Franklin Report Report Card for Sotheby's in New York City
★ Franklin Report Card
1334 York Avenue
New York, NY 10021
(212) 606-7000
Auction Houses & Services
Real Estate Appraisers

Services & Specialties
Auction appraisal services

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FR Review:
As the oldest major fine-art and antique auction house in the world (in that respect, it beats Christie’s by 22 years), Sotheby’s has the authority of an institution. However, it is still first and foremost a business (the company is publicly traded), with 90 offices around the world, thousands of employees, and a grand headquarters on the Upper East Side.

Sotheby’s appraisal staff comprises a veritable army of specialists representing over 70 collecting categories, including jewelry, furniture and decorative arts, porcelain, silver, antique rugs, prints and paintings (among many others). Though auctioning is Sotheby’s primary function, its appraisal staff can prepare documents to suit the client’s needs–whether they be estate planning, insurance, charitable contributions or fair market value.

Sotheby’s will provide a free loose valuation of a piece, either in-house or through submitted photographs. Beyond that, the firm’s moderate fees are based on the volume and nature of the property, as well as the time and the number of specialists involved in the appraisal. For larger estates and collections, fees for written evaluations are negotiable and are generally very competitive. Though the auction-driven nature of Sotheby’s means you might be “shuffled off to Buffalo” if you’re not bringing in an expensive collection, the firm’s “professionalism” and “expertise” are appreciated by many satisfied clients.

Representative Client Comments:
“Wonderful specialists. I learned so much from my appraisal experience.” “Unless you’re in the $10,000 range, you’ll probably have to deal with a junior associate. Still, they were quite professional.” “The appraisal process was quite clear.”

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