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When Martha Stewart devoted an article to antique Turkey red damask tablecloths, prices for Turkey red work soared. But just like other things that have gone out of style, the red damask that was acquired at those high prices is just generally worth far, far less now, although nobody wants to know that.*: Bigger is often better (although "too big" is its own worst problem); perfect is better; rare is better; gorgeous is better; unused condition is better; high quality is better and, often, older is better. as French, Czech, Madeira, Italian and English usually have better work than Chinese. Figural items often command more than florals but only to a collector who likes figurals.But old Chinese (pre-1930) is better than later Chinese. Rarer flowers command slightly more than common flowers such as roses or chrysanthemums.

Down deep inside, I am hoping that you also might learn enough about them to get hooked!

A great place to check the value an item is by searching ebay's "completed items" to see what prices similar things have realized.

(You can only use this feature if you are a registered ebay user.) Most likely, you will not be thrilled by the prices of things but it is a great barometer for current prices and/or to see what is in demand.

Do you want to know the date of your Vintage Vera tea towel, scarf, towel, or tablecloth?

Building on my infatuation with Vintage Vera Neumann textiles, I was recently trawling through The Vera Company blog and discovered an excellent post that shows all the Vera marks starting in 1958. (Does not include any tips on my #1 favorite method: Dinner and a movie.

tee hee.) Above: Vintage Vera tea towel – ripe summer peaches, from paddieridge on

Linens have always been the "lowest of the low" in the antiques world, they were "woman's work," household furnishings in the realm of housekeeping.

They have no particular value unless you have a buyer for them.

(a provenance from royalty or museum quality importance may be an exception, but not always.) My main advice would be to keep and use anything that attracts or bedazzles you or that may be particularly useful such as old towels for dust cloths and have a tag sale with the rest.

Value comes from rarity, condition, beauty and whether or not things are in demand.

Demand constantly changes but since 2008, mainstream trends are for things that look like Pottery Barn, hotel linens and items that are brand new.