A Guest Post used by permission by Teddy Pruett.
When you take a treasured antique quilt or a quilt you have recently completed to an appraiser, you have the right to expect that appraiser to be ethical, fair, and knowledgeable. The appraiser should have extensive knowledge of three hundred years of textile history, fabrics, dyes, and printing processes; should be able to identify regional, ethnic, and cultural variations; must have a keenly developed mental inventory of quilts that allows them to compare the quilt on the table to other quilts in the marketplace; must understand current costs to reproduce new quilts and much, much, more. The written appraisal must comply with USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices) standards. Certified appraisers must recertify every three years and they abide by a strict Code of Ethics, requiring the confidentiality of your appraisal information and more .
The only way to be assured that your appraiser meets the standards you deserve is to verify that he or she is certified. The only agency that administers rigorous testing and certification for appraisers in the field of quilted textiles is the American Quilter’s Society in Paducah, KY. Before you hire an appraiser, ask if he/she is certified. If they are not, you might want to ask why they aren’t certified when those credentials are so important to verify their expertise, to stay on top of proper practices, legal requirements, markets and trends. Certification is crucial to validate that the appraiser complies with the requirements of insurance companies and the IRS. If your appraiser answers that they are “AQS trained” be advised that anyone can attend the classes. These are simply introductory classes for various procedures, they are not pass/fail classes, and there is no criteria whatsoever for attending or completing the class.
There is no official government regulation for quilt and textile appraisers; anyone can say they are an appraiser. It is in your best interest to verify the qualifications of the person you entrust with your quilt and personal information. The state of Florida has, at this date, the following Certified Appraisers: Brenda Grampsas in Brooksville, Alma Moates in Pensacola, and Teddy Pruett in Lake City, Marian Smith in Clearwater Beach (winter months) and Phyllis Hatcher, who will be appraising at the World Quilt Shows (Mancuso) in West Palm Beach.
You deserve accurate information. To verify credentials or locate certified appraisers nationwide and in Canada, go to www.quiltappraisers.org