What is involved in the appraisal process?

Your first step is to call or email us. After discussing your needs and the art to be appraised, we will help you determine  the most efficient and cost effective approach. While emailing good quality jpegs are helpful for initial discussions, we usually require an inspection of the art.


Inspection can take place in your home, office, storage area; or you can bring your art to our La Jolla office.  During the inspection we will take color digital photos, details of signatures and markings, measure the art, and do a basic condition assessment. Any documents, receipts, letters or other information you can share will save time, reduce your cost, and assist with the assessment process. Sharing any information you have concerning the authenticity of a work helps in the appraisal process.

Appraisals for Insurance, Legal, or I.R.S. Needs

For a fcertified appraisal report a contract will be signed between the client and the appraiser.  The contract will outline the intended use, deadline, and fees.


After a thorough inspection, and review of your provenance, receipts, and documentation, the appraiser will research the work using catalogues, price guides, and reference libraries. We can also consult with art professionals in the United States and Europe.

Intended Uses

  • Charitable Gift: Every donation of a work of art requires a “qualified appraisal,” for the I.R.S. A “qualified appraisal” is one which meets all of the requirements of the Uniform Standards for Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) published by the Congress-authorized Appraisal Foundation. USPAP determines the content, qualifications and ethics standards for the appraisal profession and Shona McArthur is USPAP certified. A taxpayer who claims a charitable deduction greater than $500 must attach IRS Form 8283 to their income tax return and complete Section A of the form. I.R.S. requirements will be discussed with the client prior to preparing the appraisal.

  • Updating Insurance: If it has been more than five years since you last had your scheduled items appraised, their values may have changed significantly. In the event of a claim, a recent appraisal from a professional appraiser could simplify and speed the claims process for all.

  • Estate Appraisals: Valued Collections will contract with the appropriate specialty appraiser for a collection, supervise their work and incorporate their findings into one appraisal written to the standards of USPAP, (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice).

Market Analysis

Depending upon the intended use of the appraisal, appropriate markets will be analyzed, comparing your work of art with those sold in galleries or at auction. Specialists working in the related field are consulted for their opinions, and conclusions are drawn based upon where the work of art can be placed in the artist’s body of work, and what market evidence determines as to its value.

What happens after the appraisal report is complete?

After research is complete we the appraisal report is prepared. The appraisals conform to the standards of the American Society of Appraisers and USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.) Clients are provided with two color printed and spiral bound reports. We can also provide PDF’s and CD’s if that is the client’s preference.