Not Sure if you Need a Professional Appraiser?


If you can identify an item of furniture, jewelry, decorative or fine art, you are on your way to determining a value.

In 1993, the Getty Information Institute initiated a collaborative project to develop an international documentation standard for the information needed to identify cultural objects. The new standard was developed in collaboration with police forces, customs agencies, museums, the art trade, appraisers, and the insurance industry. The result is the Object ID Checklist.

Questions to Answer

Type of Object – What kind of object is it (e.g., painting, sculpture, clock, mask)?

Materials & Techniques
– What materials is the object made of (e.g., brass, wood, oil on canvas)? How was it made (e.g., carved, cast, etched)?

Measurements – What is the size and/or weight of the object? Specify which unit of measurement is being used (e.g., cm., in.) and to which dimension the measurement refers (e.g., height, width, depth).

Inscriptions & Markings – Are there any identifying markings, numbers, or inscriptions on the object (e.g., a signature, dedication, title, maker™’s mark, purity marks, property marks)?

Distinguishing Features – Does the object have any physical characteristics that could help to identify it (e.g., damage, repairs, manufacturing defects)?

Title – Does the object have a title by which it is known and might be identified (e.g., The Scream)?

Subject – What is pictured or represented (e.g., landscape, battle, woman holding child)?

Date or Period – When was the object made (e.g., 1893, early 17th century, Late Bronze Age)?

Maker – Do you know who made the object? This may be the name of a known individual (e.g., Thomas Tompion), a company (e.g., Tiffany), or a cultural group (e.g., Hopi).

Congratulations! You’re on your way to appraising an item yourself!

The next steps are figuring out where the items sell most frequently and for how much.

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