Tag: Corinne Cain

Tickets for 2015 Arizona PBS Arizona Collectibles are Available Now !

April 11 and April 12, 2015 – Bring your art, antiques or other kind of collectibles to Phoenix for evaluation by the appraisers on the show (Asian material, military items, gems and jewelry, antiques, American Indian arts, fine arts, books and manuscripts, toys)

Arizona Collectibles Tickets

Arizona Collectibles

Corinne Cain and Kateri Weiss will be there to help you discover the story behind your properties

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

Donations are Really Trades

After hearing someone complain for the umpteenth time “It isn’t fair to have to pay for an appraisal, when I am giving something away!”

At first I agreed and then I rethought about her comment, after she asked what the alternatives were.

The alternatives are

  • donate the item and take under $500 as its fair market value, so an appraisal is not required
  • donate the item and take no deduction
  • give the item to your kids, provided its value does not exceed the maximum allowed per year non taxable
  • do nothing and it can be in your estate sale

These steps rejected, brought us back to the premise, paying money to have a professional set and defend the item’s value, in the course of giving something away.

Since the taxpayer is receiving a deduction toward their federal income tax responsibility, donating art is NOT a gift.  You are trading an object and the cost of an appraisal for a reduction in your tax burden.  Therefore your cost in this trade is what was paid for the item coupled with the cost of the appraisal.  In some cases the cost of the appraisal is a deductible expense.

Sometimes a more accurate perspective is helpful to digest one alternative in “gifting” appreciating property (artwork).

Since the Nixon papers, charities/ museums have been disqualified to pay for the appraisal.

Corinne Cain, ASA

Accredited Senior Appraiser/  Fine Arts & American Indian Arts

Adequate Valuation Narrative

What is needed to explain why the value is the value in a competently prepared appraisal?

Personal property appraisers must demonstrate by explanation and when possible by photograph why the sale of another similar item supports the value of another (in their report, referred to as the subject property). Often comparable sales are named and then the appraiser clarifies a citation by explaining how the subject property compares to the “comparable sale example”. A sale could also be introduced that superficially appears to be similar in character, but in reality, is not due to a difference in the property’s characteristics or due to a difference in market level investigated.

compares by maker (same or different)
compares by medium (same, similar or different)
compares by dimensions (same, similar or different)
compares by subject matter (same, similar or different)
compares by style of execution (same, similar or different)
compares by year produced (same, similar or different)
compares by condition (same, similar or different)
compares by qualitative ranking (same, similar or different)

Qualitative ranking must be addressed, as painter X could paint a landscape, oil on canvas, the same size, in the same style that is in the same physical condition, in the same year as the subject property but one painting is consistent with the best landscapes produced by this artist, while another is strictly uninspired compositionally. Numerically one effort is a “10″, while another is limited to a “5″. A knowledgeable collector will pay more for a “10″, than a “5″. The value of the artist’s best work outstrips an example that is relatively mediocre.

The appraiser’s goal is to create a flow chart (in words and when possible, visually) to assist with the recognition that the value determination is logical and supportable and aligned with the date of valuation and the intended use of the valuation.

The day of the “trust me” document has been over for a very long time.

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

Webinar Appraising American Indian Fine Arts

Dubbed “World Class” !!! 70 attendees indicated its content was well worth the time and money

Looking forward to creating a Power Point presentation titled “Purchasing American Indian Jewelry Intelligently“.

Corinne Cain, ASA
Accredited Senior Appraiser
American Society of Appraisers
Personal Property/ Fine Arts & American Indian Arts

Splendid Fine Art Appraiser’s Handbook !!!

This understated publication spells out succinctly what is expected from a competent Fine Art appraiser.

  • art handling, naming recommended tools
  • condition issues — what to look for
  • fine art terminology used in the descriptive process

Mature collectors can review this treatise to learn if the appraisals they’ve obtained in the past were properly carried out.  Curatorial people might want to be acquainted with what proper fine art appraisals are expected to contain.  Insurance company representatives may want to be sure high ticket artworks have been properly investigated.

www.JudithVance.com has copies for sale, as does Fraser Publishing based in New Hampshire

Judith is a fellow Accredited Senior Appraiser with a designation in Fine Arts and a very fine member of the appraiser community.

Price is $45

Corinne Cain, ASA  Accredited Senior Appraiser, Fine Arts & American Indian Arts  www.SavvyCollector.com

The “Good Old Days” ???

A fine couple brought paintings to my office to learn how their values had changed, since having been valued in 1988. They brought the original appraisal with them.

I am not sure how the original appraiser would defend a value of $2,800 for an unsigned painting. 

Another painting had been linked to a generous value.  It was likewise unsigned, but the appraiser had misinterpretted some painted grasses as “E.E.”

Still another painting that was signed, its signature was misread.  Secondarily, the artist identified by the appraiser was not a painter.

The two best paintings were watercolor on paper.  I wish the appraiser had campaigned for the substitution of archival framing materials for the highly acidic boards used, resident now for an extra 23 years. 

The couple volunteered “The appraiser charged a percentage of value for their fee”. 

Initially egos were stroked by the lofty values.  Now the couple is elderly, expecting perhaps values could have increased from values identified over twenty ago, their hopes were somewhat dashed. 

Had they also paid insurance premiums based on these inappropriate values for over twenty years?   I did not have the courage to ask.

Professional appraisers do not currently charge for their services based on a percentage of the value of the property they appraise.

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

www.appraisers.org   American Society of Appraisers website  or 1800 ASA VALU  1 800 272 8258

Inferior vs Superior Fannie Nampeyo


 Had I not hefted this jar and touched its interior walls, a value would have been named that was approximately twice too high.  Fannie Nampeyo’s best work has consistently thin walls with a bottom proportional in thickness.  Also, upon close inspection slip application was relatively ragged especially in the red area, compared to the artist’s best work.

The above dramatizes an appraiser’s reluctance to gauge value based on photography. In this case photographs would not yield characteristics with critical value consequences. 

Appraisers want to be accurate, to provide good and reliable service. 

When possible, allow your appraiser to view the property in person.

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

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

Home | Qualifications | What we Appraise | Services | Fees | FAQ | Blog | Testimonials | Contact Us
Copyright © 2018 Corinne Cain, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

& CorinneCain.com are both products of Corinne Cain, Ltd.