Many homeowners who have amassed art collections over the years may not know the true value of their collections. Over time their items may have appreciated significantly and when a household move is on the horizon they should think about how their art is going to be handled. Improper packing, crating or handling can be disastrous. Here are a few questions a person should ask themselves to determine if they need to hire an art handler for their art:
- How valuable is it?
This is the first question to ask. If you have had the art for a while and don’t know its present value, get an appraisal. This appraisal will be good to have to update your insurance records and to help determine the proper handling for it. A simple rule is this: If it’s worth keeping on your walls it should be handled properly, even if it doesn’t appraise out for a high dollar value. Along with artworks, family heirlooms should be handled by someone who will take the necessary steps to insure safe moving.
- How far will it be moved?
Often art that is just going a few blocks can be handled by the homeowner themselves. This will save money and the homeowner can feel good about not worrying about the movers’ experience in art handling. If however, the art is going to be moved some distance and the art cannot fit in the family vehicle, it should be handled by a trained art handler. A professional art handler will know what the correct protocols are for handling the item.
- Is the art replaceable?
There is art that can be bought at an art gallery, art auction or through various retail dealers but some art is considered “irreplaceable”. These are ones that have significant sentimental value to the homeowner. A homeowner needs to carefully consider how they would feel if something happened to the art that is being moved. These often are family pieces that someone did in school or ones which have been passed down over generations. Not a lot of dollar value but ones which have significant emotional meaning.
When considering WHO to hire for handling your art a homeowner should always check references, research the company’s history and reviews and, whenever possible, visit the facility where the art handling company works out of. The offices/warehouse of an art handling qualified moving company will say a lot about their professionalism. Do not every trust art to a company which just offers an attractive price. Experience, training and having the right equipment and client support staff costs money and the pricing from a qualified art handling moving and storage company should reflect this.