Brian Kathenes, ISA CAPP, Antiques, Furnishings + Decorative Arts, Specialty Studies: Autographs, Manuscripts, and Historical Documents



Brian Kathenes
ISA member since Jan 01, 1987

(908) 459-5996 (Office)

Post Office Box 482
Hope, NJ 07844 map

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Brian G. Kathenes, ISA-CAPP, S-CAPP  

Brian is the Managing Partner of National Appraisal Consultants, a firm specializing in personal property appraisal consulting, appraisal theory, and litigation support.  He is a Certified Appraiser of Personal Property and specializes in Manuscripts & Historical Documents, Rare Books, Stamps, Coins, Hollywood Memorabilia, Historical Artifacts, Music, and in all types of collectibles.     

Brian is the author of seven books, and a radio & TV personality.    His autograph, manuscript, rare book, and historical document appraisal expertise is world renowned.   

Mr. Kathenes is the host of Value This! with Brian and Leon, Public Radios weekly call-in antiques and collectibles talk show.  He and his business partner, Leon Castner, share antique tips, take listeners calls, and answer questions on all types of antiques and collectibles.  Their book:  Betcha Didnt Know That! -- 101 Antiques and Collectibles Trivia Tips That Can Make You Rich, Famous, and the Hit of The Party, is on bookshelves and available at in both print and audio versions, and at:   

Brian is the past Chairman of the International Society of Appraisers Ethics Committee.  His clients include:  Disney Studios, Chubb Insurance, U.S. Department of the Homeland Security,  US Marshal Service, The IRS, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, AIG, The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, and The Ronald Reagan Museum, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Ford, and Jaguar Motors.     

Mr. Kathenes has also served as an expert witness and consultant in many appraisal-related court cases including: Richard Nixon versus the United States of America -- The Watergate Presidential Papers Trial.     

Brian Kathenes has been the keynote speaker at the Folger Shakespeare Library and at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.  He is the  chairman of the New York Winter Antique Show Vetting committee 

Brian was also the on-air, TV appraiser and science fiction consultant for the Discovery Channel's collectibles show:  POP NATION - America's Coolest Stuff - and the Reelz Channel's hit show FanAddicts. 

Brian's an Eagle Scout, so you know he'll always tell you the truth.  He was honored as Hope Township's Outstanding Citizen of the Year, and was recognized by the NJ State Senate and General Assembly in a Joint Resolution for his meritorious record of service and commitment to his community.     

He has appraised the Batmobile, the Back to the Future Car, and memorabilia from the blockbuster movie Titanic, including the giant ship model. 

He has appraised some of the worlds most valuable and rare books, many items that have been on the Moon, and even appraised (and played) Elvis guitar.  


Summary of Appraisal Qualifications


Brian Kathenes, ISA CAPP
P.O. Box 482 Hope, NJ 07844
(908) 459-5996

Experience and Expertise

Appraisal Instructor for the International Society of Appraisers, Core Course 101 - Professional Appraisal Practices: Appraisal Ethics, Business Practices, and Communication. 1989-1993. Co-developer and presenter of Understanding USPAP: A Personal Property Perspective -- An intensive one-day seminar addressing the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice Co-designer and presenter of Turbo-Charging Your Appraisal Practice, and NAC Appraisal Marketing Bootcamp -- nationally delivered seminars on expanding and marketing personal property appraisal firms. Designer and presenter of Appraising the Appraisal -- A continuing educational seminar for insurance professionals and agents. Created to help insurance professionals understand the appraisal process. Specialist Certified Appraiser of Personal Property in Autographs, Historical Documents & Manuscripts A multi-year research, study, and testing certification issued by the International Society of Appraisers in conjunction with the University of Maryland. Registered Number 970119 June 30, 1997. Re-certified as a Certified Appraiser of Personal Property. Re-certification, September 2002. Retested and passed CAPP Recertification examination April 2009 Chairman New York Winter Antique Show Vetting Committee on Autographs, Manuscripts & Rare Books: Responsible for vetting all autographs, documents manuscripts and rare books displayed and sold at this most prestigious show. Committee Chair 1993-1995; Committee Member 1996-present Successfully completed International Society of Appraisers / Indiana University CAPP program courses 101, 102, and 103, resulting in Designated Member Status. Indiana University / International Society of Appraisers Continuing Education Program. Successfully completed ISA CAPP Course 104: Advanced Appraisal Theory & Report Writing and ISA CAPP Course 105: The Appraiser As Expert Witness Chairman of the International Society of Appraisers Hearing and Discipline Panel of the ISA Ethics Committee 2001- 2003; Chairman International Society of Appraisers Ethics Committee 2003- 2006: Vice Chair ISA Ethics Committee 2001- 2003 Chairman: ISA Marketing Task Force. 2008-present

