8 Tips to Prepare for an Antiques Appraisal

July 28, 2020 Dobesh Appraisal

If you need an appraisal of antiques and decorative arts, Portland antiques appraiser Jerry L. Dobesh, ASA, of Dobesh Appraisal, can help.  Jerry has been active in the antiques business, full time, for over 40 years.  Jerry performs antiques appraisals of furniture, silver, porcelains, glass, firearms, and a wide range of personal property.  

What should I do to prepare for an antiques appraisal?

There are a number of things you can do that will make an antiques appraisal inspection easier, faster, and even sometimes better.

  • Have the items available to be examined.  If the items are wrapped up in boxes, it can save a good deal of time to unwrap them prior to the inspection.  Or if the items are in two or three locations, if it’s possible, to have them in one place will almost always save time.
  • Have adequate lighting available.  I have a flashlight, and other lights if need be, but a well-lit room is always helpful when possible.
  • Have all sides of the item available to inspect.  It’s usually not necessary to move each piece of furniture away from the wall, to inspect the back, when you’re appraising for the intended uses such as estate tax, or insurance coverage.  However, if it’s a loss claim, examining the whole piece of furniture from all sides is essential.  Or if you have a painting that needs to be valued, often times as much or more information about the work, the artist, and its condition can be learned by looking at the back of a work.
  • Have enough room to examine the pieces.  Occasionally, a piece is in the back of the closet, or in storage, with boxes or furniture situated in front of the item that needs to be seen.  It’s always helpful to be able to see the property, when possible.
  • Have any history of the item available.  Do you know who made the piece?  Do you know who the previous owners were, and where they came from? At times who owned the item and when it was acquired can aid significantly in identification, and at times can add significantly to the value.
  • Have any previous appraisals of the property available.  Earlier appraisals may have done much research about the item, the marks, its history, or perhaps steps taken in conservation.  Having earlier appraisals to review, even if 20 or 30 years old, can save time and be very helpful.
  • If you’re wanting an appraisal for insurance coverage, give a call to your insurance agent, and ask what they require from you.    
  • If it’s related to an estate, either for estate tax or for probate, or simply to divide things among heirs, speak with the attorney and tax advisor helping you with the process, get an understanding of what you need an appraiser to do for you in your specific situation.

When you want to know what your antiques are, what they are worth, and you want someone you can trust,  

Contact Jerry for a quote, or call.

One of his specialties is appraisals for estate tax reporting.  With these assignments, a wide variety of properties is encountered.  While most homes have the every-day fixtures of life, such as kitchen contents, and washer & dryer sets, what a person has acquired over a lifetime can include virtually anything.   Over the years, Jerry has been asked to value properties as varied as a gold medal presented by Abraham Lincoln, a chest from the early Spanish settlement in Florida, a bronze Chinese Gui that appeared to be from the 10th century, an original Crow war shirt from Montana, to a set of curtains from Hitler’s ‘Eagle’s Nest’ in Berchtesgaden.  It’s important to have a well-developed group of other experts to consult with when diverse and important items are encountered.  

Appraising is his only business.  He is not a dealer, and he does not sell estates.  With Dobesh Appraisal, you will receive professional objectivity without any conflict of interest.  His sole interest is to provide you with an accurate, well supported, and unbiased appraisal.  Jerry’s reports are USPAP compliant, and meet the 2020 IRS Qualified Appraiser/Qualified Appraisal requirements.

Most of Jerry’s antiques appraisal work takes place here in the Portland – Vancouver metro area, including all the neighboring towns and cities such as Gresham, Tigard, Hillsboro, Beaverton, and Battle Ground, Washington, on a regular basis. Jerry is happy to travel as necessary, and over the past 40 years, he has worked in nearly every state.  If you need a valuation of antiques in Joseph, Bend, Condon, Rogue River, or anywhere else in our State, give Jerry a call.  He is happy to come and see you.