Hermes appraisers - where to find?

  1. The insurance thread got me thinking about getting my pieces appraised. Is there such a thing as a luxury appraiser? I am sure there is but where does one look? I think my insurance policy needs updating and would love to hear some advice.

  2. You probably want a high end specialist antique dealer for vintage clothing/textiles/accessories. On the West Coast, I think Mr. Toad's could handle the job, off the top of my head. I know there will be others on the West Coast, but he's the first one to pop into mind.

    On the East Coast, there's several high end antique/vintage bag and costume jewelry dealers in NYC, and there's a great dealer in Philadelphia who always seems to have a few Kellys or Birkins around.

    Good luck.
  3. ^^^Thanks, GGA!
  4. i inquired at the nyc flagship store and they said corporate upstairs could provide me with a letter stating what the bag would cost retail at that moment but that was it. that was months ago though.
  5. The Appraisers Association of America ought to be able to direct you to someone in your area. They're located in NYC and their phone number is 212-889-5404.
  6. Thank you!!! Will definitely have to call them tomorrow!
  7. Trocadero's recommendation, the AAA might be able to help, but they are seriously NYC based. Not exclusively, but if you're not in NYC, I've found their recs less helpful. If you're on the west coast, they may have potentially far fewer contacts available. There are lots of people specializing in silver, art, high end furniture. Couture and bag specialists are far fewer.

    You can also try the International Society of Appraisers. This group specializes in decorative arts/household contents sorts of appraisals, and might be able to direct you very well.

    HC, YMMV, but my personal experience has been that if you have anything that is no longer in production, you won't be able to get them to give you an accurate replacement value. For example, I took a breathtaking, exquisite, heavy, and handmade 18kt gold chain from the 50s into Tiffany's to get it appraised. They kept insisting it wasn't theirs until I had them call the manager, identify it in their archived catalogs, and accept it for appraisal. 4 weeks and $200 later, I discovered that they had "appraised" it by weighing it and calculating it as scrap gold. There was zero chance I could have replaced that chain for the weight of the metal.

    I took it to a specialist in antique jewelry, didn't relay any of the above, and ended up with an appraisal that was 5x higher than what Tiffany's gave me.

    I'm thinking that with something like, say, a barenia HAC, Hermes wouldn't be able to really give an appropriate retail value since it seems like it can't even be SO'd. I'm no expert on bags, but if they keep refusing birkin orders in barenia, the secondary market value will have to go up.

    I'm not sure I'm even coherent here. Sorry if it's not clear, y'all. I'm almost cross-eyed from work.

    Anyway, good luck.
  8. The appraiser must know the purpose of your appraisal. There are many kinds of value - Replacement Value, Fair Market Value, Marketable Cash Value, etc. etc. To determine insurance replacement value involves seeking the best comparable sales of like kind items done most recently. The Appraisal Institute works hard to see that their appraisers are well qualified, have taken continuing education courses and follow a precise methodology. (Following the prescribed methodology is important when one has to defend one's appraisal in a court of law).

    It shouldn't be difficult to have an appraisal done on Hermes handbags - look at all the recent auction activity. Making adjustments for condition, time on market, desirablilty, etc, enter the picture. I daresay any active eBay Reseller is as knowledgeable as an appraiser in this area. But providing the necessary documentation can be time consuming.
  9. ^^^and expensive. But:

    If you find out the angles/proofs they need in their pics of your things (date stamps, logos, interior/exterior, overall condition of bags; logos, artist/titles of scarves; bracelet logos, etc.) you can take the pics yourself and provide them to the appraiser. Saves a lot of $$$, especially if you have a large collection. They'll put their report/appraisal together (shouldn't take more than 3-5 hours) and charge accordingly. Much more cost effective than 20+ hours (again, depending on collection size) they could charge arranging and shooting your collection.

    Also: provide for them websites, Japanese books, *anything* that gives an approximate pricing via the boutique. That saves them documenting time.
  10. Contact the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), They should be able to refer you to some good people in your area. (My father values corporations, so I have had to hear about this stuff for-ever - I unfortunately can't think of a specialized appraisal org. that you can contact, but ASA has a broad range of members. I highly recommend getting in touch with them as well for jewelry etc.)

    Good luck!
  11. Thanks for all the advice everyone. It's one of those things that I always say I will do and then life keeps happening. I figure, I have a few mroe weeks before our baby's arrival and if I don't get it done soon...who knows?
  12. If you still can't find anyone, call Christie's ( and they are great about referring you to someone in your area. I've used them loads of times when looking for silver and jewelry appraisers but wasn't sure where to go. Very helpful and very friendly.