Welcome to Melissa Fouse Appraisals: personal property appraisal services

My Blog


About me

You probably need an appraiser:

I will appraise your fine art, Alaska Native Art, household contents and wine!  I appraise for insurance, estates, trusts, and for equitable distribution. 

Experienced and Trustworthy

I have been in the art and appraisal business in Alaska for many years; my formal training as an appraiser was at NYU in 2010.  I have clients throughout Alaska and in the lower 48 states.  


(907) 744 5100

Contact me

Drop me a line! I am happy to answer questions about the appraisal process.

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My practice  includes consultations for downsizing, personal property estate planning, estate disposal, and corporate asset deacquisition. I provide services to accounting firms, art galleries, attorneys and legal professionals, bank trust departments, beneficiaries, estates, historical societies, individuals, museums, private collectors, private fiduciaries, probate, religious institutions, and trusts.

Melissa Fouse Appraisals

Anchorage, Alaska 99501

(907) 744-5100



By Appointment


By Appointment


By Appointment


By Appointment


By Appointment


By Appointment


By Appointment

Wonderful Things I have seen!

Katlian's Helmet


Helmet worn by the Tlingit Chief Katlian in battle with the Russians.  Sheldon Jackson Museum 

Illustration from Harriman Expedition Report


Fungi of Alaska 

Antique Maps


Antique Map of North America Key

Sidney Laurence


Many wonderful Sydney Laurence paintings have crossed my path.  

Maori Canoe Prow


Astounding enormous canoe with carved prow.  Auckland Museum.

Sterling Silver


Whiting "Frontenac" pattern - seafood/cocktail forks

What i do

What are my services?

Appraisal Review 

Damage Claims

 Divorce Settlements 

Equitable Distribution 

Estate Evaluations 

Estate Probate

Estate Tax
Expert Witness
Insurance Claims
Non-Cash Charitable Donations 

Tax Deductible Gifts

What do I appraise?

Fine Art
Alaska Native Arts & Crafts
Business Contents/Inventories

Carpets & Rugs
Decorative Arts & Accessories Dinnerware
Equipment - Office
Lamps & Lighting Fixtures

Objet d'art & De Vertu

Model Ships

How does it work?

I examine the items to be appraised, research their values in the marketplace, and issue a report.  

I also do "walk throughs" with my clients who do not know if their items are valuable enough to have appraised and  give them advice about the need for an appraisal or how to divest themselves of objects.  

Qualified Appraisers

A qualified appraiser should meet the following criteria:

Education: Over several decades the appraisal profession has developed generally recognized valuation methods and techniques, commonly known as a body of knowledge. Conformance to these generally recognized methods and techniques promotes consistency in the work product of appraisers. A qualified appraiser will
usually have training from any combination of the following sources: appraisal proprietary school, professional appraisal societies, and/or college or university courses.

Experience: A professional appraiser will have significant experience in applying the generally recognized valuation methods and techniques learned in the classroom to the marketplace.

Examination: A professional appraiser has been tested to ensure a thorough understanding of the subject matter and competency.

Continuing Education: A professional appraiser continues to take educational offerings on a periodic basis to ensure awareness of changes in valuation methods and techniques, technology and the marketplace.

Adherence to a Written Set of Ethical and Performance Standards: Following an established code of conduct focusing on conduct and ethics, such as the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, is a cornerstone for a professional appraiser.

Accountability for Conduct: Either a government appraiser regulatory agency or a peer review panel of a professional appraisal society affords due process to the public regarding complaints about the conduct of appraisers.

Elements of a Professional Appraisal

Professional appraisers adhere to a written set of performance standards, known as the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The U.S. Congress has recognized USPAP as
the generally accepted set of standards for professional appraisal practice in the United States. USPAP contains standards for all types of appraisal services including real property, personal property, business valuation and mass appraisal. USPAP compliance is also required by professional appraisal associations, client groups and by dozens of federal, state and local agencies.

By following USPAP, a professional appraiser helps foster public trust in valuation through:

Impartiality and Objectivity: A professional appraiser must be independent, impartial, and objective. A professional appraiser’s opinion of value must not be biased.

Ethical Conduct: A professional appraiser will adhere to a generally recognized code of ethical conduct, which is contained in USPAP. In addition, many professional appraisal societies have their own codes of conduct.

Full Disclosure: A professional appraiser will disclose all relevant information to ensure that the appraisal is understandable to the user, and not misleading.

Confidentiality: A professional appraiser will treat confidential information as such. When in doubt, the appraiser should always check with the client to determine what is or is not confidential information.

Competency: A professional appraiser should have knowledge and experience in performing similar assignments.

Independence: A professional appraiser cannot be compensated based upon the results of the appraisal.


How does an appraiser know what my collection is worth?  

Appraisers research appropriate markets to see what items similar to yours have sold for in the past (and what they are listed for now). Most of this information is available to them via internet and other sources for which appraisers pay annual fees. Appraisers also know how to compare items based on condition, past ownership, age, artistry, editions, hallmarks, makers, raw materials and many other factors.

Is my baseball card collection covered by my homeowner’s insurance policy?  

Probably not. Most homeowners’ policies limit coverage on jewelry, stamps, fine arts, antiques, silver, guns, coins, furs and collections.  With a professional appraisal you can increase insurance coverage and be sure your valuables are covered.

So an appraiser doesn’t know what something is worth just by looking at it? 

 No, credible appraisers must always research comparable sales and list prices because markets change based on current demand.

Why does an appraiser need to know why I want an appraisal?  

Values vary based on the reason for the appraisal. By definition, appraisals for court-ordered liquidations, divisions of assets, charitable donations, insurance, inheritance tax and even resale can all have different values. Trained appraisers know the difference and follow the proper regulations.

Do I have to have a professional appraisal for a charitable donation?
Yes, if you are donating an item worth more than $5,000. In addition, a qualified appraiser must sign the tax form 8283 that accompanies your tax return. 

Some Examples of fine objects

Alaska Native Art - Yupik


Chevak Mask - Yupik

Alaska Native Art-Inupiaq


Baleen Basket with Walrus Head Finial

Alaska Native Art - Athabascan


Ellen Savage Doll

Fine China


Royal Crown Derby Fine China



Volume of the Harriman Expedition Collection



Fine Wines & Spirits.