Antique Sewing Machine: How to Determine Its Value

Whether you inherited it from family, found it at an estate sale or are an avid collector, your antique sewing machine could be worth more than you think. Here are some starter tips to help determine your antique sewing machine value.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Age of the Antique Sewing Machine

The age of the sewing machine is the first indicator of value. The first working sewing machine was invented in the 1840s. Because of their historical importance, sewing machines from the mid to late 1800s are rare and almost always valuable.

Vintage sewing machines from the 1940s and 50s are also a hit since they’re often found in bright, retro colors. Sewing machines from the 1900s are not considered antique—although they make for fun interior décor.

Here’s the thing, most 20th-Century machines were made in the millions, and since they’re constructed out of metals, many survive the test of time. Unfortunately, this will bring down retail value. Some machine brands are rare, but the machine model itself is likely to be common under a number of names.

Antique Sewing Machine: How to Determine Its Value

Determine the Machine’s Brand

Determining the brand wil help you know the value of your sewing machine – and if it’s infact, an antique sewing machine. Here is a quick breakdown of the most popular machines of the 20th century and before!

  • Singer brand machines are among the most popular, but they are also the most expensive machines. Singer sewing machines tend to come a little cheaper nowadays since they were in such mass production in the 20th-century.
  • Willcox & Gibbs is a company that made machines starting in the founded in the 19th century for both industrial and domestic use! Since these are pre-20th century, they also retain a lot of value.
  • Wheeler & Wilson machines became famous for their ability to hem. One of their most sought after machines was capable of making 100 buttonholes per hour all the way back in 1860!
  • White is one of the most selling sewing machines in the United States, right behind Singer! They are usually less valueable due to their mass production.
Antique Sewing Machine: How to Determine Its Value

Condition of the Antique Sewing Machine

The condition of your antique sewing machine is important to collectors. Rusting, chipping and obvious broken parts will decrease the machine’s value.

After you’ve considered the age and condition of your sewing machine use eBay to research further. Online antique dealers can be another valuable resource. If you’ve looked online and haven’t found similar sewing machines, take your machine to an antique appraiser.

Knowing what determines your sewing machine value will help you avoid offers and appraisals that are too low or too good to be true.

Antique Sewing Machine: How to Determine Its Value

Keep Your Antique Sewing Machine Mint!

After you’ve found out more about your sewing machine, make sure you keep it in mint condition. For starters, you can store it in a temperature controlled storage unit with SecurCare Self Storage. By offering a variety of self-storage units in several sizes, we also offer some of the most requested features like fenced perimeters and security cameras. We continually strive to satisfy all of our tenants’ storage needs. Chat with us today and store your valuables tomorrow.


Find out what more antiques are worth on the blog:

This post was published on 9/19/2019. It was updated on 11/15/21.

35 thoughts on “Antique Sewing Machine: How to Determine Its Value”

    • Can try Seaford Sewing Center. Seaford Delaware. If that is not to far to drive They hav serviced my 221 and has old singers on display

      Reply
  1. I got an old hand crank beautiful sewing machine, and I can’t find out anything about it. It’s called a “flying dove”. Does anyone know if it’s special, rare, old, or valuable??

    Reply
  2. I was given a vintage sewing machine. It is brown in color. Made by Kenmore. Manufacturer Sears and Robuck. I have several numbers but not sure what one would be the serial number. Can send pictures, it is in what looks like orginal cabinet. Just want some information on maybe the year, and value. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Sears (Kenmore) sewing machines were not manufactured by Sears. They were manufactured by a few different manufacturers over the decades and were badged as Kenmore. The “serial” number is not necessarily the number you’ll need to identify the value; the model number is. Likely, yours starts with 117.### or perhaps 148.### and dates pre-1970. There are several Facebook groups for vintage sewing machines and at least two dedicated to Kenmore and White. Lots of helpful information is available in the groups.

      Reply
  3. I have a 1953 electric Singer sewing machine with all the attachments that were available. It is in a cabinet. Runs beautifully and there extra bobbins and needles. The lifht doesnt work but all threst of the machine purrs likr a kitten and sews very well. I would like to sell it. I would like to see ut in a good home. My mother got it new.

    Reply
  4. Has anyone ever heard of a Hartford so I machine before? When I did some research online they were made at the weed sewing machine company in Hartford Connecticut in the late 1800s. This company also made colt guns and bicycles. But I haven’t seen a Hartford anywhere online. I am not sure how to determine its value. I don’t think this company made a lot of sewing machines because they were also making other products.

    Reply
  5. We have an old or antique treadle sewing machine. It has a beautiful tiger wood cabinet with 3 drawers on both sides. My wife is wanting to sell it. I can’t find any information as to the brand. It say Improved Hasner on the machine. Can anyone help? Thank you.

    Reply
  6. I have an Edison that I can’t seem to find another picture or anything that matches whati have. The only edisonsewing machines I can find are the ones who look like singers black and some sparkly blue.

    Mine is a pinkish tan color made in Japan but the motor is Made in the USA.
    Its has a beautiful cabinet too with the option of foot petal or knee pressure to run. I opened it and found it was likely fully maintenance right before it was dropped back into its table. There’s also 2 boxes of additional feet for it as well. I just have zero idea what it might be worth believe it or not it still works. I just can’t find an Edison that looks like mine
    Any advice or appraisal anyone can offer me

    Reply
  7. My sewing machine is a pre WW11 , between 1939 and 1943. It’s a Singer sewing machine. And has been well taken care of. Looks brand new. A booklet came with it.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.