should I have some antiques appraised?

ailene54February 11, 2012

Hi, When I had to break up my grandmother's home, I wasn't able to part with many of her treasures when I was offered so little for them, so I stored them in my basement/garage till I moved 6 years ago. Having my heart set on using her things with the help of a decorator incorperated her things with new furniture for a traditional living room and diningroom. In the process of getting her things into working order I found out my brass table clock was a Jappe, made in the late 1800's. I have water color paitings from the early 1900's by a French artists, with the original frames, and glass, which because of their odd sizes was told the frames by hemself was worth thousands. I never had anything appraised, but am now thinking I should. I have so many little things, including clay statues, and vases that I have always treasured, but now wonder if they are true treasures. Does anyone here know how I can go about finding an appraiser, I live on Long Island.



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Just look in the yellow pages for an appraiser....or find an upscale antiques shop and ask them for advice.
BUT.....why do you want those things appraised? What would you do differently if you discover that painting is an original Degas? Or if you have a statue that is a long retired Royal Daulton figurine?
Would you sell it? Pack it away and not use it? Or continue to enjoy it?
Appraisals for many small things don't come cheap. Perhaps what you need is a friend or perhaps a knowlegable dealer to come and tell you what's worth more investigation and what is a pretty little $100 trinket?
Think why you want an appraisal done....because putting a $$ value on many things won't be cheap!
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 2:35PM
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Linda thanks for answering! The reason I'm thinking of the appraisal is in case anything happens to these items which could never be replaced, but I also relaize they are what makes my home so unique. I pay so much for house insurance, and realize without proff of their value I would get nothing for these items.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Good properly insure them. That means you will have to have them "scheduled" as fine art.....and depending on what sort of policy you have, will need an appraisal and to pay extra premium. I did that for a lot of years....then decided to just to take my chances with the value of my household furnishings.
Before you commit to having stuff appraised, check with your insurance carrier. I believe you insurance will pay a percentage of the value of your house on the contents. Some carriers will allow "appraisal after the fact"....that is you need to carefully document what you have, not necessarily with dollar amounts, but with good descriptions and pictures and file that in your safe deposit box. If you suffer a loss, take the pictures and descriptions and make a claim. They employ experts to determine worth. so even if you had it appraised, they would double check before paying.....exceptions of course are things like jewelry and gem stones.
But check the cost of the insurance before you pay for an appraisal.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 4:27PM
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Linda that is good advice, thanks. I'm going to give my insurance company a call this week. What brought this up is one of the paintings I have is by Auguste Bouvier in it's original frame, he painted in the late 1800's. Some of his paintings are in museums, others have been sold at auctions, recently one of his paintings went for 30,000 (not in original frame). When I read this, I realized the value of some of the "treasures" I saved of my grandmother's, and how if anything happened to them I wouldn't be able to replace them with anything comperable without insurance. I guess I'm also becoming more interested in the value of her treasures which I was offered so little for when I had to break up her home, that's when I decided to store things in my basement and garage till I could hopefuly use them some day.

Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 11:04PM
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If you have $30,000 art, by all means get a fine art policy!!...but I would think again about things like the clock....
But you either need to do some home work your self or get someone to give you a "that looks like it might be quite valuable" look through.
But the first place to start is your insurance company.....and know that every company doesn' have the same parameters.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 12:15AM
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I will call my insurance company and check out several things. I don't want to pay a fortune for insurance, but also want to know the value of some of these items in case anything ever happens. It started out of curiousity that I looked up the artist. The girl in the paiting is beautiful but has a hard look to her. I found out thru research that this was either his wife or daughter. I will find out the cost of insurance, with a possible rider on some of these items, and also will find out if I take pictures if this will work too. I know I have replacement value on my furniture, as we update the kitchen we were talking about updating the insurance, which brought up the topic of my grandmother's things.

Thanks again for your help, it is appreciated,

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 12:49AM
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If I inherited a painting worth $30,000, or even $100,000, I would not want to pay to insure it. It cost me nothing, and if I were to lose it, I wouldn't replace it.

Nor would I keep it just because someone else thinks it's valuable or fine art or whatever. If I didn't love it myself, love looking at it and everything about it, I would sell it.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 6:58PM
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