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Who does your Appraiser Work for?

The appraiser you hire should have no present or future interest in your property as an auctioneer or art dealer. A conflict will result if the person appraising the property has an interest in buying it now or selling it later. Appraisers should always work on behalf of the client and only  the client. Only anunbiased qualified appraiser can determine what is in the best interest of the client. Before you hire an appraiser understand for whom they work and let that person be you and only  you. 

Experience and Competency

There is no substitute for experience. Ask potential appraisers for examples of items they have appraised that match your own.  Ideally, you should find an appraiser who has excellent research, data and observational skills. 

A fully vetted appraiser will hold a degree in appraisal studies, have at least five years of experience and will also have some museum or auction experience. You should expect them to be able to BOTH value the item and understand its artistic merit. They should have both an artistic and business/economics/finance background.  You should expect your appraiser to be knowledgeable and honest enough to refer you if they cannot meet your needs. This is particularly true for high value items. 

Ask appraisers for qualificiations beyond USPAP. Many will list USPAP as the mainstay of their qualifications. This should be a red flag. Another red flag is a "part-time" appraiser who is also an art dealer/auctioneer. This always creates a conflict of interest. 

Research is very important. Appraisers must be able to read foreign languages in order to research and look up auction records.  Jill speaks French and Italian fluently and has knowledge of Dutch and Spanish. Ask your appraiser what languages they speak. Also ask your appraiser about specialty courses they have taken. This shows a commitment to further education. ​

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Keep your Appraisals Up to Date

It is important to have a current appraisal written by a qualified, competent and experienced appraiser.  Insurance companies, the IRS and others will not recognize outdated, incomplete  and inaccurate valuations. They will not recognize receipts as a valuation.  Make sure you have a valuation that has complete, accurate descriptions and clear photos. It  should be signed by a qualified appraiser and be dated within the last three years. It should be in USPAP format. 

Never make the assumption that your household insurance automatically covers fine art, antiques or decorative items. It rarely does. You must have a valid appraisal and you must submit it to your insurance company before you are covered. 

​​​​​Jill Harrison


Specialties: Appraises alll types of art, general household contents, including but not limited to silver, decorative art, rugs, furniture and other specialties.  Please inquire or call 
Education: Appraisal Studies in Art & Antiques, RISD

(Rhode Island School of Design); A.M., A.B. Harvard University and Franklin University Switzerland (Lugano),A.A. 

Qualified: Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice-USPAP, ASA, and many specialized courses.
Museum Experience: Peabody Essex Museum

Art Appraisal Experience: Jill Harrison has written 2,000+ appraisals for every purpose.  She has appraised more than 20,000 different artists in every artistic medium resulting in an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. She works with individuals, insurance companies, adjusters, attorneys, non-profits and museums. 


ARTSmart fees are based on our hourly rate. Fees and estimates are provided in conjunction with a written agreement. All terms are stated in writing. ​As an experienced appraiser, Jill works quickly and accurately and she has access to  previous research over the last decade.

ARTSmart ​​Appraisals for 

  • Insurance
  • Estates, Equitable Division, Donation, IRS
  • Resale, Opinions of Value, Consultations, Pre-sales

ARTSmart New England