FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Winston Art Group.

Appraisals

Does Winston Art Group appraise jewelry? Furniture? Wine?

Yes! Winston Art Group has specialists who appraise all types of fine art, decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles. This includes Old Master paintings, drawings and etchings, 19th century art, Modern art, Contemporary art, furniture, 20th century design, sculpture, rugs, silver, porcelain, classic cars, sports memorabilia, wine, Champagne and liquors, dolls, antique toys, couture and handbags, jewelry, watches, collectible pens, and more.

How do appraisers determine values?

  • Depending on the type of property and the appraisal assignment, Winston Art Group appraisers will use one or more of the following approaches to valuation.
  • Comparable Market Data Approach – The most common approach for personal property appraisals. Value is determined based on comparing subject property to sole comparable property.
  • Cost Approach – Value is determined based upon the price of the components comprising the property. This approach is often used for works by artists whose work has never sold. It is also used for donation appraisals when the donor is the artist him or herself.
  • Income Approach – Value is determined based on the amount of income the property can potentially generate. For example, if appraising a work that is a showcase within a museum collection and generates income through ticket sales, an income approach would be appropriate.

Does Winston Art Group prepare inventories?

Yes! Winston Art Group prepares inventory reports, which include color digital images and full catalogue descriptions for each item. Inventories are available in both hard copy and digital formats, and are easily accessible through our interactive collection management system. Inventories are billed on an hourly basis. Inventories are particularly useful in divorce and bankruptcy cases.

How long does it take to complete an appraisal?

Typically, appraisals are delivered four to six weeks from either the final date of on-site inspection or from the date Winston Art Group is engaged to complete an appraisal. However, we can usually turn around appraisals in a shorter time period if necessary.

Can an appraisal be completed without the appraiser seeing the property in person?

Sometimes, yes. Winston Art Group completes many appraisals from images and descriptions provided by the client, without inspecting the piece in person. Please contact Claire Brown at cbrown@winstonartgroup.com or 212.542.5755 to see if an onsite inspection would be needed.

What will the appraisal document look like?

Winston Art Group appraisal documents include color digital images and full catalogue descriptions for each item, with values supported by appropriate market comparables. They are available in both hard copy and digital formats, and are easily accessible through our interactive collection management system.

Can Winston Art Group authenticate art?

Winston Art Group specializes in appraising and advising on the purchase and sale of works of art. For authentication, Winston Art Group specialists know who to contact and can facilitate the authentication process on behalf of the client. The authentication process varies depending on the artist and the type of art in question. For some artists, there is a foundation which issues certificates of authenticity. For other artists there are one or more scholars or family members of the artist who are the identified expert to authenticate works by that artist. Winston Art Group is able to advise on how to authenticate works of art and to facilitate the authentication process on behalf of the owner of the art property.

Can Winston Art Group appraise property which is not located in one of the cities where Winston Art Group has an office?

Yes! In some cases, appraisals can be completed from provided images and descriptions. Winston Art Group appraisers also travel frequently. If you are looking for an appraisal of fine art, decorative art, jewelry or collectibles located somewhere beyond a city where Winston Art Group has an office, please contact Claire Brown at cbrown@winstonartgroup.com or 212.542.5755. Claire will either faciliatate an appraisal without on-site inspection, or will schedule a visit with our appraisers.

What is the benefit of obtaining an appraisal from an independent art appraisal firm?

Independent appraisers, like Winston Art Group, have no financial interest in the property they are appraising because they do not buy or sell the subject property. Auction houses and dealers/galleries also oftentimes offer to appraise for clients. However, because their main business is buying and/or selling, they are not an impartial appraiser, and therefore do not meet appraisal standards.

How are appraisals billed?

Appraisals are billed on an hourly rate – for specialist time on-site and research, travel time (if applicable), and document production time. Out-of-pocket expenses and appraisal mailing costs are also recouped.

Does Winston Art Group provide loans using art as collateral?

Winston Art Group does not provide loan capital. Winston Art Group provides appraisals which can be used by the lender to determine the size of the loan. For clients looking to obtain a loan using their collection as collateral, Winston Art Group can make introductions to appropriate lenders and can make recommendations as to which pieces within the collection would be most appropriate for the loan taking into consideration the client’s goals.

Does Winston Art Group have a minimum property value for appraisals or advisory?

No. Winston Art Group appraises and advises on property at all price points.

What makes an appraiser qualified to appraise fine art, decorative art, jewelry and collectibles?

