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Buying a Dresden

What will it cost?


Buying a Dresden
Collection of Jerry and Darla Arnold

So you’ve read all of the information, studied photos and books and you are ready to purchase your first Dresden ornament. The big question? How much should you expect to pay?

Unfortunately, there are many variables to consider. If the ornament is in an auction, price will depend upon how many interested bidders there might be. Bidders set the price. At an antique market or show, the seller fixes the price. There can be a tremendous variation in such situations. In the end, price comes down to what you as a collector are willing to pay.

All buyers also need to consider condition and rarity. Obviously, a rare ornament style in mint condition is going to fetch a high price. But stick to your guns. Don’t bid higher than you are willing to pay. Pass on that beautiful piece in the antique showcase.

Seasoned collectors can drive an ornament’s price in an auction setting. A collector might have many ornaments in their collection already and be unwilling to bid on more common styles, focusing instead on the more rate items that they don’t have. Once an individual has built a nice collection, he might become really fussy about condition. That’s not surprising. If one is going to pay such a high price, the ornament better have all of its parts; the paint should all be there; and there should be no breaks, repairs or creases. Ah, the mint ornament. Hard to find these!

Rarity isn’t the only thing though. After all, Seibnitz pieces seem to be even more rare than Dresdens and their prices are not considered higher. Sometimes there is a certain amount of prestige and competitiveness among collectors. When two collectors are determined to possess the same ornament, auction records might be set.

Again, prices depend on rarity, size and most importantly condition.

Shown is a tree filled with Dresden collection of Jerry and Darla Arnold

Using a Dresden elephant ornament as an example, here are some pricing guidelines to consider.

Elephant Flat, gilded: $50-100
Single embossed side: $75-125
Double-Sided: $125-175
3D, 2” size: $300-350
3D, 3” size: $450-600
3D, 3” with fancy tack: $600-900
3D, 3” with rider or howdah: $1250-1800
3D, pulling a cart: $2,000 +
The more additions there are to the piece, the higher the price!

Also see:
Types of Dresdens

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