How to find the best art appraiser
Finding a qualified art appraiser can be difficult. Art appraising is a specialized field of appraising. It is impossible to be an expert in all fields. If you are having an antique appraised, you should seek an appraiser who specializes in antiques. If you want art appraised, you seek an appraiser who specializes in art. American Art Appraisers is a source of art professionals who provide art appraisals.
Art is appraised for many reasons. The primary purpose is to update the value of their art for insurance purposes. Secondly, appraisals are undertaken for potential sales purposes or for estate settlement. Thirdly, when significant art is donated, the appraisal is necessary to determine value, and of course to satisfy Internal Revenue requirements. The purpose of the appraisal will determine the kind of appraisal required.
Selecting a appraiser depends on many factors. Since the work should be visually inspected by the appraiser, it is best to find an appraiser near you. Since you are seeking the most accurate appraisal possible, it is important to find the most qualified appraiser for your kind of art. An appraiser specializing in art with a specialty in the particular type of art is your best choice. Since the appraisal fee depends on both the rate and the hours expended, and expert may be able to complete an appraisal in a few hours whereby it may take a general appraiser a week to complete the appraisal.
The cost of an appraisal ranges from as low as $25 an hour to over $300 an hour. So selecting the right appraiser is not only a matter of the accuracy of the appraisal, but also the cost of the appraisal. It makes no sense to spend $600 appraising a $500 painting. In fact, in many cases, gallery appraisers will offer price evaluations at a rate less than a formal appraisal. Price evaluations may be sufficient for insurance purposes, whereas estate settlements and charitable donations always require a formal appraisal. Note also, since the cost of an appraisal depends on the time required, it is always wise to find an appraiser that specializes in the particular art to be appraised. An expert in antique Chinese brush painting may be able to perform an appraisal in an hour, whereas a general appraiser may require days.
Choosing an appraiser for charitable donation purposes deserves special attention since the Internal Revenue guidelines outline appraiser requirements, especially if the value of the donation is over $5000. The IRS requires what they call a "qualified" appraisal, and the appraiser must be qualified. Although many requirements and restrictions are outlined, the most significant is that the appraiser must be certified by a recognized appraisal organization. Thus, if you anticipate an appraisal of over $5000, a certified appraiser is necessary.
Before an appraisal is initiated the appraiser should provide you with their hourly rate, plus some estimate of the time required. If the appraiser cannot furnish you with such an estimate, it is suggests the appraiser does not have experience in this particular area of art. Some appraisers require a deposit with signed approval to pursue the appraisal, whereas others the process can be more informal.
and 20th Century American Art •
Pre-20th Century American Art