You know when you’re gifted a hand-me-down from a loved one and you’re supposed to be excited about it, but mostly just feel like it’s contributing to the clutter in your house? Well this particular round-up is a list of things you’re likely to inherit from your grandmother that you’ll definitely want to look into. Whether you decide to hang onto them because of their sentimental value or functionality, take a look at what some of these things are worth – you could rake in a fair sum if you’ve got some of the following that are in good condition. Take a look and see for yourself!
1. Cocktail Shakers
Considering what a big part cocktails played in people’s social lives at the time, it’s no wonder people got extra creative with their cocktail shakers in the early 20th century. From J.A. Henckels Zeppelin shakers and International Silverplate Lighthouse shakers in the ‘20s (which can be worth up to almost $24,000!) to Revere Manhattan shakers (valued at $800) and West Virginia Specialty Glass lady’s leg shakers (valued around $1500) in the ‘30s, companies got really creative with these vessels, so if you find one in the attic that’s in good condition, definitely do some research and see what it’s worth!
2. Hand Mixers
While we may have all seen some version of an old-fashioned egg beater and don’t think there’s anything special about them, that is not necessarily the case. A pre-20th century piece could earn you anywhere from $500-5,000! If you’ve got one that’s been in the family for several generations and is still accompanied by the original vessel (bowl or fruit jar) that it initially came with, in which to mix your batters, it could be worth some serious money!
3. Ball Mason Jars
Patented and produced by Landis Mason in the mid-to-late 19th century, mason jars were made in all sort of colors, with blue and clear being the most prevalent. Because of their ubiquity, finding Ball jars that are pink, purple, green or amber is much more of a challenge, resulting in them being worth far more than their blue or clear counterparts. If you find a vintage olive green Ball jar or it’s wire carrier in your attic, know that it could be worth $400-500!
Similarly, if you find an upside-down Ball mason jar, then you’re really in luck and need to thank your grandmother…they were only produced between 1900-1910 and can be worth up to $1000 since they’re so rare!
4. Tin Cookie Cutters
Similar to molds, you can find some cookie cutters that are still extremely valuable these days, sometimes hundreds or thousands of dollars! Copper, tin or aluminum cookie cutters can be good finds, and again, you’re looking for intricate designs that differ from standard cookie cutter sizes: so either really big or really small. Aside from the material, you should keep an eye out for cookie cutters with flat wooden backs, or with (painted) handles…if you’re lucky, you could find one dating back to 1850 or earlier! If you thought Grandma was a little nuts for holding onto a stash of cookie cutters, think again; “Hand in Heart” designs usually go for over $100 and can be worth as much as $1000 if they’re in great condition!
Similarly popular because of its durability and ability to withstand high temperatures – and its amazing color – Jadeite (a.k.a. Jade-ite) was produced during the 1930s, literally as a way to introduce more color and joy into people’s lives during the Great Depression. While many companies produced jadeite at one point, the top three companies were (and remain) McKee Glass Company, Jeannette Glass and Anchor Hocking Fire-King.
If you see any jadeite while you’re cleaning out your basement, look and see if there’s a manufacturer’s mark anywhere on the piece; McKee will have “McK” inside a circle, Jeannette will have a “J” inside a triangle, and Anchor Hocking pieces will have a “Fire-King” logo of some sort. Pro tip: if it’s truly vintage jadeite that was made before WWII when uranium was still used in manufacturing, it will glow under a black light! Depending on the pieces you find or were gifted, they could be worth anywhere from $25-150!
If your grandmother ever gifted you an old kettle, make sure you don’t write it off too quickly in favor of something newer. If it’s copper, brass or cast iron from the 19th or 20th centuries, it could be worth well over $200. During that period, with those materials, these items were built to last. They’re extremely durable and solid, so, while you would still need to double check, it’s likely that these 100-years-old (or more!) items would still be just as functional as they were when they were first crafted. Plus, they make stunning kitchen decor as well as being useful. Win-win!
A huge collector’s item that’s been around since 1915, vintage Pyrex dishes used to be made out of borosilicate, making them super durable and super adorable to boot, with gorgeous colors and detailing on each new line. Be warned: once you start collecting them, it’s extremely hard to stop. Many people find these vintage versions to be better than modern day Pyrex (which is instead made out of thermal resistance tempered glass) and take to scouring thrift shops, estate sales and the world wide web to get their hands on “one more piece” to complete their set. If you’ve been gifted a full set of mint condition Pyrex, that could be worth up to $500!
8. Cast Iron Cookware
Similar to the kettles you were gifted from grandma – you’ll want to hang on to any antique or vintage cast iron cookware you get from her as well. It’s just so, unbelievably durable. While you might want to avoid using any pieces that are cracked, if they’re in good condition, most cast iron pans are worth over $100 and they work just as well as any other, brand new cast iron. Some antique cast iron is even worth over $500 – we’d say grandma was pretty generous with her gifts!
So, which of these items do you have in your house?? Did you hang on to your gifts or did you decide to sell them to another loving home? You can’t really go wrong either way, just make sure you do your research and know what your vintage or antique items are really worth!