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Nora, Expert in Fine and Decorative Arts: Renaissance through Contemporary
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 12778
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 2019
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I have a 1939 Belter sofa that my family would like to sell.

Customer Question

I have a 1939 John Henry Belter sofa that my family would like to sell. Red velvet, tufted, beautiful grape wood-carving. Excellent condition. We need to how to price it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Nora replied 1 year ago.


I presume you mean 1839, and not 1939 ;)

While the Victorian furniture market is rather flat currently, especially compared to its sales market height a few decades ago, Belter is still a highly collectible name in the furniture world. The Recession also had a profound effect on sale prices. Prior to 2008, comparable Belter sofas sold for nearly $70,000 to $75,000 at auction. On today's auction market, they sell for $15,000 - $30,000.

Here is a link for you to one that sold in 2006 for $75,000:

Here is one that sold for $18,000 in 2016 against a $20,000 - $30,000 estimate

You may want to start at an asking price of $40,000 and be willing to negotiate. You can, however, ask any price you please on an item you own, they key factor is finding a buyer at your asking price. I do not recommend selling direct to a dealer, as they will offer 10% - 30% of the lowest perceived value. You will want to sell through a reputable auction house who handles fine furniture with a buying clientele for this era of furniture. Or you can try to sell it on your own online.

Bear in mind that an ‘asking price’ is one that has not been sold yet and a true sale value is based on actual past documented sale records.

Please take a moment to leave a rating by clicking the stars. If you require further assistance, no worries, the question thread does not close even after leaving a rating.


Expert:  Nora replied 1 year ago.


Just checking in to see if you viewed your answer and if you are seeking further assistance?

Please let me know.