Appraisals are important legal documents intended to establish the value of property for a variety of purposes. These may include:


Insurance: To determine the Retail Replacement Value of an object in order to provide appropriate insurance coverage.

Damage and Loss: To determine the value of an object lost or damaged and/or the amount of any loss in value as a result of the damage.

Donations: To determine the Fair Market Value of an object given to an allowed organization or institution in order to establish the donor's permitted income tax deduction.

Estates: To determine the Fair Market Value of an object in connection with the preparation of estate tax returns, to assist in estate planning, and to aid in asset distribution.

Property Division: To determine the Fair Market Value of an object to aid in the equitable distribution of property jointly owned by couples, by business associates, or corporations changing ownership.

Financial: To determine the Fair Market Value of an object for asset management, loan collatarel and related financial and legal matters.

Informational and Market Related: To determine the Fair Market Value of an object in anticipation of potential sale. To determine the Fair Market Value of an object under consideration for purchase. To determine the Fair Market Value of an object simply to know what it is worth.


Properly prepared appraisals are individual written reports and are not simple lists of property with numbers attached. The specific content and format of each appraisal report varies according to the individual situation, but each appraisal should contain the following information (as given in the Appraisers Association of America's Elements of a Correctly Prepared Appraisal):

  • Name and Address of Client
  • Purpose of the Appraisal Intended use: Donation, Estate, Equitable Distribution, Insurance, Etc.
  • Type of Valuation Used Replacement Value, Fair Market Value, Marketable Cash Value, etc. and Definition.
  • Valuation Approach Used Cost Estimate Approach, Income Approach, Market Data Comparison Approach, etc
  • Market in which valuation is applied: most common market (place).
  • Market Analysis Generic market History and possible projections for future activity.
  • How objects were acquired - especially for IRS purposes.
  • Statement of Professional Qualifications of Appraisers. Curriculum Vitae.
  • Date of Preparation of Appraisal and date on which objects were viewed. Effective date of Appraisal.
  • Statement of physical inspection or method used in determining value. Any qualifications?
  • Statement of "disinterest" on the part of the Appraiser.
  • Statement that the Appraiser has not been "disqualified" by the IRS (for IRS Appraisals).
  • Statement of Assumptions and Limiting Conditions.
  • Statement of Fee Structure (Statement that the Appraisers fee is not contingent on appraised value of objects.)
  • Statement of belief in authenticity that the appraised object(s) correspond to description(s) listed in the Appraisal.
  • Clear division of appraisal when one or more than one appraiser is involved. Who did what? Inclusion of Curriculum Vitae of consulting appraiser.
  • Thorough description of appraised objects. Measurements and weights when applicable.
  • Brief biography of the artist when necessary.
  • Provenance (if available).
  • Exhibition and Publication History (if any).
  • Statement of condition of appraised objects.
  • Comparables and related analysis when necessary.
  • Firm statement of Value - not estimates, except when followed by detailed explanations of qualifications.
  • Signature of Appraiser(s) and Tax ID number(s) when appraisal is prepared for IRS purposes.
  • Statement of number of pages in appraisal


Personal property appraisers are not licensed and anyone may call himself an appraiser no matter what his qualifications or lack of them. It is therefore crucial to choose an accredited, certified appraiser, one qualified in the field of the object to be appraised and knowledgeable in the legal, financial, and technical requirements of the appraisal. Our practice is limited to appraisals of European and American art. For collections involving property in other fields or disciplines we work together with colleagues known to us who have equivalent expertise in their areas. We are pleased to recommend reliable appraisers for projects outside of our field, but in all cases encourage clients to seek appraisers who are members of one of the non-profit appraisal organizations that test and certify members and who require adherence to strict ethical standards. These include the Appraisers Association of America and the American Society of Appraisers.


We have been professional appraisers for over twenty-five years and have been active in the appraisal profession as an educator, author, and practitioner. Our appraisals conform to the standards of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) established by the Appraisal Foundation , as well as the technical, methodological, and ethical requirements of the Appraisers Association of America and the American Society of Appraisers. Our work has been recognized and accepted by the Internal Revenue Service, courts of law, lending institutions, insurance companies, museums, and governmental agencies and we have been privileged to undertake work for some of the most distinguished collectors and institutions in the country. We welcome your review of our Client List (coming soon) as well as our Curriculum Vitae.


All appraisal work is charged on an hourly or per diem basis based on the time spent in examining the property and the research time involved in the preparation of the appraisal report. The appraisal fee is in no way related to the value of the object of the value appraised.

We welcome your inquiry regarding

our APPRAISAL services.

For appraisals of individual items you may wish to include information concerning the work, together with dimensions and any relevant information, as well as a digital image (preferably in .jpg format). Except in special circumstances we do not undertake appraisals of items that we have not personally examined, but are pleased to review the material you submit without obligation or charge and suggest the best manner to proceed.