Many Lyman Allyn visitors inquire about appraisal services. Due to IRS regulations, the Museum cannot authenticate signatures, conduct appraisals, or place values on works of art. If you are in need of these services, you may want to try one of the following resources*:
Appraisers specialize in researching works of art and determining their value. They provide a written report that includes a detailed description of an object, information about the artist if known, and the object’s fair market value. There is a fee involved, but this appraisal can be used for insurance, trust, and tax purposes. To find an appraiser, visit the Appraisers Association of America website at www.appraisersassociation.org and click on Find An Appraiser. This site has appraisers listed by specialty (paintings, prints, ceramics, etc.) and by geographic area.
Here are local qualified appraisers you may wish to contact.
Auction houses buy and sell works of art by offering them up for bid at public sales. They typically offer free consultations with an appraiser, with no obligation to sell your object. These consultations are verbal rather than written. Auction houses often offer free information about an object, including a general value range (i.e. auction estimate), if you contact them by email with a digital image and any information you might have about the object (material, artists, date, dimensions, condition, etc.). Some auction houses you may want to contact include:
- Sotheby’s in New York City
- Christie’s in New York City
- Bonhams in New York City
- Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers in Boston
Antiques Roadshow is a PBS television series that tours the country and provides free appraisals of antiques and collectibles. Check their tour schedule at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow to see if they will be visiting your area this year.
Appraisal Events are offered by many local organizations and are similar to Antiques Roadshow. Try searching the Internet for “appraisal night” and “Connecticut,” for example, and you might find historical societies, senior centers, and realtors who are having appraisal events. There is usually a small fee to participate, but these events are frequently fundraisers for the organization that hosts them.
Consider Donating! After finding out more about you object, you might consider donating it to the Lyman Allyn. Objects accepted for the permanent collection are cared for in the long term so that many generations of visitors will be able to enjoy and appreciate it. If you have a special object that you would like to donate to the Museum, please contact Registrar and Assistant Curator Jane LeGrow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.443.2545 x2126.
*This list of resources does not constitute an endorsement by the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.