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Heritage Auctions Appraisal Services

All About Appraisals: Choose Heritage!
By Meredith Meuwly

Working with Heritage's Trusts & Estates department, I see many estate appraisal reports from all over the United States come across my desk when the families are ready to sell the collection. I've seen great appraisal reports, and I've seen terrible appraisal reports. The worst are when appraisers seem to be stretching themselves to value items on which they have little to no expertise.

The curse of the generalist appraiser is they often don't know what they "don't know". Thus, a generalist may assign an Old Master painting a very high value, instead of understanding that the painting is by a follower of the artist, not the artist himself, and should have a far lower value. It can happen. The appraiser reads the gold name plaque on the frame and figures his or her work is done. As such, the executor of the estate ends up believing that he has a wonderful artwork, and then the auction house specialist is left to break the bad news --- we can't sell the work at the appraised value.

If only there was one place where an estate executor or administrator could work with one appraiser and yet have immediate access to experts in every field available to assist in the proper valuations... There is! Heritage Auctions Appraisal Services, Inc. With over 100 specialists on staff in over 30 categories, we have the exact expertise that trust and estate professionals need to appraise every kind of item in their clients' home. Heritage employs the top specialists in their fields, and our clients trust our experience and first-hand knowledge of the market. At Heritage Auctions Appraisal Services, we take considerable care in writing appraisal reports, so that our clients have nothing but the utmost confidence in the descriptions and valuations of their property.

To find out how Heritage can best prepare your estate appraisal or any other formal appraisal, contact the department today at MeredithM@HA.com or 214-409-1631.


After five years at Christie's in New York, Meredith Meuwly joined Heritage Auctions in 2007 as Senior Consignment Director in the Fine & Decorative Arts Department and currently manages the Appraisal Services department. In 2009, Meredith participated as an appraiser for the Antiques Roadshow on PBS. She is also a member of the Fine Art committee for the International Society of Appraisers and looks forward to assisting with any formal appraisal needs.