A qualified appraiser has an in-depth knowledge of the primary and secondary markets for the particular collecting style being appraised. He or she should have an academic background in the collecting category, as well as at least 10 years of experience working in the market for that particular collecting category. A qualified appraiser should have up-to-date certification in Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). He or she should also be a member of a reputable appraiser organization, such as the Appraisers’ Association of America, the American Society of Appraisers, or the International Society of Appraisers.

Why does an appraiser request to review bills of sale and GIA certificates?

In most appraisals, past sale records will play a pivotal role in the appraiser’s research process. If the client can make bills of sale available to the appraisers, it reduces research time and therefore reduces appraisal cost. Jewelry appraisers can assess the cut, color, clarity and quality of stones in jewelry on-site. However, specifications such as exact carat size and weight require gemological laboratories, which our appraisers do not have access to on-site. Therefore, it is helpful for clients to make GIA certificates available. If this is not possible, our jewelry appraisers may need to reach out to the GIA to confirm stone specifications.

How often should art be appraised?

It depends completely on the type of art in question. For some types of art, we recommend updated appraisals as often as every six months. For other types of art, appraisals can last several years without needing to be updated. Winston Art Group will happily review an existing appraisal, insurance schedule or inventory and advise on whether a reappraisal is necessary for some or all of the works included.

I just want to know what a piece in my collection is worth, but I don’t need a formal appraisal document. What can I do?

Winston Quick Quote! This online service provides a Fair Market Value estimate for $25 per item. Visit www.winstonquickquote.com to upload images, dimensions and description of your item. You will receive the Winston Quick Quote report within five business days of submission and payment.

Advisory

Can Winston Art Group authenticate art?

Winston Art Group specializes in appraising and advising on the purchase and sale of works of art. For authentication, Winston Art Group specialists know who to contact and can facilitate the authentication process on behalf of the client. The authentication process varies depending on the artist and the type of art in question. For some artists, there is a foundation which issues certificates of authenticity. For other artists there are one or more scholars or family members of the artist who are the identified expert to authenticate works by that artist. Winston Art Group is able to advise on how to authenticate works of art and to facilitate the authentication process on behalf of the owner of the art property.

How are advisory (acquisitions and sales) services billed?

Advisory services are typically billed on a commission structure. However, in some cases, it is more appropriate to bill on an hourly basis. If you have questions as to how a particular advisory project would be billed, please contact Marc Hajjar at hajjar@winstonartgroup.com or 212.542.5755.

What is an art advisor?

An art advisor is an art market specialist who provides advice to inform clients’ decisions when buying and selling art. For clients acquiring art, this includes sourcing particular works of art for the client, providing market insight into price, quality, condition, and authenticity, negotiating sale price, and providing representation at auction. For clients selling works of art, this includes advising on where, when and how to sell to maximize returns or meet other client initiatives.

Does Winston Art Group have a minimum property value for appraisals or advisory?

No. Winston Art Group appraises and advises on property at all price points.

Why do I need an art advisor?

The art market is the largest legal economy to be almost completely unregulated. Fakes and forgeries, inflated prices, undisclosed condition issues, and lack of clear title are some of the pitfalls art buyers can face and from which they are not definitively protected by current legislation. A qualified art advisor understands the marketplace, how the various players (i.e. dealers, auction houses, buyers, sellers, conservators, etc…) interact with one another, and the right questions to ask to ensure the buyer is making an informed decision. For individuals looking to sell works of art, a qualified art advisor will be able to advise on how, where and when to sell in order to maximize returns or meet other selling goals. Time, geographic location and venue for sale, as well as financial terms of sale deal, marketing, and other factors play into sale outcome.

Collection Management

Does Winston Art Group prepare inventories?

Yes! Winston Art Group prepares inventory reports, which include color digital images and full catalogue descriptions for each item. Inventories are available in both hard copy and digital formats, and are easily accessible through our interactive collection management system. Inventories are billed on an hourly basis. Inventories are particularly useful in divorce and bankruptcy cases.

Can Winston Art Group authenticate art?

Winston Art Group specializes in appraising and advising on the purchase and sale of works of art. For authentication, Winston Art Group specialists know who to contact and can facilitate the authentication process on behalf of the client. The authentication process varies depending on the artist and the type of art in question. For some artists, there is a foundation which issues certificates of authenticity. For other artists there are one or more scholars or family members of the artist who are the identified expert to authenticate works by that artist. Winston Art Group is able to advise on how to authenticate works of art and to facilitate the authentication process on behalf of the owner of the art property.

