Do you have a hidden treasure? Find out by getting an appraisal, which will tell you more about an object and its origins.

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An auction house will often give a free verbal appraisal if you’re interested in having the auction house sell the item (it typically takes a 10 to 25 percent cut). Independent appraisers offer written estimates and charge $75 to $250 an hour. A good appraiser will have a list of clients she has worked with (check references) and be certified by an accredited association. To find a pro, visit

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