• April 11, 2017

    Gifting an Archive to a University

    One of your clients has donated or plans to donate an archive to a university (for example, letters, copies of letters and various business-related documents that make up an academic resource), your client will need to get an appraisal of that donation for tax and estate-planning purposes. An appraiser will need to establish the fair market value (FMV) and possibly […]

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  • March 10, 2017

    Appraising the Promissory Note

    Appraised “fair market value” as defined by IRS Section 1.170 and 20.2031 (b) and Treasury Regulation Section 1.170A-13(c)(3)(1988) is “the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.” The Market Data Comparison Approach is […]

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  • February 22, 2017

    Documentary Film Valuation

    Documentary film, as an asset, is appraised for its fair market value, in some measure, by considering the directorship, the actors, the classic nature of the filming, but………….. in most cases, the value is hidden in the film’s content (The Zapruder film). The Getty and others who market and license an individual pastiche from a documentary or home style film […]

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  • January 15, 2017

    Legal and Ethical Issues for the Fine Art Appraiser

    In appraising an object of fine art, a rare document, a unique documentary film or even an intricate promissory note, the appraiser, with no legal training faces the task of becoming schooled in the applicable legal boundaries and ethical constraints. For the appraiser it is clear that the proper use of any research data depends upon the criteria used when […]

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  • December 21, 2016

    The Auction House Guarantee

    Estate-planning professionals may need to establish an appropriate holding and/or liquidation strategy for estates that include significant assets in art and antiquities. To accomplish this goal, they must be aware that the dealer and auction house may use guarantees as a marketing strategy to sell a piece in question. This strategy has grown more popular over the past few years, […]

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  • September 29, 2016

    Gifting A Life Legacy

    Appraising A Donated Archive The ultimate purpose of the appraisal of a donated archive is to establish the current cost that would be needed to secure, and possibly maintain, the collection which will reveal the real fair market value of the donated compendium ……… “the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing […]

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  • September 21, 2016

    Intellectual Property Appraisal

    The market value of any portion of these rare and singular conversations, a collection of 160 hours of interviews done by a German-speaking American in the German Democratic Republic during the late 1980s and in the former GDR following the reunification of 1991, are somewhat rare in that the interviewer received permission to conduct them in the GDR prior to […]

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  • March 15, 2016

    Valuing Awards, Medals, Oscars and Grammys

    Valuing Awards, Medals, Oscars and Grammys While some honors are kept on the mantle, when digging through the family archival depository your donor may come across a long forgotten gem that, at one time in the past, announced the glory or major accomplishment of someone important to their memory. Of course, an Oscar or an Olympic medal would be irreplaceable, […]

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  • February 19, 2016

    The Ultimate Liquid Asset – Rare Wine

    In the world of appraising the object under scrutiny can create its own sweeping enthusiasm. Collecting fine and rare wines has its roots in ancient culture. Evidence of the earliest wine production has been uncovered at archaeological sites in Macedonia and dated back to 4500 BC. Traces of wine dating from the second and first millennia BCE have also been […]

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  • October 19, 2015

    Valuing Rare Documents and Books

    In many cases the owner of rare memorabilia is unaware of the current market value of this significant estate asset thereby leaving the CPA, the estate planner and/or trust attorney in the dark. In dealing with rare books and documents, as with fine art, there are definite procedures for determining valuation. Where tax issues are involved, the agency’s own appraisal […]

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  • October 13, 2015

    The Superfluous Insurance Contract

    Unnecessary policies, especially personal and group term insurance, can be a great source of wealth for not-for-profit organizations and major tax deductions for donors. Not everyone can make a major bequest to his or her alma mater, hospital or favorite charity but many individual households or estates maintain term and cash value insurance policies that are no longer covering a […]

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  • September 13, 2015

    One Of A Kind Documentary

    Calculating the fair market value (FMV) of a unique piece of documentary or privately-produced film is a difficult process. FMV is “the price that property would sell for on the open market. It is the price that would be agreed upon between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge […]

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  • August 11, 2015

    The Art of Selling Your Art or Collection of Documents

    The pricing of a piece of art, an archive of documents or any artifact is a challenging affair. While much of the basis for pricing may be content driven or tied to the manner of expression the price is clearly subject to strong demand-side influences. Markets flow freely and must be “trapped” when appropriate. Timing can be crucial. The death […]

