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© 1996-2006
Coup de Foudre, LLC



Among the standard fee-services offered to our customers are bidding at auction, artefact authentication, collection planning, expert witness testimony and appraisals. We undertake formal valuations of books, maps, antiquities, textiles, wine, Buddhist Art and the native arts of Africa and Asia -- so-called tribal or ethnographic art. We are happy to arrange appraisals for other sorts of objects.

There are many types of appraisals. Most commonly we are asked to conduct appraisals for insurance coverage (loss or damage) for which we provide the object's replacement value in the current retail market. Other types of appraisals are related to death, divorce, and business dissolution requiring equitable distributions (wholesale or cash market value); appraisals for charitable donations (fair market value); and appraisals for liquidation, collateral loan or asset and estate management (wholesale value).

While we are often interested in buying material we appraise for tax, insurance, auction or probate purposes, we will not bid/buy in situations where there are possible questions of self-dealing, objectivity or other ethical considerations, such as our having appraised the item within the previous twelve months. In such cases we may be able to provide the names of alternate buyers.

New collectors of tribal art (and, perhaps, some established ones) should be aware that the value of their collection may not warrant the expense of an appraisal if their collections are riddled with non-authentic material. We offer advice on this issue before putting the client to any expense.

In many cases it is possible for individuals to find an approximate value of their items by browsing the Internet. Be aware, however, that many web sites offer merchandise that is inauthentic, fake or incorrectly catalogued as to origin, condition, etc. And, of course, one cannot appraise one's own merchandise for insurance or probate purposes!

Click here for details about engaging Coup de Foudre, LLC for your appraisal or other service.

Appraiser's Standard Code of Ethics

  • We do not contract to perform appraisals for a fixed percentage of the total value of the appraisal.  It is recognized that the collection's value may have a bearing on the fee charged if, for example, the collection value is known to be relatively small but an appraisal is needed nonetheless.

  • If the value of your collection does not warrent the expense of an appraisal we will tell you so before putting you to any appraisal expenses.

  • We will not accept appraisal work for which our compensation is contingent upon a favorable award, sale, court action or other decision which in turn is based upon the results of our appraisal.

  • We will not perform appraisals for income or gain on property in which we have an interest, or contemplated future interest, unless such interest is openly divulged to all parties concerned.

  • Someone from our firm will personally sign all reports covering appraisals we have performed and for which we are responsible.

  • We will perform all appraisals in an independent manner and valuations will not be influenced by the desires and interests of clients.  Advocacy will be avoided at all times.

  • We will not serve more than one client with regard to the same property except with the consent of all parties involved.

  • We do not buy material if we have appraised it within the previous twelve months.