We know and are careful to work within our limits. We ask ourselves whether we already have or will be able to prepare ourselves to come to the job with the necessary information and skills. We ask ourselves whether we know where to get requisite information on the material to be appraised and the nature of the market for it. In a few cases, we postponed accepting a job until we had necessary information and skills or determined that we know who could provide us with information we could not have found or interpreted on our own. In a several cases, we have decided to bring in a colleague with pertinent specialist experience. One or the other of us has worked with five other appraisers. Over the years, we have turned down invitations to appraise particular collections-- in such fields as mountaineering, fiber arts, automotive history, a collection of Philip K. Dick manuscripts, 17th and 18th century German Literature, and correspondence among mid-20th century avant garde musicians. In such cases we always recommend colleagues with appropriate expertise.

If we think a potential client's materials do not justify the costs of the type of appraisal they have asked for, we tell them that, explain why, and suggest and discuss alternatives.


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