Does Winston Art Group provide loans using art as collateral?

Winston Art Group does not provide loan capital. Winston Art Group provides appraisals which can be used by the lender to determine the size of the loan. For clients looking to obtain a loan using their collection as collateral, Winston Art Group can make introductions to appropriate lenders and can make recommendations as to which pieces within the collection would be most appropriate for the loan taking into consideration the client’s goals.

How often should art be appraised?

It depends completely on the type of art in question. For some types of art, we recommend updated appraisals as often as every six months. For other types of art, appraisals can last several years without needing to be updated. Winston Art Group will happily review an existing appraisal, insurance schedule or inventory and advise on whether a reappraisal is necessary for some or all of the works included.

Expertise

Does Winston Art Group appraise jewelry? Furniture? Wine?

Yes! Winston Art Group has specialists who appraise all types of fine art, decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles. This includes Old Master paintings, drawings and etchings, 19th century art, Modern art, Contemporary art, furniture, 20th century design, sculpture, rugs, silver, porcelain, classic cars, sports memorabilia, wine, Champagne and liquors, dolls, antique toys, couture and handbags, jewelry, watches, collectible pens, and more.

How do appraisers determine values?

  • Depending on the type of property and the appraisal assignment, Winston Art Group appraisers will use one or more of the following approaches to valuation.
  • Comparable Market Data Approach – The most common approach for personal property appraisals. Value is determined based on comparing subject property to sole comparable property.
  • Cost Approach – Value is determined based upon the price of the components comprising the property. This approach is often used for works by artists whose work has never sold. It is also used for donation appraisals when the donor is the artist him or herself.
  • Income Approach – Value is determined based on the amount of income the property can potentially generate. For example, if appraising a work that is a showcase within a museum collection and generates income through ticket sales, an income approach would be appropriate.

What makes an appraiser qualified to appraise fine art, decorative art, jewelry and collectibles?

A qualified appraiser has an in-depth knowledge of the primary and secondary markets for the particular collecting style being appraised. He or she should have an academic background in the collecting category, as well as at least 10 years of experience working in the market for that particular collecting category. A qualified appraiser should have up-to-date certification in Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). He or she should also be a member of a reputable appraiser organization, such as the Appraisers’ Association of America, the American Society of Appraisers, or the International Society of Appraisers.

Why does an appraiser request to review bills of sale and GIA certificates?

In most appraisals, past sale records will play a pivotal role in the appraiser’s research process. If the client can make bills of sale available to the appraisers, it reduces research time and therefore reduces appraisal cost. Jewelry appraisers can assess the cut, color, clarity and quality of stones in jewelry on-site. However, specifications such as exact carat size and weight require gemological laboratories, which our appraisers do not have access to on-site. Therefore, it is helpful for clients to make GIA certificates available. If this is not possible, our jewelry appraisers may need to reach out to the GIA to confirm stone specifications.

About

Does Winston Art Group appraise jewelry? Furniture? Wine?

Yes! Winston Art Group has specialists who appraise all types of fine art, decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles. This includes Old Master paintings, drawings and etchings, 19th century art, Modern art, Contemporary art, furniture, 20th century design, sculpture, rugs, silver, porcelain, classic cars, sports memorabilia, wine, Champagne and liquors, dolls, antique toys, couture and handbags, jewelry, watches, collectible pens, and more.

Does Winston Art Group prepare inventories?

Yes! Winston Art Group prepares inventory reports, which include color digital images and full catalogue descriptions for each item. Inventories are available in both hard copy and digital formats, and are easily accessible through our interactive collection management system. Inventories are billed on an hourly basis. Inventories are particularly useful in divorce and bankruptcy cases.

Can Winston Art Group authenticate art?

Winston Art Group specializes in appraising and advising on the purchase and sale of works of art. For authentication, Winston Art Group specialists know who to contact and can facilitate the authentication process on behalf of the client. The authentication process varies depending on the artist and the type of art in question. For some artists, there is a foundation which issues certificates of authenticity. For other artists there are one or more scholars or family members of the artist who are the identified expert to authenticate works by that artist. Winston Art Group is able to advise on how to authenticate works of art and to facilitate the authentication process on behalf of the owner of the art property.

Can Winston Art Group appraise property which is not located in one of the cities where Winston Art Group has an office?

