BlogFebruary 1, 2012

Appraising a Fine Art Collection

Alan Klinkhoff Gallery Appraisals


If your collection of fine art is of the collectible variety, which we refer to as  “classic’”, that is art which has a secondary market, you are best served to have the works appraised by fine art dealers who are in the business of buying and selling the kind of work you collect. This is where you will efficiently and professionally find the market expertise and experience you require.


For instance, insofar as subject to a number of market related factors there may be a range in value of paintings of the same size by A.Y. Jackson of 500% and more (Andy Warhols too for that matter) we cannot imagine a more qualified person to engage to appraise an A.Y. Jackson painting than a reputable professional art dealer who sells works by A.Y. Jackson. Makes sense?


Alan Klinkhoff Gallery regularly conducts valuations of collections of important fine art. We are however limited in what we are willing to evaluate. Our primary business is the buying and selling of works of art. We provide valuations as a service, but not as a significant source of revenue. We elect to evaluate works within the ranges of our expertise and our interests. We do not have “billable hours” for sale and therefore do not undertake valuations for which we would need commit countless hours of research into relatively unknown artists whose work is likely of the most modest value. Instead, we work within our areas of expertise and experience, that being recognised Canadian and international artists of importance.  


Our appraisals are of the highest professional standard. Our fees start at $150. For decades now appraisals by the Klinkhoffs have been solicited by museums, government tax agencies, The Federal Minister of Justice, insurance companies, private collectors and corporations.


Our professional association, the Art Dealers Association of Canada, provides excellent quality evaluations of fine works of art. The association office acts collects the requests for valuations and in most case distributes the requests to members who are art dealers. In the case of ADAC evaluations, the request for appraisals are usually sent to two dealers for their opinions.


If one is looking to appraise the contents of a household including everything from furniture, porcelain figurines, silver , lithographs and “some pictures”, we are not your appraiser. For that you need the evaluation service of a generalist, someone you can identify through one or another of the appraisal societies, organizations that give courses and accreditations.


Recently, in our Toronto gallery Jonathan and I were consulting with a couple and their son-in-law, the ultimate executor of their estate about appraising their art collection. The son-in-law, a gentleman successful in the financial world, suggested that in the art world an art dealer might be like an investment banker and a general appraiser like an accountant He observed that when he is looking to appraise a business he is considering buying he prefer an opinion of an investment banker rather than that of an accountant.

© Alan Klinkhoff Gallery


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