Whether it is your oil paintings, or sculptures, or statues, your collection of fine art is certainly among your most valuable assets. Moving these precious and often irreplaceable items requires maximum care and attention during every phase of the moving operation to ensure the maximum degree of protection. Depending upon your collection’s overall value and size, there are numerous professional moving companies and packing and storage services that know everything there is regarding how to move any art collection safely and securely. They will also work diligently to make certain that every phase of your move is handled with meticulous precision. If moving these valuable belongings yourself is up for consideration, or having the task done by professionals, this guideline will offer some suggestions on how to adequately prepare to move your art collection with a minimum of difficulty, and perhaps some piece of mind.
Get a Qualified Art Appraiser
Before any moving operation begins, any art collection worth a considerable amount of money should obviously be appraised by a qualified professional, and which should also be selected to fit your particular need in terms of type – current value or replacement value. The best method in locating a qualified individual or firm is through any preferred art dealer or art appraisal organization. The cost of these services will vary depending on your location, though appraisers will generally charge either an hourly rate or a flat fee for their services and expertise. It is also very important that you both document and photograph the entire extent of your collection for insurance purposes.
If you are using professional movers, you need to certainly inform them prior to their estimate that you will be moving these high-value assets. Most often, there are particular arrangements that need to be taken into account to ensure that your valuables will reach your new destination in the safest manner possible. In addition, you will need to compile a high-value inventory assessment form to make certain that your valuables are covered for maximum liability.
Ensuring the Maximum of Protection
Your moving company representative should take great pains to outline the specific protection plans available. In general, professional moving companies offer a minimal valuation coverage at around $.60 per pound. However, it is highly recommended that you take advantage of the full replacement coverage available from most of the major moving companies. Remember to provide copies of the appraisal documentation to your moving company representative at the time the estimate is given.
Packing an Art Collection for the Move
Naturally, different types and configurations of art pieces entail different packing and crating methods, materials, and techniques. Custom fabricated wooden crates are necessary for most expensive artwork such as paintings, sculptures, or statues, and is the most secure method to ensure safety during loading, transport, and unloading. Art pieces such as oil paintings are obviously the most fragile or delicate items, and need the optimum amount of care. Before the crating process begins, the paintings should be wrapped in acid-free glassine paper, which will provide the most critical form of protection from the hazards of moisture and dust.
Moving an Art Collection
Once the crating process is complete, your collection it is able to withstand the rigors of the moving process. If your collection does contain oil paintings, it is crucial that you wait to move them during the cooler months of the year. More than likely, the movers will not be liable should any of your artwork suffer from temperature extremes. Valuation coverage may not apply in these circumstances because moving companies are not normally responsible for changes in climatic conditions during a move. If this is of concern, there is the option of moving your more fragile pieces in a climate-controlled transport vehicle. While this may be more expensive, it just might be worth the cost.
Upon arriving at your new residence, your collection can be unloaded into its new environment. The movers should take care of opening each of the crates on the transport vehicle and moving each piece inside your home to its general location. It is also highly recommended that you refer to your original inventory list and photographs, and systematically check each piece as it is moved from the vehicle, and document its condition upon arrival against the movers checklist.