Assessing Value

You have a work of art or antique and you want to know what it's worth.

Beware of trying to trying to determine the value of an item through an internet program. Internet programs can not evaluate the uniqueness of your item or the condition. For a formal valuation, an expert is required who can also check for flaws or damage, which greatly affects the final worth.

Hire a professional appraiser for a bona-fide appraisal of your art. Accredited appraisers have a strong background in art history, they understand the current market and art auctions, and know how to use research tools for an effective evaluation of your art.

Once you determine what kind of appraisal you need. Whether your purpose is insurance, estate, charitable donation, liquidation or equitable distribution, the value the appraiser gives you depends on the type of appraisal. An insurance appraisal states the current retail replacement value whereas one for a charitable donation gives the fair market value.

Contact either a dealer who deals in similar works, or a local Art or Antique trade association or an appraiser organisations to locate a credentialed appraiser. (The CINOA secretariat does not do appraisals and will suggest that you contact a CINOA affiliated trade association listed on this website)

You will probably be asked to submit good photographs or color transparencies and a description of the work including markings. Some appraisers can work from digital photos.

You should expect to receive documentation of your work of art and estimated value. Look for a detailed description including size, condition, markings, medium, year work was created and provenance (history of ownership) as well as a biography of the artist as well as auction records. Often, a complete appraisal contains these items.