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Researching Antiques and Collectibles: Appraisal

Learn how to research the provenance and value of your antiques & collectibles.

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is a professional evaluation of your item's market value. This is dependent on many factors, including the condition of your item, its rarity, and/or the demand for similar items of its kind. There are two basic services professional appraisers can offer:

A written appraisal is a report giving an opinion of the value of an item at a given point in time. All appraisals should be compliant with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

Appraisers may also provide auction evaluations — verbal opinions of the value of your property — for free. There is often no charge for an auction evaluation and no obligation to consign to the gallery represented by the appraiser, but in general it is taken on good faith that you are considering selling your property at auction.

Local Appraisers

Skinner is located in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts. Founded over four decades ago, Skinner offers more than 60 auctions annually. Skinner auctions reach an international audience and showcase the unique, rare, and beautiful in dozens of categories, including the fine and decorative arts, jewelry, modern design, musical instruments, science and technology, wine, and many others. Skinner offers auction evaluation free of charge and provides official written appraisals for a fee.                                   


Grogan & Company was established in 1987 and has held 130 auctions selling over 150 million dollars in fine art, antiques, silver, jewelry and Oriental rugs. Located in Dedham, Grogan offers a full line of estate services including free in-house consultations, appraisals, and estate liquidation. Walk-in appraisals are offered on Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



More Appraisal Resources

Professional appraisers can be found through the following organizations:

The Appraisers Association of America                              

The American Society of Appraisers                                     

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America