If you’re a fan of Norman Rockwell’s iconic illustrations, you might be interested in collecting his commemorative plates. Not only are they beautiful to display, but they also hold a special place in American pop culture history. But with so many different plates out there, how do you know which ones are actually worth money? In this guide, we’ll help you identify which Norman Rockwell plates are valuable and how to find them.
Why Norman Rockwell Plates Are So Popular?
Norman Rockwell is known for his heartwarming and nostalgic illustrations that captured the essence of American life in the early to mid-20th century.
His artwork has been featured on everything from magazine covers to advertisements to commemorative plates. In fact, Rockwell himself designed a series of plates for the Bradford Exchange, a company that produces collectibles and memorabilia.
One reason why these plates are so popular is that they serve as a way to commemorate important moments and events in American history. For example, there are Rockwell plates that depict the American Bicentennial, the 1980 Winter Olympics, and even the 50th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.
But another reason why people collect these plates is simply because they’re beautiful. Rockwell’s artwork has a timeless quality to it that makes it appealing to people of all ages.
Whether you’re a fan of his Saturday Evening Post covers or his illustrations for children’s books, there’s a Rockwell plate out there for you.
Factors That Affect the Value of Norman Rockwell Plates
Before we dive into specific plates that are worth money, let’s first discuss the factors that affect their value. Understanding these factors will help you make more informed decisions when it comes to buying and selling Rockwell plates.
The condition of a plate is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to its value. Plates that are in pristine condition with no chips, cracks, or scratches are worth the most. On the other hand, plates that are damaged or have been repaired are worth significantly less.
The rarity of a plate also affects its value. Plates that were produced in limited quantities or as part of a special edition series are worth more than plates that were mass-produced. This is because collectors are willing to pay a premium for items that are harder to find.
The demand for a particular plate can also affect its value. If a plate is highly sought after by collectors, its value will increase. Conversely, if there is little demand for a plate, its value will decrease.
Finally, the age of a plate can also affect its value. Generally speaking, older plates are worth more than newer plates. This is because they are harder to find and often have historical significance.
Identifying Valuable Norman Rockwell Plates
Now that you know what factors affect the value of Rockwell plates, let’s talk about how to identify plates that are actually worth money. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Look for Authenticity
The first thing you should do when trying to identify valuable Rockwell plates is to make sure they’re authentic. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake Rockwell plates out there, so it’s important to do your research. Look for plates that have the Bradford Exchange logo on the back and are numbered with a certificate of authenticity. This will ensure that you’re getting a genuine Rockwell plate.
Tip #2: Know the Popular Series
Another way to identify valuable Rockwell plates is to know the popular series. The Bradford Exchange produced several series of Rockwell plates, including the “Rediscovered Women” series, the “Rockwell’s American Dream” series, and the “Light Campaign” series.
Each series has its own unique theme and artwork, and some are more valuable than others. For example, plates from the “Rediscovered Women” series featuring female characters from Rockwell’s paintings are highly sought after by collectors.
Tip #3: Check for Signatures
Some Rockwell plates are signed by the artist himself, which can significantly increase their value. However, it’s important to note that not all Rockwell plates were signed, so don’t let the absence of a signature deter you from purchasing a plate that meets the other criteria for value.
Tip #4: Research Completed Sales
One of the best ways to determine the value of a Rockwell plate is to research completed sales on auction sites like eBay. Look for plates that are similar to the one you’re interested in and see how much they sold for. This will give you a good idea of what the market value is for that particular plate.
Tip #5: Consult Price Guides
There are several price guides available for Rockwell plates that can help you determine their value. These guides are updated regularly and provide information on the current market value for different plates. Keep in mind that the prices listed in these guides are just estimates and may not reflect the actual value of a plate.
Where to Find Norman Rockwell Plates
Now that you know how to identify valuable Rockwell plates, the next step is to find them. Here are some places to look:
Online Marketplaces: Sites like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon often have a wide selection of Rockwell plates for sale.
Antique Stores: Many antique stores specialize in collectibles and may have a selection of Rockwell plates available.
Estate Sales: Estate sales are a great place to find vintage items, including Rockwell plates.
Garage Sales: You never know what you might find at a garage sale, so keep an eye out for Rockwell plates while you’re browsing.
How to Determine the Value of Norman Rockwell Plates
Once you’ve found a Rockwell plate that you’re interested in, the next step is to determine its value. Here are some ways to do that:
Research Completed Sales: As mentioned earlier, researching completed sales on auction sites is a good way to determine a plate’s value.
Consult Price Guides: Look up the plate in a price guide to get an estimate of its value.
Seek Professional Appraisals: If you’re unsure about the value of a plate, you can seek the advice of a professional appraiser. They will be able to provide an accurate assessment of the plate’s value.
Norman Rockwell plates are not only beautiful to display, but they also hold a special place in American pop culture history. By understanding the factors that affect their value and knowing how to identify valuable plates, you can start your own collection or sell plates that you no longer need. Remember to always do your research and consult with experts when necessary. Happy collecting!