Coup Logo

Item of the Week





Order Form

Terms of Sale





About Us


Email Us

Coup de Foudre Appraisals

All Coup de Foudre, LLC written valuations contain the standard information required for bona fide appraisals. Each object covered has a write-up that includes data from the checklist of items listed in the international collaborative program known as Object ID. These include a full description of the item with a list of measurements, materials and technique of construction, date of manufacture, maker or artist, provenance (if known), condition, etc. This becomes a legal document and is good for tax and estate planning professionals, insurance firms, banks, courts and government taxation authorities.

Our appraisal fee is based on the amount of time we expend, an estimate of which is provided before we start. Valuations can be provided for books, maps, antiquities, textiles, wine, Buddhist Art and the native arts of Africa and Asia -- so-called tribal or ethnographic art. (We can arrange appraisals of other objects.) While we may give you an idea of the value of your item based upon photos, we do not provide legal appraisals for items we have not physically touched unless they are books or maps. For an insurance appraisal of items based upon your photographs you must provide a notarized affidavit that the object is actually yours. Needless to say, the photographs necessary for a long-distance appraisal must be of a high and detailed quality.

For on-site appraisals, you must pay one-half of the total estimated cost of the appraisal up-front. The other half of the payment is due in two installments: usually divided equally between when our Report of Appraisal is tendered with the remainder due a week afterward when you submit any final comments on our work. Please be aware that Coup de Foudre, LLC's appraisal does not become a legal document and you may not submit it for any legal purpose until we have been paid in full.

Fees vary but generally, in the continental United States, we charge $500.00 to $1200.00 per day. (For work outside the continental U. S., please inquire.) Travel, lodging and reasonable meals are billed at cost or absorbed by per diem, depending on circumstances. Hourly rates for research conducted by our associates may also apply and are calculated as a division of the prevailing daily rate billed to the next nearest quarter hour (e.g. three hours and fifty minutes library research net four hours billed). The use of our proprietary databases during an appraisal and subsequent billing for their use does not entitle a client to a copy of the full database beyond those items used in the applicable appraisal. Our verbal authentications are provided, of course, free of charge.

You should be prepared to set aside time to work with us on an appraisal by providing all paperwork relevant to the items being appraised and answering questions we might have. You will also be asked to sit down with us to go over our Report of Appraisal. We will expect any comments you might have about our Report of Appraisal within one week after we submit it. This is your chance to correct any point of fact where you believe we are in error. You will NOT be able to effect changes in our valuations, however, simply because you think an item is worth more or less than our valuation. We cannot stress this point too strongly! And, you must pay our fees even though you take issue with some of our findings. In almost every appraisal there are conflicts between what we and the owner believe an object is worth. We do listen to our client's suggestions, comments and criticisms, but as hired-on experts we stand by our final findings. You, the client, of course, are free in the end to use or not use our Appraisal.

We provide you two copies of our final Report of Appraisal. You should store one in a safe place such as a safe deposit box and forward the other to whomever is appropriate. We keep a copy in our records. This copy is useful should something happen to your original and for any updating you might want us to do in the future.

Appraisals of rare books and wine are based primarily upon prices in dealers' catalogs and auction records paired with our expertise and the applicable market and its condition at the probable time of sale. Art sales and evaluations are often below the public radar and are, therefore, more tricky. They involve greater reliance upon our sense of the marketplace as dealer catalogs are often non-existent and internet/bricks-and-mortar auction sales often do not provide a true picture of the value of the greater bulk of items in commerce.

If you have any questions about an appraisal — or wonder whether your items are worth having appraised, please contact us or fill out the applicable sections of our information form.

What To Look For In Your Appraisal

from the Checklist of The Appraisers Association of America

  1. Purpose of the appraisal:
    • insurance coverage for loss or damage (the object's replacement value in the current retail market)
    • death, divorce, and business dissolution requiring equitable distributions (wholesale or cash market value)
    • charitable donations (fair market value)
    • liquidation, collateral loan or asset and estate management (wholesale value)

  2. Type of valuation used (replacement, fair market, wholesale or cash market value)

  3. Valuation approach (market data comparison, income etc.)

  4. Most common market where the value is applied

  5. Market history (if any)

  6. How objects were acquired (especially for the IRS)

  7. Professional qualifications of the appraiser

  8. Date of report preparation and date when the objects were viewed, effective date of appraisal (especially for an estate)

  9. Statement of physical inspection or other method used to see the work (on-site, photographs, email, etc.)

  10. Statement of disinterest (no financial interest in the objects)

  11. Statement that the appraiser has not been disqualified by the IRS

  12. Statement of assumptions and limiting conditions

  13. Statement of fee structure (cannot be a percentage of the appraised value)

  14. Clear division of work, if more than one appraiser is involved

  15. Thorough description of the objects

  16. Biography of the artist, when necessary

  17. Provenance (if available)

  18. Exhibition and publication history (if any)

  19. Statement of the objects' condition

  20. Opinion of authenticity

  21. Comparables and related analysis (a must for IRS appraisals).

  22. Firm statement of value

  23. Signature of the appraiser(s) and tax ID numbers

  24. Statement of the number of pages in the appraisal. Every page should be initialed and should state the purpose of the appraisal.

© 1996-2006 Coup de Foudre, LLC