Friday, August 19, 2011


WEST PALM BEACH, Florida - An essential part of appraising an item is establishing provenance and then researching what I've found. What's particularly enjoyable is speaking to former owners or sellers of  unique pieces of art, transactions that took place years ago, about where they acquired them, details about the artists and any other pertinent and interesting info.

Collectibles and antiques have similar histories that can also prove valuable to an appraiser. The television show "Storage Wars" has illustrated how valuable people's personal property can be. Here in Florida, in the Miami to West Palm Beach corridor in particular - where the wealthy have gathered for generations - investigating items for an appraisal can be an adventure. But what has all of this fun stuff  to do with appraising the value of items for financing, insurance, donations, estates, bankruptcy, divorce, guardianships, purchase, sale or what have you?

My correspondences with former owners, galleries, or tradesmen associated with an item sometimes casts a harsh light on the subject. While it's great to learn that a sculpture once belonged to royalty, further enhancing the item's value, it is an infinitely greater feeling to discover that the piece - presumed to be valuable - was created by an assembly line operation back in the 1920s and not worth a fraction of what a seller is asking for it.

Provenance is essential to the proper appraisal of high-end sports memorabilia, rare stamps and coins, musical instruments, rare classic automobiles as well as art because things aren't always exactly what they seem. Being on the short end of a deal can prove to be an expensive mistake as buyers at the recent "Items Seized From Bernie Madoff Auctions" have learned. Online buyers be similarly aware of the scams galore out there in cyberspace. And for those who have purchased art while on cruises, I need go no further.

If a piece of artwork or other valuable item is located in South Florida, rely on a top-notch appraisal firm that is licensed by the State of Florida Department of Financial Services - an appraisal firm that does it the right way.


Our service area includes St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, Brevard, Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties. Cities include Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hollywood, Hallandale, Miami, Opa Locka, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall and Homestead.

Diminished Value Appraisals throughout Florida including, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pensacola, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Clearwater, Kissimmee, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Gainsville, Bradenton, Titusville, Panama City, Bonita Springs, Naples, St. Petersburg and Tallahassee.

Our rates for services are as follows:

Auto Appraisals (Donations, Bankruptcy, Divorce, Insurance Disputes) $125.00

Stated Value Appraisals (Antique & Classic Cars, Street Rods, Motorcycles, RVs, Trucks) $175.00

Diminished Value Appraisals (Determines how much less your car is worth after accident repairs) $225.00

Personal Property Appraisals (Contents, Collectibles, Art, Antiques) $225.00

All other services and additional time when necessary  $75/Hr.

You may obtain appraisals for Charitable Donation Tax Credits, Collateral, Damage Claims, Equitable Distribution, Bankruptcy, Estates, Insurance Stated Value, Purchase & Sale and Diminished Value.

Appraisals of Personal Property, Art, Boats, Classic & Custom Autos, Collectibles and Memorabilia, Electronics, Machinery, Motorcycles & Choppers, Furnishings, RVs, Trucks & Heavy Equipment. Business Valuations specializing in all types of small businesses.

The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400


Keywords for this article: antiques, APPRAISAL, APPRAISER, art, bankruptcy, COLLECTIBLES, divorce, donations, estate, finance, FLORIDA, insurance, Miami, PERSONAL PROPERTY, provenance, purchase, sale, West Palm Beach
Revised 09-04-2012