Over a period of time, there have been many inquiries and questions regarding quilt appraisal In order to simplify things for the reader, and hopefully answer your questions without delay, I have attempted to answer some of the more common questions I have received here. If after reading these FAQs and answers here, you still have questions, or need help in locating an appraiser near you, please email Deborah Roberts.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST!
Q: What is my quilt worth?
When determining value for a written appraisal several factors are considered: Workmanship, condition, size, age, rarity, pattern or motif(s), date, fame of maker (or provenance). It is also important that the appraiser know the purpose of the appraisal. Is it for insurance purposes (for coverage or for a claim), sale or resale, equitable division of property, IRS obligation (probate, estate, gift tax, or charitable contribution)? The value of your quilt may differ depending upon the reason for the appraisal.
Q: Do I need to have a written appraisal?
A: It depends upon your reason for wanting to know the value. A written appraisal is required by insurance companies, some show managers and the IRS to establish a value in the event of loss or for donation purposes.
In some cases, when a client feels they just want an idea of what their quilt may be worth, at times a knowledgeable appraiser may provide an oral estimate or value estimate of the quilt in question. While a value estimate might be provided from a description and detailed photograph, it is impossible to determine a quilt's real value without examining the quilt first hand. A value estimate is not a legal appraisal and cannot be used for insurance or IRS purposes. Its only place is to give the owner some idea of what their quilt might be worth and has no benefit other than to supply knowledge.
Q: What if I have a loss and do not have an appraisal?
A: In this or similar unfortunate situations, it is possible to do what is known as an, After-the-Fact Appraisal. In this situation, a description and image of the item lost are beneficial. In a case like this, one would receive an estimate of value as the actual piece was not seen by the appraiser.
Q: What does the appraisal consist of?
A: One should receive a formally written report of the value of their property. At the very least, it should include a complete and accurate description of the quilt, a defined value, with the methodology used in selecting the value; the purpose of the appraisal, and the signature of the appraiser.
DO NOT ACCEPT the appraisal if it is unsigned, does not include a description of the property, or the fee is based on contingency (percent of value), or the appraiser attempts to appraise your quilt from a photograph.
Q: Is is okay to let my quilt dealer appraise my quilt?
The answer to this question depends upon the dealer. A reputable dealer/appraiser will not appraise a quilt that they are interested in purchasing, or have any vested interest in. This would be a conflict of interest. If a situation occurs where the appraiser or dealer is interested in purchasing your quilt, an ethical appraiser will refer you to a colleague for the appraisal.
Q: How do I find a knowledgeable and qualified appraiser?
A: Anyone can appraise. There is no licensing or certification required of appraisers at this time, and until there is legislation passed to protect the public from unqualified appraisers, it is up to you the consumer to decide whether the appraiser you choose is qualified. When attempting to select an appraiser, here are some questions you should ask:
Hopefully this has helped answer some questions you may have regarding quilt appraisal, if not, please contact me.