New York City Music Appraiser

New York City is American’s Number One City. Not only the largest and richest, it is home to the greatest collection of art works, cultural treasures, historical artifacts… and music memorabilia.

A music appraiser, such as Stephen M.H. Braitman, ASA, of, can benefit a variety of organizations, museums and collections as those found in New York. Whether it be of service to donors for their bequests, archives to review their collections, or museums wanting to properly insure their holdings, a music appraiser provides valuable insight into all music-related materials, from recorded media such as LPs, 78s, and CDs, to posters, photographs, signed instruments, awards, and other kinds of artifacts and memorabilia.

Music Appraisal for Insurance Companies in New York

Insurance companies rely on a music appraiser’s objective comparative values to insure property, adjust for a loss, settle disputes, and assist in litigation if necessary. If the ARChive of Contemporary Music (ARC) (, 54 White Street, New York, New York 10013, (212) 226-6967) was looking to protect their collection and obtain insurance coverage for damage or loss, they would contact a qualified music appraiser such as Stephen M.H. Braitman, ASA, of ( to conduct a thorough and objective assessment of their collection.

Some of the ARChives’ vast collection of Jazz LPs.


The ARC is a not-for-profit archive, music library and research center located in New York City since 1985. ARC contains more than three million sound recordings. That’s 90+ million songs with the 2014 addition of 800,000 CDs. We preserve copies of each version of every recording, in all known formats, and have electronically catalogued more than 300,000 sound recordings – more than any other public, university or private library in America.

Music appraisers can evaluate collections of any type and form. For example, can work with galleries such as the Morrison Hotel Gallery (, 116 Prince Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10012, (212) 941-8770) to evaluate the photographs on display to ensure they are valued appropriately. Galleries like the Morrison Hotel Gallery purchase and sell authentic photographs of musicians that are old and new directly from photographers and their estates. A music appraiser can identify appropriate pricing for the sale of photographs, and assist buyers in identifying the best additions for their collections.

morrison-hotel-gallery-rock-jazz-music photography
The Morrison Hotel Gallery emphasizes classic, rare, and fine art photography of musicians.

Morrison Hotel Gallery is the world leader in fine art music photography representing over 100 of the most highly acclaimed music photographers – those who made, and continue to make, an indelible mark on music culture with photographic portrayals of the industry’s most influential artists.

Evaluating Music Collections

If an individual or institution needs to affirm certain archives, a music appraiser would be the best service for a variety of options. A music appraiser can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of an archive or collection, while providing a thorough review of the formats, editions, and condition of any recorded media as well as printed memorabilia. Many specialty archives can benefit from appraisal services, from donation appraisal to collection evaluation.

You don’t need to actually be in New York City to access some of the best Rock and Roll memorabilia sources. Check out New York based Gotta Have Rock and Roll (, 153 East 57th Street, New York NY 10022 (800) 950-1202) which hosts auctions of Pop and Rock music art. A music appraiser can assist a business such as this by valuing their art for sale in an auction setting. Similarly, a music appraiser can assist a buyer in determining the inherent value of music memorabilia. Gotta Have Rock and Roll has listings for memorabilia including clothing worn and signed by musicians such as Elvis Presley, handwritten lyrics from Gene Simmons of KISS, an employment contract for Marilyn Monroe, and stage outfits worn by Beyoncé.

Gotta Have Rock and Roll music memorabilia sales and auctions
Gotta Have Rock and Roll music memorabilia sales and auctions is an online auction site devoted to rock and roll and pop art, launched in 2008. Since its launch, the site has held many extremely successful auctions, starting with the Rock and Pop Art Auction 2008, where they broke the world record for the highest priced Elvis Presley item ever to be sold at auction, his famed Peacock Jumpsuit!

Music Appraisal for Donations                                             

Memorabilia can be acquired through many avenues. Individuals may seek out memorabilia to add to an existing collection, they may inherit memorabilia through a loved one’s estate or they may have an artifact or collectable they got at a concert many years ago. For various reasons, collectors and non-collectors may want to divest a collectible from time-to-time, or donate an item to an archive or public collection. This is the perfect time to engage the services of a music appraiser. An organization such as Collectibles with Causes (, (888) 228-7320) can benefit from a music appraiser’s objective analysis of donated music memorabilia to determine an item or collections Fair Market Value, and provide the required documentation for insurance purposes. Music appraisers can also assist by conducting evaluations for charitable contribution credit with the IRS for individuals making the donation.

Donate music memorabilia
Collectibles With Causes brings collectors together with worthy recipients of donated music memorabilia

Collectables with Causes is a non-profit charitable organization committed to meeting the needs of those in crisis. Collectables with Causes promotes and enhances educational, vocational and rehabilitative projects throughout the community through charitable donations of collectible items.

Similarly, a music appraiser can provide expertise in making a donation to a music collection such as the New York Public Library’s Music Division (, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza Third Floor New York, NY, 10023 (212) 870-1625).

The New York Public Library has a vast archive of LP records and other music memorabilia
The New York Public Library has a vast archive of LP records and other music memorabilia

The Music Division is one of the world’s preeminent music collections – documenting the art of music in all its diversity – classical and opera as well as the whole spectrum of popular music including spirituals, ragtime, jazz, musical theater, film, rock and world music.


About Stephen M. H. Braitman

If you or your institution need professional music appraisal services, Stephen M. H. Braitman is an Accredited Senior Appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers. He is the ONLY accredited appraiser in the country with a specialty in Recorded Media (LPs, 45s, CDs, all formats) and Music Memorabilia (Posters, Photos, Signed Instruments, Promotional Items, Artist-Owned Objects, Sheet Music & Scores). His services consist of:

Professional Appraisal Services for Individuals

  • Insurance Replacement Cost Coverage
  • IRS Charitable Donations
  • Equitable Division of Property in an Estate or Divorce
  • Estate Planning
  • Expert Witness
  • IRS Federal Estate Tax
  • Loss of Value Claims
  • Opinions of Value
  • Settlement of Damage
  • Valuation and Settlement

Expert Appraisal Services for Collectors and Professionals

  • Record Collectors and Dealers
  • Archives, Libraries, Auction Houses
  • Insurance Agencies
  • Executors for Estates

Stephen M. H. Braitman can be contacted at 415-897-6999 or email at braitman@musicappraisals.