Appraising antiquities

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    • #132921

      I have a feeling that I may be “over my head”, but I’ll ask anyway — does anyone have any knowledge of how to assist someone in appraising items which they donated to my institution? They are primarily pharmaceutical containers such as jars and boxes which are 75-100+ years old. Thanks. Cindy

    • #132926

      The donor wanting an appraisal needs to contact an antique dealer who actively sells the type of items the donor gave you to get an appraisal. If you explain that (1) you are not qualified because your museum doesn’t regularly buy and sell and the market changes almost daily, and (2) that the IRS frowns on appraisals provided by museums since the museum has a conflict of interest as the receiver of the goods, the donor will probably understand. You can provide a list of area antique dealers and appraisers with their specialties if you want to and have that information.

    • #132925

      Thanks, Lynne!

    • #132924

      The Appraisers Association of American (AAA), and other appraisal organizations have find-an-appraiser function.

    • #132923

      Conservators and Preservation Specialists that Professional Associate or Fellow are members of the American Institute of Conservation and Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) Professional Associate or Fellow are NOT allowed to appraise any cultural object(s). It’s against the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. Therefore, they should inform the clients and/or end-users that they should contact directly an appraisers from the American Society of Appraisers (ASA).

      Valeria Orlandini
      Senior Paper Conservator of Works of Art on Paper and Photographs
      AIC, Professional Associate
      Chevy Chase, MD

    • #132922

      Thanks Barbara and Valeria as well. I have informed the donor of your responses and suggestions. Cindy

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