To those of you who are fans of "Antiques Roadshow" our meeting on June 9th was a special treat. Meredith Meuwly with Heritage Auctions gave us an overview of the world of auctioning and of appraising art, furniture and documents among numerous items of value. 
Meredith has appeared on multiple occasions on Antiques Roadshow which made her insights even more interesting. Patrons seek appraisals for various reasons. She has been called on to appraise items lost or damaged in a fire. Pictures, invoices and prior appraisals are invaluable when assessing the value at the time of loss. As she observed, insurance companies rarely accept the value given by an owner, particularly more expensive items, when there is an absence of independent corroboration.  Prudence may well suggest obtaining appraisals from a well-qualified expert for one's more expensive and/or unique possessions.
Appraisals may also be useful in evaluating items donated to charity, in determining the value of non-monetary items of an estate, in making distributions under a will or in determining reasonable values of items in an estate sale. Ms. Meuwly also advised that she and other appraisers contract with customers to assess value of items on an hourly or other negotiated basis. Beware she said in hiring an appraiser who also wishes to conduct an estate auction.