Joan Caballero Appraisals

PO Box 822
Santa Fe, NM 87504
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Appraisals/brokerage in all areas of fine Native American Art - historic & contemporary - as well as New Mexico Hispanic Arts & Regional Southwest Fine Art.

As a longtime resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, I have spent most of this time working in the field of Native American Arts. For the last fifteen years, I have worked actively as a qualified appraiser of Native American Arts: antique and contemporary; New Mexico Hispanic Arts; Southwest Regional Fine Arts: Contemporary, Taos and Santa Fe Schools; 20th Century American general antiquities, and household items. My services include providing professional, comprehensible appraisals and consultations for insurance, charitable donation, equitable distribution, and estate purposes.


Courses of study in the Native American art field were not offered at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, where I was a Fine Arts major. My specialty knowledge in the Native American art field is self-taught and acquired first-hand through the many years of working with Native American artists, dealers and traders, gallery owners, museum curators, auctions houses, and collectors. Throughout the 1980's, I was Director of Indian Arts at Dewey Galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the most prominent Native American art galleries in the country.


I am an Accredited Member of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) having successfully completed and tested in the ISA Core Course Levels of Appraisal Studies: Appraisal Principles and Business Practices 101; Appraisal Ethics, Standards, USPAP, Identification/Authentication, Research and Legal Issues 102; and Appraiser Techniques and Practical Report Writing 103. In 1996, I successfully completed and tested the ISA Advanced Course 301: Expert Witness. In 1999, I completed an extensive seminar presented by the Appraiser’s Association of America (AAA) regarding IRS issues and appraisals. In November 2002, I completed and passed the USPAP course: Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice at New York University. Since becoming a full member of ISA, I have attended most of the annual professional conferences given by ISA and AAA, as well as, many appraisal and conservation seminars. As an ISA Accredited Member and a Friend in the Appraiser’s Association of America, I am recognized by the IRS as a “qualified appraiser.” In addition to the IRS, my expertise is used by other appraisers, attorneys, museums, insurance companies, estates, and collectors.


My interest in Native American art has extended into the non-profit arena in which I served for six years as a member, two of those years as President, of the Board of Directors for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, the organization that produces the renowned annual Santa Fe Indian Market. Many Native American arts organizations have called upon my expertise for judging their annual competitions: the Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonials, Gallup, New Mexico; the Navajo Nation Fair, Window Rock, Arizona; the Eight Northern Pueblos Show, Northern New Mexico; and the Hopi Show at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona.


Public lectures and presentations include:

  • PBS Antiques Roadshow appearance: appraiser for Native American jewelry, 2003

  • Historical Overview of Southwest Jewelry, 1997, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM

  • Southwest Pottery Seminar, 1998, International Society of Appraisers Conference, San Diego, CA

  • Navajo Textile Lecture, National Association of Trial Lawyers, Santa Fe, NM

  • Lecture: Discerning Quality and Authenticity in the Native American Arts, Packards, Santa Fe, NM

  • Historical Overview of Navajo Jewelry, 1998, Southwest Seminars, Santa Fe, NM

  • Wrote teaching text for Southwest Spanish Colonial Religious Art, ISA.

  • Navajo Textile Lecture, 2001, North Texas Chapter, ISA, Dallas, TX

  • "Appraisal Day" for the Friends of Hubbell Trading Post Benefit, 2001, Flagstaff, AZ

  • Navajo Textile Lecture, Appraisers Association of America Conference, 2002, New York City, NY

  • One-day Seminar: Native American Jewelry, Basketry, Pottery, Textiles, 2003, Southern California Chapter, ISA, Tustin, CA

  • One-day seminar: Native American Jewelry: slide presentation, hands-on jewelry discussion and walk-through Charles Loloma Jewelry Exhibition, 2005, Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, NM

Major Appraisals include:

  • The Rick Dillingham Estate Santa Fe, NM

  • The Allan C. Houser Estate Santa Fe, NM

  • Governor Thomas Felix Bolack Estate Farmington, NM

  • The Albuquerque International Sunport Art Collection Albuquerque, NM

  • The Howard and Catherine Cockrill Collection of Navajo Weavings Little Rock, AR

  • Pueblo Of Acoma Insurance Report Acoma, NM


  • Ray Dewey, Native American Art Dealer Santa Fe, NM

  • Kathleen Whitaker, Director, School of American Research Santa Fe, NM

  • Bruce Bernstein, Curator of Collections, National Museum of the American Indian Bronx, NY

  • Jonathan Batkin, Director, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian Santa Fe, NM

  • Victoria Price, Owner: Price-Dewey Galleries, Santa Fe, NM

  • Steve Pickle, Trader, Hubbell’s Trading Post, Ganado, AZ

  • Al Anthony, Owner, Adobe Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Fee Schedule


I currently charge $150.00 per hour for my formal appraisal services including research time. Word processing, photographs in excess of 24, gross receipts tax, and long distance travel expenses are additional. I am happy to travel outside of New Mexico for an on-site appraisal. A pre-determined retainer and any travel / lodging expenses are required in advance. The balance of all appraisal fees are due upon notice of the completed appraisal report.

I am able to perform a formal written appraisal or verbal consultation from extremely clear 35mm or digital photographs, showing multiple angles and any signatures or hallmarks. I require measurements and a condition report for each item to be appraised. A pre-determined retainer is required when working from photographs received through the mail, with the balance due upon notice of the completed appraisal, before mailing the document. There are exceptions to conducting appraisals from photographs: I will need to examine Classic Period Navajo textiles, pre-historic pottery, some beadwork and other items in person to provide a professional appraisal using full due diligence.


I offer a consultation service that includes a verbal opinion of value for $100.00 per hour. This service is meant to provide information to the client in making a decision as to proceeding with options such as purchase, resale on the secondary market, or obtaining a formal written appraisal for insurance or other purposes.


A fee of $200.00 per hour is charged for all expert witness, deposition, and court appearances and/or related work including round trip travel time beyond the Santa Fe, New Mexico area, with one-half day (4 hours) minimum charge. I require a retainer fee of one-half day plus payment in full of all prior balances not later than 24 hours in advance of any scheduled deposition or court appearance. I also require at least one-half day’s advance notice of the cancellation of a scheduled court or deposition appearance. If not notified, the one-half day fee is charged.


If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to give me a call. I will be most happy to assist you.


Thank you for your consideration.


Joan Caballero, ISA

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LAST MODIFIED: October 30, 2014

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