900's, about 30 paintings and lithographs, lots of antique porcelain ware, and many other items. What I am looking for is quick advice on what to focus on selling, rather than a detailed appraisal of each item. What would be the most effective way to get you involved in this process?I live in San Francisco, so I can take stuff 5 items at a time for the free appraisals at Sotheby's, Bonhams, Heritage and new kid Michaans, but this is really time consuming.Thanks,