For many collectors the exciting process of collecting art over a long career is the hunt of the game. Finding that one piece that completes an area of collecting drives us to keep looking each and every day. Despite our love for collecting, I have discovered a dramatic lack of documentation about the objects that make up the collection. A true collection is typically developed over a long career by one collector in a family, or in some cases by an institution. Many of these valuable collections are owned by aging collectors.
When an unforeseen event takes place, many families are left with little or no information regarding the collection or objects; they may lack interest around the collection; and they have a daunting task ahead of them in cataloging the collection for estate purposes for valuation and sale. Even more times there is no loved ones to resolve the estate, and the collection is sold at a nearby auction house that lacks both the expertise in representing the pieces and the proper client base to realize the greatest value. Many objects and collections get sold off at significantly less than their true worth by not being properly represented.
This is because many collectors are guarded about their collections, even with their own families. I have often found that they don’t want their families to know the sizeable amounts they are spending for the pieces they are acquiring. This is very true even to my closest collecting colleagues. I can’t tell you how many times I was shuffled past a lamp collector’s wife only to get a curt hello and a look of “not another lamp guy” from her as I was taken to the heart of the collection.
The fact is, many collections are completely undocumented. Grossly lacking are: a clear understanding of the totality of the collection, documentation of each piece that includes a visual examination with comment of condition, photographic documentation, and a current market valuation.
Fisher Antique provides an Archival Service which includes an extensive on-site review of the collection being documented.
For each object in the collection we provide a separate unique PDF that can contain the following:
- Examination of each piece & any necessary identifying marks, outliers, or condition issues
- Inclusion documentation from the collector as to provenance and purchase price
- Professional color photographs of each piece
- Statement of condition and archivist opinion as examined in each report
- Estimation of current Valuation.
(True researched appraisals can be provided but are per piece as an extra charge.)
The advantages of Archival Service are:
- Provides easily understandable documentation of the totality of the collection and of each piece
- Delivers thorough expert documentation to insurance companies in case of loss
- Provides excellent documentation for estate planning and will preparation.
- Helps families and estates quickly understand which objects to retain or sell
- Provides collectors an ease or heart knowing their Collection will be safe guarded and their families protected from undue burden
- Represents a statement of condition at specific moment in time as examined
- Upon request Fisher Antique will save confidential copies of the PDF’s for redundancy in case of fire
Archival Services are calculated on a retainer-based fee, hourly on-site charge, and expenses. Please contact Fisher Antique for a consultation.