Real Silk

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Frequently Asked Questions...

How much might this old Kimono be worth?

I have an old Kimono that my mom bought many years ago (this Kimono is from the 60's roughly), 100% real silk and has long sleeves on it.

If I were to sell it, how much might it be worth?


Best Answer...

Answer:

It would help to see a picture of it and to know what kind of condition it's in. There are several things that influence the value or price of a kimono:

- Age: Kimono that are quite new OR old enough to be antiques are usually more expensive than kimono that are older (say, before the 70s) but not old enough to be antiques.
- Material: Silk is usually more expensive than other fabrics.
- Formality of kimono: More formal kimono are usually more expensive than less-formal kimono. From the sounds of it you have a furisode, which is quite formal.
- Condition: But here's the big one, the thing that can outweigh the Material and Age categories...unless the kimono is an antique or there is something else very special about it, a kimono that is in unwearable condition will usually sell for MUCH less than a kimono in wearable condition, and a kimono with a few stains or snags or discolored areas will usually sell for less than one with fewer or no stains, snags, etc.
- Specialness: Kimono worn by regular, everyday people are very easy to find. Kimono worn by geisha or kabuki actors are much more rare. It's pretty much guaranteed that a kimono once worn by a geisha will sell for hundreds of dollars even if it is in horrible condition, just because it's so rare for them to wind up on the market (particularly any market accessible to Westerners).

A typical price range for furisode in the second-hand kimono market today is usually between $75 and $300 USD. Most fall in the $100-200 range. Sometimes you may find some for less than $75 or more than $300, but there is usually something special about them (e.g. it's in REALLY bad condition, it's an antique, it's an authentic maiko's hikizuri). However, without seeing any pictures, it's pretty tough to know what a reasonable price for your kimono would be. And trust me, experiences kimono buyers might not be trained appraisers, but after a while they develop a good eye for different kinds of kimono and what's a steal, a reasonable price, or a price that's way too high for a particular item.

ETA: If you can post some pictures to someplace like Flickr, Photobucket, or ImageShack you could post the links here and I could try to give you a better idea of a reasonable price range for your kimono. If you don't do that and want to try diving right into selling it, please spend some time looking at the reputable kimono sellers like Ichiroya or Yamatoku to see how they display the kimono and describe the size and damage (Ichiroya in particular has an excellent system for describing damage. Most kimono-buyers want to see at LEAST two pictures of the kimono: One from the back with the kimono opened so they can see the pattern, and from the front with the kimono open so they can see the condition of the lining. For people who want to hang a kimono on the wall, the condition of the lining isn't so important, but for folks who want to wear their kimono (and many do) it's important to keep in mind that bad stains in the lining can be visible when a kimono is worn. Other good pictures to include would be a picture from the front with the kimono closed (so people have an idea of what it would look like worn), close-ups of the pattern, and close-ups of any damage (preferably with some small item like a ruler or a person's fingertip to give an idea of how big the damaged area is). If you have the time to make a diagram showing where the damaged parts are, that can also be very valuable to many buyers. You will also want to provide measurements such as the height, the length from the end of one sleeve to the end of the other, and the length of the hem.