Insurance appraisals need professional standards

Sterling Silver flatware

Our appraisals are certified to the highest professional and federal standard (Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice), and follow the best professional practices of the ISA (International Society of Appraisers). These are among the highest standards in the industry. We provide evidence based valuation of replacement cost, inventories, and photography for you and your insurer.

Even the most comprehensive policy does no good if the replacement cost of the property has not been determined. Basic home-owner’s policies may not properly address the value of the items you treasure. If a claim must be made, your insurance company may require proof of value be established prior to the damage or loss. While it may be possible to appraise items after they have sustained damage or even been destroyed, there is never a clearer picture of your items value than while it is still whole. When you itemize your collection with a professional appraisal, there is peace of mind that nothing will be overlooked or undervalued.

We are qualified and experienced in providing appraisals to properly insure your art collection or treasured collectables. If you have modern designer furnishings or a curated mid-century home filled with period Eames chairs we will research the appropriate markets to value your items. We are adept at valuation of business equipment that may be in your home or large scale office complex. We generally can do most residential content.

Call us for a free consultation.

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.

Why Adams Appraisal?

Your insurance requires a Certified Professional Appraisal, which galleries and retailers do not generally provide. All our appraisals are Certified according to the Federal standard, USPAP. (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice)

We are Qualified to make appraisals for Federal Tax purposes based on our experience and professional training.

The owner, and lead appraiser Kurt Soucek is an Accredited member of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA, AM). The largest professional organization of personal property appraisers.  This sets us apart from local dealers and collectors who are not qualified professionals. Education and experience demonstrating the identification and valuation of personal property are requirements for membership as is ongoing education and regular requalification.

As professional appraisers we are an “uninterested party” and work to avoid bias. We arrive at an independent numerical conclusion based on knowledge, thorough research, and experience. We consider evidence and information but will not be influenced or advocate a position.

We protect the confidential nature of the appraiser-client relationship. All our engagements are subject to a confidentiality agreement.

We will not offer to purchase items we have appraised. We may sell items on consignment, and have a network of collectors, direct or auction sales venues, and dealers.


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

Art Appraisal in Chicago

Western oil painting

We offer qualified professional appraisal of antique or contemporary art. Our experience includes identification, cataloging and valuation of large collections or individual works. We serve the entire Chicago region and come to your home or office for inspection. Our appraisals are “professional independent conclusions of value” qualified for use with the IRS, legal documentation for trust, estates, or litigation, and certified for insurance. We bill by the hour and can provide realistic estimates for most tasks. Call now 312 715 7397 to schedule an appointment or no hassle estimate.

We have experience with painting, prints, etchings, craft objects, decorative arts, cultural property, design, or sculpture. When you have an eclectic collection of works and objects we are generally able to include anything in the home (or garage).

Divorce Appraisal

Appraisal of Home contents. Appraisal of firearms, guitars, or even kitchen equipment.

Appraisal of firearms, guitars, or even kitchen equipment.

A dissolution of marriage requires a well-supported, professional appraisal report that will hold up during litigation. If you find yourself in a battle of assets while settling a divorce Adams Appraisal can assist your attorneys with an accurate description and value of personal property.  More than just an antiques appraisal, we can establish value for household contents as well as specialty collections such as guitars, firearms, tools, vintage vehicles, silver, art pottery, furniture, fine art, and much more.

You are assured the best in service with professional courtesy, confidentiality, and top notch analysis. Working through the sensitive needs of your situation is not a problem. Client confidentiality is among the core ethics of professional appraisal practice.

Call us for a free consultation.

Donation Appraisal

We are qualified to evaluate fair market value for donation to a not-for-profit organization. In order to claim substantial IRS tax benefits the donation of material should be accompanied by a certified appraisal from a qualified appraiser. – *All our appraisals are certified according to the Federal standard, USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice). “Qualified Appraiser” as defined by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 to make appraisals for Federal Tax purposes.

We are qualified to appraise;
Art, collectibles, antiques.
Home furniture, electronics, and decor.
Donation of product, business inventory, or equipment.
Salvage or surplus building materials.

Call or email for a free consultation.
312 715-7397

Estate Appraisal for home contents and art


We provide certified professional documentation for Illinois probate court, IRS, and estate tax, trusts, or equitable distribution. We have experience working with fiduciaries, accountants, attorneys, and trust officers to fulfill your specific requirements. All our appraisals are Certified according to the Federal standard, USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice). And our lead appraiser is a “Qualified Appraiser” as defined by the Pension Protection Act of 2006. to make appraisals for Federal Tax purposes.

We can help with the evaluation of an entire estate, or a few specific items. Our staff is capable of appraising the entire contents of the estate whatever it contains. Art, furnishings, vehicles, firearms, special collections, and general household content are just a few of the items we research and document regularly.

We can provide guidance on donation or liquidation of assets. Many people just want to know they are not mistaking a valuable item for trash. We offer peace of mind to those looking to hold their own estate sale and we are qualified to write donation appraisals for the IRS.

Call us for a free consultation.

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…