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Whether you're a casual collector or a serious enthusiast, a basic understanding of antique prices can come in handy.
Several popular price guides for antiques offer insight into the value of everything from fine silver to furniture.
Since printed price guides tend to become dated after a couple of years, many collectors now rely on online price guides to help assess the value of antiques.
Schroeder's also includes profiles of many of the companies that manufactured antique items, helping you understand the history of your piece.
There's also a section devoted to the future of the antiques market, detailing predictions for items that are likely to increase in value.
Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles bills itself as "America's most authoritative antiques annual." The authors of this guide collect data from antique auctions on items in over 700 different categories.
However, this guide offers a great insight into the international antiques market and includes more than 8,000 photographs to help you identify your treasures.
With almost 650 pages, this book weighs in at over four pounds in hardcover, but it still may be a good resource to accompany you on shopping trips.