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  • July 10, 2015

    Ways to Identify Your Book as a Rare Book

    Gorgeously bound books with hand painted art can look great on your bookshelf. They can also be very valuable as well. Before you rush out to an appraiser with all of your books in tow, there are some things you need to know. Not every old looking book is a rare book, there are some criteria your item will need […]

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  • December 4, 2014

    The Thesis of Value

    An appraised value is the assessment of all current and future benefits of possession compressed into a single dollar figure. As such, value is continually fluid, changing as the future is effected by the vagaries of time that can be either financially ascending or, for that matter, descending. The result is that an opinion of value can only be stated […]

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  • August 14, 2014

    Establishing Fine Art Good Title

    An area of concern for appraisers exists when, in searching the provenance of a painting, there are breaks in the chain of ownership. This issue should prompt the appraiser to consider the possibility of misrepresentation or fraud. Although appraisals are not intended to be certificates of authenticity, where fakery or impeachable title is even considered after proper and thorough research, […]

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  • June 21, 2013

    The Value of a Sports Signature

    Avid sports watchers are the most diehard fans out there. That is why play autographs and sports memorabilia are not only collectible but valuable. Remember that not every autographed item will be worth money. There are a few factors that determine whether or not the item will be worth a profitable amount of money. The player, the condition of the […]

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  • March 21, 2012

    Fine Art You Can Invest In

    Do you love art and ready to invest in some pieces but confused as to where to start? Limited Edition prints may be right for you. Prints are images that can either be unlimited or limited edition. Unlimited Unlimited prints can be images such as posters or open edition prints. This means that the image will be printed constantly to […]

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  • September 27, 2011

    Rare Book Donation to University

    University received a 24 volume set of rare books that had not been carefully reviewed by either the donor or the receiver – neither had a sense of its current value. Asked by the University to appraise the gift for insurance purposes, I carefully reviewed each volume, and discovered 44 original historical documents inserted into the last volume. I photographed […]

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  • February 12, 2010

    The Art of Valuing Art…

    Just what is the purpose of an appraisal and what do you look for in a qualified appraisal? Essentially anyone can write an appraisal. Personal property appraising is a non-regulated, or rather, self-regulated profession. Personal property appraisers are not subject to governmental regulations as is found in real estate matters. There is no governmental licensing or certifying authority. As this […]

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  • January 14, 2010

    The Art of Caring for Your Rare Documents

    When you think of old documents, pieces like; Shakespeare’s first folios, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address are just a few of the documents that come to mind. All are housed in places of great esteem but they don’t have to be. What if you happened to have in your possession a rare document signed by a great […]

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  • April 16, 2008

    Iwo Jima Flag Raising Photo Signed by Joe Rosenthal, AP Photographer

    Simply a wonderful piece of great value due to, not just the signature, but the heartfelt recitation and immediate dating………… A delight to appraise.

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  • August 13, 2007

    What Is An Estate Tax Appraisal… Really!!! Why, How, When and What???

    Why are there so many different types of appraisals? Do professional advisors requisition the correct appraisals to address the many unique legal and financial objectives? How can there be extremely different appraised values for the same item? These are some of the questions on the subject of appraisals that haunt the estate attorneys, financial planners and tax consultants. The successful […]

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  • July 18, 2007

    Estate Tax Appraisal – 101

    As I have noted elsewhere, The success of an appraisal requires a critical understanding of the purpose for which the appraisal is needed. In an actual case, culminating in a 700 page plus appraisal, the advisor had the appraisal done for estate tax purposes and, looking for a shortcut, made use of that estate tax valuation (Fair Market Value) appraisal […]

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  • February 3, 2006

    Rare Abraham Lincoln Signature

    Autograph album published by J .B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia; Nearly every page of the album bears an autograph, mostly signed -one per page and on one side only. Remarkably, while the vast majority of the signers are R.I. volunteer soldiers and minor officers, this album bas been signed by the commander-in-chief (Abraham Lincoln), the head of the Army (Winfield […]

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