1 800-884-3254


There can be no doubt that when a single artwork  or a collection needs appraisal (which it does about every 3-5 years) there is only one way it should be done for true credibility. That is by retaining a professional, accredited appraiser.It is even better to use one who is totally disinterested–that is, does not buy, sell or broker art. That’s not so easy because I am one of the few who made the gutsy decision decades ago to pass up the profits from buying and selling art to be ONLY an appraiser.

Certification is granted by The American Society of Appraisers (www.appraisers.org), the Appraisers Association of America (www.appraisersassoc.org) and the International Society of Appraisers (www.isa-appraisers.org). I have listed them in the order of my opinions of them. Other so-called “appraisal societies” are just that, wanna-bes. There is much more about the good and bad societies in my forthcoming Artful Dodgers: Fraud and Foolishness in the Artr Market.

With today’s world being what it is, the Association of Online Appraisers (of which I am a member) is also a good option if the art is not available (burned up), of insufficient value to warrent the expense of flying an appraiser in from somewhere else, or the logistics just don’t add up.

So what is laudible about these societies and why can you trust their accredited members? They require that each appraiser take courses in and pass a test in The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice – USPAP. If an appraiser does not practice in compliance with USPAP, you don’t want their services. Now, it should also be noted that since I do a fairly large volume of appraisal reviews, I all-to-often find that an accredited member of one of the above societies states their report is in conformity with USPAP, when in reality it is not. In my book I discuss one such review that demonstrated quite clearly that the appraiser was guilty of appraisal fraud.

The greatest problem, however, is that most art dealers believe they can do appraisals and what they turn out falls far short of the requirements of USPAP. It may also represent a conflict of interest because, making their money by selling art, they certainly are not disinterested.

If you have any questions at all about the appraisal process, what you should expect from an art appraiser, want a review of an appraisal you have had done or want to check out anything an appraiser has told you, you know what to do.

CALL ME: 1-800-884-3254