During your initial call discuss with the appraiser your appraisal
needs, whether you
Preparing for an Appraisal
1. During your initial call
discuss with the appraiser your appraisal needs, whether you are updating or
obtaining insurance for your artwork, have a loss or damage claim, are donating
an object to a museum, non-profit organization, etc., are planning or settling
a family member’s estate, are planning to sell or purchase a work of art, are
settling a family division, or are needing research into authentication or
2. Be aware that for charitable donations (above $5,000),
estate taxation and use of artwork as income an appraisal is required by the
IRS. Find out the requirements of who is a Qualified Appraiser on the next tab.
3. Ask for the appraiser’s curriculum vitae. Note the
appraiser’s specialty areas, education and work history. Note if the appraiser
has education in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
(USPAP) and writes reports that conform to USPAP.
4. Ask about the appraiser’s fee structure. This may be an
hourly fee or a by-project fee. It is against the standards of USPAP and the
above appraisal societies’ codes of ethics to charge a percentage based upon
the value determination of the artwork.
5. For your first appraisal meeting, have on hand any
documents that specifically relate to the artwork that you are having
appraised. These may include purchase receipts, articles or book entries that
refer to the artwork, exhibition catalogues or other such exhibition history,
auction catalogue entries, family letters, old appraisals/estate
inventories/etc., conservation/restoration reports, names of family members
from whom the work descended, or any other pertinent information.
6. If the artwork is hanging, in a dark room, or otherwise
installed where it cannot be easily and fully inspected, place the artwork
somewhere that is stable and accessible to the appraiser. If the artwork is
larger than one person can handle in viewing all areas, consider having an art
handler on hand.
7. During the onsite visit the appraiser will inspect the
artwork, take complete measurements, take digital photographs, and review all
documentation. If the artwork is framed behind glass, the appraiser will
more than likely need to view it out of the frame. The appraiser may know how to
handle the removal of such work from the frame or may suggest meeting at a
frame shop where a framer can remove and reinstall the work for a small fee.
8. Appraisals are neither Certificates of Authenticity nor Certificates