Yes! In some cases, appraisals can be completed from provided images and descriptions. Winston Art Group appraisers also travel frequently. If you are looking for an appraisal of fine art, decorative art, jewelry or collectibles located somewhere beyond a city where Winston Art Group has an office, please contact Claire Brown at cbrown@winstonartgroup.com or 212.542.5755. Claire will either faciliatate an appraisal without on-site inspection, or will schedule a visit with our appraisers.

What is the benefit of obtaining an appraisal from an independent art appraisal firm?

Independent appraisers, like Winston Art Group, have no financial interest in the property they are appraising because they do not buy or sell the subject property. Auction houses and dealers/galleries also oftentimes offer to appraise for clients. However, because their main business is buying and/or selling, they are not an impartial appraiser, and therefore do not meet appraisal standards.

Does Winston Art Group provide loans using art as collateral?

Winston Art Group does not provide loan capital. Winston Art Group provides appraisals which can be used by the lender to determine the size of the loan. For clients looking to obtain a loan using their collection as collateral, Winston Art Group can make introductions to appropriate lenders and can make recommendations as to which pieces within the collection would be most appropriate for the loan taking into consideration the client’s goals.

Can I work or intern at Winston Art Group?

Winston Art Group is always interested in meeting qualified art market professionals and aspiring art market professionals. For employment and internship inquiries, please contact Sarah Emond at emond@winstonartgroup.com or 212.542.5755

Glossary

Estate or Household Clearout

This refers to the removal of household items such as low-value art, furniture, furnishings, and collectibles that does not hold enough monetary value to be sold on the primary or secondary markets. When working with an estate, Winston Art Group will sell as much fine art, decorative art, jewelry and collectibles as possible, and will facilitate the removal of the remaining personal property.

Catalogue Descriptions

In art, a catalog description includes identifying characteristics for the work of art, such as artist name, artist nationality, title of work, date of work, dimensions, provenance, exhibition and literature history.

Provenance

The history of a work of art – its creation and previous ownership.

Comparables

In art appraisals, comparables are examples of similar works that have sold. They provide a frame of reference for assigning value to the piece at hand.

Private Sources

Winston Art Group facilitates purchases and sales of artworks from private client to private client.

Estate Tax & Estate Planning

Fair Market Value appraisals to be used to assist in planning for the future of an estate, to be submitted to the IRS for estate tax purposes, and to aid in the decision-making process as it pertains to equitable division of property among heirs and beneficiaries.

Insurance Appraisals

Retail Replacement Value appraisals to be used by insurance companies and brokers to bind insurance coverage.

Damage or Loss

In the event of damage or loss, Winston Art Group’s appraisals will assist the client, insurance company and/or insurance broker in handling the claims process. We can provide pre-loss, post-damage, loss in value, and/or post-restoration appraisals.

Donation

Winston Art Group will provide a Fair Market Value appraisal of fine art, decorative art, jewelry and collectibles being donated to a not-for-profit institution. This appraisal can be submitted to the IRS to obtain appropriate tax deduction.

Art as Collateral

Winston Art Group will provide a Fair Market Value or Marketable Cash Value appraisal to be used by a bank or other lender to issue a loan using art, jewelry or collectibles as collateral.

Primary Market

Market offering artworks for sale for the first time. This is typically at a gallery or a purchase directly from the artist.

Secondary Market

Marketing offering works that have been sold before. This is typically an auction market or a sale through a gallery consignment.

Comparative Market Data Approach

The most commonly applied approach when appraising personal property, in which appraised value is based upon past prices for similar works by the same artist or artisan, or similar works by another artist or artisan of equal standing and related reputation.

Retail Replacement Value (RRV)

The amount it would cost to replace an item with one of similar and like quality, purchased in the most appropriate marketplace in a limited amount of time. This type of value is used for appraisals for insurance coverage and damage or loss.

Fair Market Value (FMV)

The price that property would sell for on the open market between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. This type of value is used for appraisals for estate tax and estate planning, family division, donation, art as collateral, and financial planning.

Marketable Cash Value (MCV)

The value realized, net of expenses, by a willing seller disposing of property in a competitive and open market to a willing buyer, both being reasonably knowledgeable of all relevant facts and neither being under constraint to buy or sell. This type of value can be used for appraisals for family division and art as collateral.

Salvage

Property that has been damaged and has been abandoned by the owner, thus acquired by the insurance company. Winston Art Group can be engaged by insurance companies to sell salvage to recoup a portion of lost profits on behalf of the insurance company. For more information, please contact Marc Hajjar at hajjar@winstonartgroup.com or 212.542.5755

USPAP

Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Guidelines issued by The Appraisal Foundation outlining procedure for correctly prepared appraisals.