Fine Art Appraisal and Consulting Services
Frequently Asked Questions
19th century Farmhouse in Mahantago Valley, OC, National Gallery of ArtI am not sure I need an Appraisal…Can I find out whether I need one before engaging an Appraiser?
From your telephone conversation with a professional appraiser, it might be clear that you do not need an appraisal. Or, the appraiser might come to your location for a minimum consultation fee to view your artwork and determine whether an appraisal is needed.
Can an Appraisal be done from photographs?
Ideally, under normal circumstances, an appraisal should not be done from photographs. There may be circumstances, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic, where inspection of the artwork is not possible. In such cases, good digital photographs as well as complete descriptive information regarding the work(s) of art including provenance, condition reports, must be provided to the appraiser in order to complete a sound appraisal report.
What information should I give the appraiser?
You should advise the appraiser of the purpose of your appraisal, i.e., for insurance coverage or claim, estate settlement or distribution, charitable donation, or for inventory/resale purposes. You should provide the appraiser with a description and quantity of the objects that you wish to have appraised.
How do I prepare for an Appraisal?
Gather information for the appraiser, including all documents you have relating to the works, e.g., sales receipts, provenance information, previous appraisal information, conservator's reports, exhibition catalogues. Works of art should be available for inspection and, if possible, removed from walls. It is preferred that fine original prints be inspected out of their frames, which can be arranged. The appraiser may have assistants available for large objects and collections, which would be pre-arranged.
Will I be provided with a contract?
You will receive a Request for Appraisal Letter of Agreement with an outline of the work to be conducted, an estimate of the time involved, and a request for a retainer.
What will the Appraisal Document include?
The Appraisal Report will be a formal, mutli-page typed and bound document, including detailed descriptions and photographs of each item, the names of the client and appraiser, the effective date of valuation, and value conclusion.
Robert Goodnough, RR-8, Painted AluminumAppraisers generally charge an hourly fee for on-site inspection, artist and market research and documentation of a complete appraisal report. Our hourly appraisal fee is $175. The total cost of an appraisal depends on the size and type of a collection. For large collections, assistants may be engaged with pre-arrangement. In addition, there are nominal fees to cover photography and word processing/printing costs and travel beyond the local area. Qualified appraisers have formal education in appraisal methodology, as well as knowledge of their field; in some circumstances, they may call on specialists for objects that are unusual or outside their field, for which fees are typically charged.
Verbal consultations can be arranged (see “Consultations” on Appraisals and Services page).