Why do you need an appraiser?

For the purpose of insuring art, antiques, and household contents; estate valuation; inventory documentation; damage claims; damage claim inspections; verbal value estimate.

What goes into an appraisal?

As an appraisal specialist I look at these factors:

Authenticity is determined by an evaluation of specific identifying characteristics to an item. Is it true to the period? Early American, Victorian, Deco, what century, etc.? What is the country of origin? America, Britain, Europe, Asia, etc. Of what materials is the item made? – Wood, stone, metal, or other. Condition, are there cracks, breaks, warping, stains, replaced parts, marriages or none? What is the patina and age of item? What is the quality of craftsmanship? Is the piece handcrafted, machine made, carved or painted, and what is the nature of the design? Are there any identifying marks or signatures right and true or fake or forged ? Are there any other comparisons related to that item that could establish values as part of the equation to determine value. Each of these individual characteristics will affect value. Without a detailed description, an antique appraisal will have little use.

What qualifies one to appraise?

Formal education embracing appraisal standards, which consist of appraisal theory, principles, procedures, ethics, and the law, are essential. Experience is also a essential part of appraising.

What should you expect for your money?

You should receive the services of an educated appraisal expert who will provide you with a formally written and descriptive report which the appraiser should be willing to defend in court. Digital or printed photos can support the appraisal as well as provenance or history of an antique or collection. It is not ethical to charge a fee based on a percentage or contingency or upon outcome. The fee should be hourly or contracted.

Skipping internet appraisals? Yes

Antique appraisers agree that the Internet is generally not a good place to obtain accurate valuations. A good antique appraiser will need to see and handle a piece to determine its true value. There are several websites where you can do research on your own. A true antique appraisal is a legal document. Antique appraisal is an art and generally performed by an appraiser using “years of experience” and a “trained eye”. Don’t expect an appraiser (blinded in an electronic world) to be able to provide you with anything more than an estimate. Gain the essential information you need with professional antique appraisal services.

Types of items that we can appraise

  • Antiques and decorative arts of all sorts
  • Asian and Oriental
  • Antique Fishing Tackle
  • Architectural Antiques
  • Art Deco, Art Nouveau Mission Era
  • Books and Historical paper emphera
  • China and Pottery
  • Clocks and Watches
  • Dolls and Toys
  • Fine Art and Sculpture
  • Furniture period or crafted
  • Guns and Weapons
  • Silver, Coins, and Estate Jewelry
  • Oriental Rugs
  • Old Photos
  • Paintings
  • Silver, Coins, and Estate Jewelry
  • Silver, Coins, and Jewelry
  • Silver and Sterling Flatware
  • Musical instruments
  • Native American items
  • Vintage Advertising


Brian W. Curtis Antiques and Fine Arts appraisals are not “off the cuff” appraisals, but are detailed, thoroughly researched appraisals that consist of using (a) Printed Media Research, (b) Internet Research, (c) Consultation with other professional appraisers, auction houses and experts in the field and (e ) Evaluation by years of experiences having owned a shop and selling antique shows across the country. That gives me a good sense and balance to the values in the market and what it bears for the price of antiques.

My appraisal portfolio consists of a detailed analysis of each object being appraised, antique or not, Each piece is given an evaluation as to its general age, type of material, finish, and overall condition, noting any specifics that relate to a piece.