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Professional, Unbiased Eyes

True Story:

A gentleman here in Phoenix, Arizona viewed online auction offerings to be sold in California.

Condition reports for three of the items were not available until the day of the sale.

Nancy Martin, ASA, seasoned appraiser of antiques and decorative arts, was employed to view the property for description accuracy, condition observations and qualitative commentary.

  • Measurements were not accurate in all cases
  • Condition issues caused two of four items to be ruled out for potential purchase
  • Qualitative issues forced the elimination of the third item for potential acquisition
  • Martin’s experience guided the degree of bidding on the remaining item

Conclusion:  Martin’s fee was money well spent, benefiting hugely the potential purchaser.

A condition report from auction house arrived the morning of the sale, at which time the house representative wrote “All 3 are in overall good condition.”

Nancy Martin, ASA Antiques & Decorative Arts

To locate designated ASA appraisers in other parts of the country, American Society of Appraisers.


A Day in the Life . . .

Assignment: Help lessen a hoarder’s “Art” Collection

One room at a time, identify reproductions versus original art or art with significant value.

Help the hoarder to recognize reproductions with respect to future purchases.

Attach a single color of post it to all reproductions.

Isolate tourist-oriented art

Isolate amateur art

Separate artworks with significant condition issues

Select research-worthy original artworks

Report on researched values

Videos will be created to facilitate each of these steps and posted in the future.

Corinne Cain, ASA
Accredited Senior Appraiser
Fine Arts & American Indian Arts


Christie’s Increases Buyer’s Premiums

From 20% to 25% of the hammer price of each lot up to and including $75,000.

And it is likely the other auction houses will likewise raise their rates.

This gesture portends optimism in the strength of buying at auction.

Corinne Cain


Art Resale Options

Question
What are some intelligent art resale options?

Answer
The answer depends largely on what type of art you’re looking to sell. If you have employed a competent art appraiser, ask for their recommendations.

In general, options include:

  • Art gallery or art broker with experience with your artist or type of artwork

Sign an agreement and file a UCC-1 form (Uniform Commercial Code) with the Secretary of State in the state where the gallery or broker is situated.

Gallery/ broker’s commission will range from 40%-50%, unless extremely high dollar artwork is sold, where it could be less.

  • Auction

Be careful to set a reserve (minimum price the artwork will sell).

Know that auctions selling less valuable art may not allow you to identify a minimum price.

Discover all related expenses such as catalogue fee, insurance, buy-in fee

(should it not sell), as well as their seller’s commission and buyer’s commission.

  • Consignment furniture store

Learn how the automatic price reductions are structured, for instance 20% reduction automatically every two weeks ?

  • Estate, garage, patio, yard sale

You might elect to accept only cash, as verification of funds over the weekend may interfere with your finding out in time that a check is not bankable.

  • Antique malls

Is your property insured against theft?

  • Craig’s List

Determine where you will meet with individuals interested in your property.

  • Etsy or Ebay store (fixed price, not auction)

Auctions fall into several major categories

  • International such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonham’s, Phillip’s
  • National such as Swann’s, Heritage Auctions, Skinner’s, Cowan’s
  • Specialty such as RG Munn, David Rago, John Moran, Treadway, Eldred’s, Noel Barrett, I.M. Chait, Jackson Hole Auction, Santa Fe Auction, Altermann’s
  • Online such as Ebay, LiveAuctioneers

Introduction to the Appraisal of American Indian Fine Art Webinar

Who: Veteran art appraiser Corinne Cain, who has more than 35 years of experience in the industry

What: Hour-long webinar with a Powerpoint visual-aid covering the basics of AI Fine Art appraisal

When: July 21, 2011; 3-4 PM EST

How: Register through the American Society of Appraiser’s website and log on on the 21st and see the webinar live!

From painted hides to carved sculptures to blown glass, the world of American Indian Fine art constitutes much more than meets-the-eye. With the array of intricate detail applied by such artists as Oscar Howe, Merina Lujan (Pop Chalee) and Preston Singletary and the abstract techniques developed by George Morrison and his contemporaries, how can one begin to place a price on these distinctly unique, yet equally wonderful, works of art?

Corinne Cain is here to help answer this question. For only $45 (applies to both members and non-members of the American Society of Appraisers), you can download and enjoy an hour-long, 78-slide Powerpoint and webinar (note:  audio is only available live) presented by veteran art appraiser Corinne Cain, touching on the basics of the appraisal of American Indian Fine Art. Having personally trained several other appraisers and co-authoring the American Society of Appraisers AI appraisal exam, Corinne Cain’s appraisal abilities have been widely recognized both within the American Society of Appraisers and elsewhere.

Some of the many topics Corinne will be discussing include:

• The origin of AI Fine Arts (painted buffalo, deerskin hides, ceremonial shirts, etc.)

• How these developed into contemporary forms of AI art such as painting, drawing and sculpture (referencing specific, non-AI influences).

Styles and biographies of prominent, AI artists including visual examples of their work.

AI Fine Art Market Levels including websites for corresponding galleries and organizations

Museums hosting significant AI Fine Art collections

• Extensive, Annotated Bibliographies (available for download) including both general AI Fine Art information as well as books/articles on specific artists

The webinar will take place on July 21, 2011 from 3-4 PM EST. Sign-up today through the American Society of Appraisers’ website: http://www.appraisers.org/Education/ViewClass.aspx?ClassID=272


What is Qualitative Ranking ???

Two paintings are by the same artist, roughly the same size, in the same condition, depicting the same subject matter and painted within a year of each other.  Why is one valued 1 1/2 times the value of the other ???  This is also true of pottery or of any type of hand-made item you can think of.

Artist’s products vary qualitatively.  A sharp appraiser will be able to recognize the item that is more successful in its execution, as will an astute collector, execution being technical as well as its intention and balance.

Corinne Cain, ASA
Personal Property/ Fine Arts & American Indian Arts


Life in the appraiser lane is not dull !

Fake art catches most of the news coverage, but inferior art is a more subtle accelerating problem.

Men/ Women are not machines, so their artistic output is not uniform, even amongst professional artists, resulting in superior art and inferior art.

What is the problem side to inferior art? Besides being a visual negative, it has a tax consequence. When the artist or the collector dies, a value for all personal property is determined by the appraiser, linked to the artist’s or collector’s date of death. Once the value of one’s real and personal property exceeds $3.5 million, a tax is levied on the value in excess of $3.5 million. To date in 2010 Congress has not identified the value barrier over which a tax will be applied.

Selling inferior art to realize funds when the economy is rocky is extremely problematic.

As citizens fashion second and third careers, as we tend to live longer and healthier, more of us are electing to become artists and/ or crafts people. As our skill sets grow, less successful attempts are parked on friends and family. This transitional art (on its way to becoming superior) then occupies walls in homes that would otherwise be populated by superior artworks. Worse, after viewing television programs where a seemingly innocent work of art is declared wildly valuable, unrealistic expectations for the value of artworks become more commonplace.

Enter, the art appraiser, who must then identify artworks as either superior or qualitatively challenged. The appraiser is quite smart if the assessment equates to beaucoup value or underskilled, if the pronouncement is negative.

Welcome to life in the appraiser lane and the negative consequences of the rapidly growing supply of inferior art worldwide.

Corinne Cain, ASA
Accredited Senior Appraiser
Personal Property/ Fine Arts as well as American Indian Arts


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