I’ve been appraising antiques and collectibles formally since 1996 when I was certified by the Certified Appraisers Guild of America. Certification involved intensive coursework and passing an examination. In 1999, I began taking further courses from International Society of Appraisers with a special concentration on Antiques and Residential contents. Their week-long courses (one in Hartford, another in Toronto and the other in Chicago), ending in examinations covering legal, ethical aspects of appraising in addition to appraisal theory, principles and methodology along with weeks’ worth of networking with classmates and instructors gave me the skills to perform professional appraisals for a number of purposes: Insurance, Estate Tax, Estate Equitable Distribution, Moving, Donation and more. I attend yearly ISA conferences. This year in Philadelphia I took in lectures on oriental rugs, toys, arts & crafts jewelry, art glass, jade, ivory, lacquer and samplers and needlework pictures in the 5-day conference.
I take appraising very seriously. My reports are multi-page with photographs and the fine points of the appraisal are spelled out; a complete work file is kept in our office for years.
My fees are on an hourly basis; never, never on a percentage of the value basis.