Friday, August 24, 2012

WHEN AND WHEN NOT TO GRADE AND AUTHENTICATE ART, ANTIQUES AND OTHER COLLECTIBLES

GRADE AND AUTHENTICATE ART, ANTIQUES AND OTHER COLLECTIBLES 

PALM BEACH, Florida - Personal Property Appraisers research the history of prices things sold for to determine their fair market values. Inspections of collectible items usually reveal markings or other patterns that identify artists, manufacturers, series numbers and other important data crucial to establishing accurate valuations.

Any well-trained Personal Property Appraiser can grade an item, up to a point. When the values of art, antiques and other collections begin to approach astronomical proportions, a professional grader should be consulted. It is in these instances that the number of stops between poor and excellent begins increasing. Making a hundred-thousand dollar mistake doesn't make sound financial sense. Graders are expensive but, in many cases, invaluable at any price.

Here is an example of a grader's notes for a rare book. Personal Property Appraisers rarely delve this far into a book's condition. However, if that book presents itself as being worth from $1,000 - $100,000 depending on condition, a professional appraiser should advise the client to contact a grader of old books.

Contemporary treed calf, spines gilt extra, with gilt-stamped leather title and volume labels; leather worn at edges and moderately rubbed with joints cracking. Front pastedowns with private bookplates and signs that a plate was removed on front free endpaper (one vol. endpaper holed); impressions of old pencilled shelf numbers on title-pages (and one lightly inked old date). First two leaves of vol. III with upper margins stained and final leaf browned; some pages with a few spots of faint foxing, most clean and crisp.

Authenticating art, collectibles and memorabilia is more of a gray area. While there are respected Certificates of Authenticity to be found, the number of certifications that aren't worth the paper they are printed on are in no shortage.

As with grading, any well-trained Personal Property Appraiser can authenticate most items but once again, when a piece of artwork or an autograph has the potential to be worth thousands of dollars, why not bring in a third-party authenticator to be on the safe side?

Some third-party grading companies are Ace Authentic, Beckett Grading Services, Frameworth, Highland Mint, Icon Sports Memorabilia, James Spence Authentication, Major League Baseball, Mounted Memories, NFL Players Inc., Panini Authentic, Professional Sports Authenticators, PSA/DNA Authentication Services, Steiner Sports, Topps Collectibles, Tristar Authentic and Upper Deck Authenticated.

Some third-party authenticators are Ace Authentic, Beckett Grading Services, Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association, Grey Flannel, Highland Mint, Icon Sports Memorabilia, James Spence Authentication, Mounted Memories Authentication, MeiGray Group, Major League Baseball, Mounted Memories, NFL Players Inc., Panini Authentic, Professional Sports Authenticators, The Salvador Dali Society, Steiner Sports, Topps Collectibles, Tristar Authentic and Upper Deck Authenticated.

In addition to these companies, there are a number of art galleries that specialize in authenticating the work of a certain artist such as Peter Max, or a specific genre of art such as Russian Matryoshka.

As with any business venture, perform all due diligence before hiring any of the companies mentioned in this article. Our information age affords us the opportunity to investigate almost anyone through their product reviews and in discussion groups. Both our business and reputation at St. Lucie Appraisal Co. have benefitted greatly from our customers who took the time to review our services. Read reviews, write reviews and hire the best and most appropriate experts.

There is one caveat that should always be observed and that is never hire a Personal Property Appraiser, Authentication or Grading Service that has any past, present or potential future interest in the item. It presents a conflict, the IRS doesn't like it and, after all is said and done, you may not be pleased with the outcome either.

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Keywords for this article: antiques, art, authenticate, autograph, Certificate of Authenticity, COLLECTIBLES, fair market value, FLORIDA, grade, grading, MEMORABILIA, PERSONAL PROPERTY APPRAISER, sports
Revised 09-04-2012