Fine Art Appraisal, Advisory and Collection Management Services

Appraisal Services

Art provides appraisal services by qualified personal property appraisers, professionally trained in appraisal theory, principles, procedures, ethics and law. All reports prepared comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) of the Appraisal Foundation ( and the Appraisal Report Writing Standard of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA)( Appraisals of certified cultural property also comply with the requirements of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

We prepare professional documents for the following purposes:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Damage and loss claims
  • Charitable donation
  • Donation of certified cultural property
  • Purchase or sales advice
  • Estate planning and division of assets
  • Determination of probate fees or capital gains tax
  • Bankruptcy and divorce or partnership dissolution
  • Expert witness and litigation support


Research & Authentication

When there is a question with regard to the authenticity of an object, we arrange for the appropriate expert to make a determination as to its genuineness. Typically, this requires a physical examination by a recognized expert and may require scientific testing by an established facility like the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa (

Appraisal clients include private collectors, insurance companies, corporations, financial institutions, registered charities and law firms as well as government agencies, crown corporations, public museums and galleries including:

  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
  • Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board
  • Canadian War Museum
  • Government of Ontario Art Collection
  • Kitchener/Waterloo Art Gallery
  • McMaster Museum of Art
  • Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal
  • Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
  • National Ballet School of Canada
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Ontario College of Art and Design
  • Power Plant Art Gallery
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Tom Thomson Art Gallery
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

As an affiliate member of the Association for Professional Art Advisors (, we are committed to promoting the value of the visual arts and maintaining the highest standards in acquiring, maintaining and displaying works of art in non-museum settings for both private and business clients.


Art Advisory Services – A resource for the art collector

  • Strategic planning for the acquisition or dispersal of art collections tailored to individual interests and requirements
  • Access to an international network of art professionals for the location of quality works of art
  • Provisions of objective recommendations based on comprehensive research and extensive knowledge
  • Representation in purchase and sales transactions
  • Negotiation of prices and terms on art purchases

A successful art collection must be well planned and the initial planning stages are critical in building a solid foundation and establishing the objectives. Typically, we have preliminary meetings to discuss goals and then we prepare a location plan and budget. This is followed by a written proposal with illustrations and a presentation of initial concepts. We then research and source appropriate works of art, coordinate gallery visits, on-site presentations, framing, delivery, and installations.

Estate Downsizing

Inventory, Research & Pre-Sale Estimates

We are specialists in fine art and have an extensive network of colleagues with diverse expertise. This enables us to assist our clients with a wide range of objects. We ensure that each item is accurately identified and conduct research in various markets to provide pre-sale estimates for those items that will be sold and also value estimates for those items that may be donated. Typically, as a first step we undertake a complete inventory and photograph works of art, household furnishings and other residential contents.


Identifying the right market for an object is critical to obtaining the best price and maximizing your monetary proceeds. The appropriate market may be an international, national, regional or local auction house, dealer, gallery, consignment store or a private sale. We make recommendations for the most advantageous means for you to sell those items you wish to disperse.

You may choose to deal with the recommended vendors personally or engage our services further to coordinate all of the details of the sale, including packing and transport, ensuring that the process is stress-free for you.


Donations of certified cultural property bring the greatest tax benefits as they are not subject to capital gains tax. We will specify significant items that could potentially qualify to be certified as cultural property and identify and contact appropriate recipient institutions.

Lesser items will also be identified and we will coordinate the donation to your favourite charity or we can recommend appropriate recipients and arrange pick ups or deliveries.


If you choose to gift items to children, relatives or friends, we can coordinate the packing and deliveries.


For items that cannot be sold, donated or gifted, we will coordinate the pick up and disposal.

Appraisals for Equitable Distribution, Estate Planning & Insurance 

When downsizing, items that remain with you require special consideration as well. As certified and accredited members of the International Society of Appraisers, we can provide you with appraisals of fair market value for estate planning and equitable distribution as well as comparable replacement cost for insurance purposes. Our appraisal reports conform to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. It is particularly important to ensure that your insurance values are up to date prior to a move.

Collection Management

Inventory and Cataloguing 

Our collection management and curatorial services include the inventory and documentation of works of art which is an important step in maintaining and preserving a collection. A comprehensive inventory with detailed information records the history of the work, is invaluable in case of damage or theft, and can be useful if the object is sold or donated in the future.

When documenting a collection, we conduct a physical inventory, take digital photographs and record critical identifying information using Object ID (, the international standard for identifying works of art developed by the Getty Institute in conjunction with museums, the art industry, appraisal organizations, insurance companies and police. The data we collect is then recorded in an appropriate database for the documentation of collections.

Conservation & Restoration 

Collections routinely require care and maintenance to ensure their safety and preservation. We provide cost-efficient inspection programs and provide condition reports and conservation recommendations and coordinate any required cleaning, reframing or relocation. When restoration is required, we recommend the services of qualified professionals with relevant specialized expertise.

Archival framing is critical to maintaining the condition and value of works of art and reframing can rejuvenate an art collection. We work with experienced framers who are knowledgeable about the proper framing methods and materials to ensure the preservation of your collection.

Professional Installation & Display 

The correct placement and display of collections can be key to enhancing both the objects and the environment. Rotating items and providing a new perspective in a different location can revitalize a collection. We have extensive experience with location planning both for private residences and business offices.

We coordinate professional installers to ensure that your collection is properly and safely installed. In addition to standard installations, we can provide security installations to deter theft and minimize accidental damage.

For the display of unique art and artifacts, we arrange for the fabrication of custom designed cases, pedestals, plinths, boxes or presentation rails in a range of materials including marble, glass, acrylic, wood, iron and steel.

Appropriate lighting can both enhance a collection and ensure its preservation. Too much light or the wrong type of lighting can cause irreparable damage. We will assess lighting levels for both conservation and display and make recommendations for changes in wattage and fixtures as required.