A few days ago I posted that many factors affect the value of an object.  Object value is also affected by market. Appraisers evaluate market and factors about the object to determine the appropriate value.  I asked in the previous post,  “What factor of an object do you think contributes most to value?”

Think about a person who is in peak fitness, full of vitality shining from the inside out.  Compare that person to one who is sick, coughing and coming down with the seasonal flu.  Which person would you choose for your buddy on a trip around town ?  The choice is easy. No one wants to catch a bug; thus, we pick the one that is in peak health.  This analogy illustrates that overall condition affects our choice.  This same principle drives choice in the open market.  Overall condition is important.  It is the most important factor when evaluating objects, all aspects being equal of course.

Compare a great piece of studio art pottery.  An 8″H  urn shaped vase with a rolled lip.  A vase from the 1950s, made in Finland.  Incised artist mark on base.  Condition is perfect and the glaze is flawless.  Now take the same vase with a small chip, say 1/4″,  to the lip.  Which one would you buy ?  The one without the chip.  Same as the person who is ill and can’t hold their own.  We chose the better, the one that is a shiny example. We chose the one that is in the best “health”.

While appraisers don’t use formulas to arrive at value.  Depending on other inherent factors rarity, size, and designer in this case, a rim chip would decrease the value by about 25%-75%. Then we consider external factors, such as provenance and market demand to arrive at our final value conclusion.

In real estate, you have heard the term location, location, location.  In personal property we should probably adopted a similar tag line –  Condition, Condition, Condition.

It is important to take care of any condition issues as they start to develop.  Address any issues that you can control.  For example, moving a piece of art from wall that receives direct sunlight. Consult with specialists you repair or restore items to find out cost.  It is often less expensive to nip a problem in the bud.  Just like taking care of a cold before it turns into a full-blown infection.

So remember to protect you personal property.  Keep the condition status quo while enjoying your collection in your everyday life.

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