Certified licensed appraiser Sean Morton will be available to identify and provide informal appraisals of fine art and antiques in the DCWM Learning Center. Morton owns and operates Morton Appraisals LLC in Scottsdale. He will conduct appraisals on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be free admission to the Learning Center during business hours. Call 928.684.2272 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
($) Appraisal Day with Sean Morton until 4 p.m. No guns, sports memorabilia or coins.
Costs: $20 first item, $10 additional items, 5 item maximum
Cultural Crossroads Learning Center
To help you prepare, we recently asked Sean a few questions about what to expect:
DCWM: What should I bring?
Sean Morton: Fine art of all kinds – European, American, Latin American, Native American pottery/silver & turquoise jewelry/rugs/sterling silver, Asian works of art, pottery or porcelain, unusual collectables like important signatures of political or figures in history that command attention. What not to bring…sports collectables, guns and coins (not my area), stamps, newer dolls purchased on television, silverplate, anything made as a collectable that was generally mass-produced and not too valuable.
DCWM: Can you give an example of something you appraised at the DCWM that was much more valuable than what the owner thought?
SM: I remember someone brought in a painting by the French artist Antoine Blanchard worth $3,000. I had someone else bring in an inlaid silver bracelet by the Hopi silversmith Charles Loloma worth $10,000.
DCWM: Can I use your verbal appraisal for insurance purposes?
SM: The appraisal event is fun and informative. The verbal evaluation can’t be used for insurance or any other legal use. I would recommend a certified appraisal report when the individual items is perhaps worth $2,500 or more.
DCWM: Should I bring supporting documents i.e., photos, signed letters and other appraisals?
SM: Any prior paperwork, family background, where the item was purchased, inherited, etc. is very helpful. One time a woman brought in an ink pen…an ink pen! I was asked if it had any value. I said, “Not much. Can you tell me where it came from?” She floored me by bringing out a photograph of President Nixon using the pen to sign an important bill. Well, that changed everything.
DCWM: Why get my object appraised when I can do the research online at sites like artnet.com or ebay?
SM: I recommend self-appraising an item by reaching out to all the online sources. However, there are times when it’s advisable to have someone in the business tell them real-world values. It is important to know value, but, sometimes it’s important to know where or how to sell the item for the most amount of money possible. Now more than ever, with the news talking about a possible recession, it’s important to see where you are with your tangible assets.
Sean is a certified appraiser and member of the Antique Appraisal Association of America, and has been appraising full-time for over 25 years. Sean’s last consignment (sold four months ago) was with a well-known London auction company selling a rare painting by a North African artist Hassan El Glaoui that sold for 25,000 British pounds.
Sean is owner of Morton Appraisals in Scottsdale. Photo: Sean Morton at a previous Appraisal Day at the DCWM.