US courts call for Qualified Independent Appraisers

To protect asset value, consumers must select a qualified and independent appraiser 

July 26, 2019

(Washington, DC)  – The Appraisal Foundation, the nation’s foremost authority on valuation services, applauds the recent 9th Circuit Court ruling that agreed with a U.S. Tax Court opinion that found an appraisal from an esteemed auction house is not adequate assurance of appraisal expertise or competency.

With this ruling, the professionalism of personal property appraisers has been confirmed for the second time by the judicial system in the United States. This is a game-changer for the primacy of the personal property appraisal profession, and for protecting consumers from biased and uninformed appraisals that can result in significant financial repercussions.

“The 9th Circuit Court ruling is the culmination of dedicated personal property appraisers who committed to establishing qualifications and standards to raise the professionalism of the personal property appraisal discipline,” said David Bunton, president of The Appraisal Foundation. “The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) published the first qualification criteria for personal property appraisers in 1998, and updated it most recently as of January 1, 2018. It is also worth noting that standards for personal property appraising have been part of the Appraisal Standards Board’s Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) since its inception in 1987.”

“Consumers are the biggest beneficiaries of this ruling. Personal property assets will be better protected when a qualified and independent appraiser is retained to value one’s personal property assets,” said John Brenan, vice president of appraisal issues at The Appraisal Foundation. “This also means wealth managers and estate attorneys now have a greater fiduciary duty to their clients to fully understand appraiser qualification criteria and appraisal standards when vetting personal property appraisal experts.”

The ruling arises from the case of Estate of Kollsman vs. Commissioner. The Estate hired a premiere auction house to conduct an appraisal of the estate’s art collection. The U.S. Tax Court rejected the valuation of the auction house expert because of bias and a lack of objective evidence. The IRS retained the services of a personal property appraiser, who met the qualifications established by the AQB and completed an appraisal that was compliant with USPAP.

The IRS appraisal expert found two of the paintings were significantly undervalued. The court also found that the auction house expert had a conflict of interest as the appraiser in question also sought to represent the paintings at auction. The 9th Circuit Court took the case up on appeal and agreed with U.S. Tax Court opinion.

The Appraisal Foundation is the nation’s foremost authority on the valuation profession. The organization sets the Congressionally-authorized standards and qualifications for real estate appraisers, and provides voluntary guidance on recognized valuation methods and techniques for all valuation professionals. This work advances the profession by ensuring appraisals are independent, consistent, and objective. More information on The Appraisal Foundation is available at

Kentucky Derby Museum

Barbaro, Life size bronze horse and rider outside of Churchill Downs museum

This years annual ISA (International Society of Appraisers) conference took place in Louisville Kentucky and included an evening at the Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby Museum. As a professional appraisers of art and antiques we are constantly seeking out education on subject matter to inform our research. Our membership in the ISA actually requires us to show continued education and experience in appropriate related areas. This and our adherence to professional ethics, and the USPAP standard are what set Adams Appraisal above the average dealer.

This year’s conference was a great weekend of education on various subjects for appraisers like Audobon prints, Persian rugs, and Bourbon and a chance to network with subject matter experts and experienced professionals from all over the US and Canada. We even managed to sample a little Bourbon.

SOFAChicago Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design show


Our team recently visited one of the Midwest’s premier fine art events. Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design show 2018 SOFAChicago. We always look forward to the diverse collection of glass art, sculpture, designed furniture, objects, and jewelry on display.

We love to meet and talk to artists, curators, and gallery owners all over the country about current and historical art and material culture, but SOFA is always one of our favorite research events because it’s right here at home and sculpture can really be so much fun! Here are just a few of the great fun pieces we saw.

Massimo Lunardon – Alien

Marco Miller “Wallace” – Contemporary Chicago artist

Namdoo Kim from the Golden Binoculars series

Rare Movie Posters discovered under a linoleum floor

Antique movie poster

Antique movie poster

A trove of a 17 rare movie posters discovered under a linoleum floor in southern Pennsylvania may be worth more than $140,000 when they cross the block at public auction Nov. 21-22 in Dallas. The find holds lost pieces of Hollywood history – including five, never-before-seen posters such as Clark Gable’s first starring role and the Style D one sheet for Tarzan The Ape Man, which is expected to sell for more than $40,000 at Heritage Auctions.

The stash was discovered last summer by Bob and Dylan Basta while renovating a back room in their father’s newly-purchased home. When Bob and Dylan removed a dated linoleum floor they discovered layers of newspapers from the 1940s and 14 movie posters from obscure films they had never heard of well as the well-known Tarzan. They quickly called their father, Robert, to report the discovery. Read More…