 Conference Seminar Leader

Traveling lecture series and celebrity appearances: Betcha Didnt Know That! Topics on sports memorabilia, antiques, collectibles, autographs, rare books, and ephemera. 2006- present. ISA Conference: Santa Fe, NM: Beating the Bushes: Recession-proofing your Appraisal Practice, 2006 ISA Conference: Chicago, IL: Appraisal Ethics: Should we or Shouldnt We - ISAs Ethics Policies and Procedures 2005 Library of Congress Guest Speaker and Panel Member: Appraising Your Manuscripts and Autographs Manuscript Society Annual Meeting, Washington DC, May 2003 Presented Autograph Authenticating & Appraising programs and Ethical Appraisal Business Practices programs at International Society of Appraisers International Conventions: Houston TX 1996, Philadelphia PA 1990, Long Beach CA 1989, and Baltimore MD 1987. Designed and presented Forgery and Authentication Seminars for the American Philatelic Society, Detroit MI 1988, Atlantic City, NJ August 2002. Created Fonies, Fakes & Forgeries: a lecture series and traveling exhibit for the Universal Autograph Collectors Club 1990-1992. Delivered Appraisal Techniques and Practical Information for Archivists and Librarians at the Folger Shakespeare Library - Manuscript Society Washington, D.C. Chapter meeting. 1991. 

 Columnist / Author / On-air Radio and TV Host & Valuation Specialist

Co-author: Betcha Didnt Know That 101 Antiques and Collectibles Trivia Tips That Can Make You Rich, Famous, and the Hit of the Party National Appraisal Consultants, LLC, Hope NJ, 2007 Science Fiction, Technology and Military Specialist for Discovery Channel TV Show POP NATION: Americas Coolest Stuff Television series taped in June and July2005, for airing December 2005 on Discovery Channel Co-host of VALUE THIS! With Brian and Leon, a weekly radio broadcast program relating to the value and appraisal of antiques and collectibles. 2001-present. Syndicated 2003-2005 on WNTI and WRNJ. Currently airing on Public Radio WNTI 91.9 FM and webcast on Co-creator, writer and on-air co-host Betcha Didnt Know That daily segment on the history and value of unusual collectibles and antiques. 2001-2005 Author The Autograph Detective A regular column, 1988-1996, and infrequent submissions (to date) featured in the Pen & Quill journal and related magazines dealing with the identification, authentication, and the appraisal of autographed material and collectibles. Co-author What's It Worth To You, Montage Magazine dealing with valuation and authentication of antiques and collectibles, including sports cards, sports memorabilia and artifacts. 2000-2003 Contributor and advisor to USA TODAY "Ask Money" feature: Providing authentication and valuation expertise on autographed material, sports collectibles, stamps, and ephemera. 1988-1992 Host and Producer of HOBBY WORLD, a weekly Cable TV program relating to hobbies and collectibles. Cablecasted by Storer Cable Communications. 1985-1987

 Business Experience

 President & General Manager: Progressive Business Concepts, Inc., a full-service, training and consulting firm, specializing in organizational performance. And the direct mail marketing division Brian Kathenes Autographs & Collectibles, a specialty autographs and historical document service - buying, selling and authenticating autographed material, sports memorabilia, Hollywood & celebrity memorabilia, and collectibles. 1984 - Present. Managing Partner, National Appraisal Consultants, LLC: A full service personal property appraisal and consulting firm. NAC specializes in insurance reports & research, litigation support, valuation methodology consultation, and IRS-related appraisal matters. President and Executive Board Member, Hope Area Chamber of Commerce Hope NJ 1999 - 2005 Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, 1978, New Jersey Institute of Technology, NCE Materials Planning and Control Manager: Halston Fragrances / Max Factor: Plant design and start up team member; new product launches, 1980-1984 Production Supervisor, Warehouse Supervisor, Materials Supervisor: Estee Lauder Cosmetics. Returns Operations Project Leader; new product launches, warehouse redesign team, 1977-1980 Operations Manager and Director of Sales: Richard G. Pfeiffer Inc. Small Engine and Lawn & Garden Parts Service Distributor, 1970-1976, 1985-1987

Professional Associations and Memberships

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF APPRAISERS: Personal Property Appraisers Professional Society. President of the New Jersey Chapter, 1991-1992; International Society of Appraisers-NET Moderator of the PAPER computer network conference. 1989-1991. Chairman NJ-International Society of Appraisers Seminar '93, the annual conference of the New Jersey Chapter of ISA. Secretary of the NJ Chapter of ISA, 1989-1990. Vice President NJ Chapter ISA, 1992-1993. UNIVERSAL AUTOGRAPH COLLECTORS CLUB: Life member. Past Member of the Board of Directors and first UACC Director of Education. AMERICAN PHILATELIC SOCIETY: Member and Guest Speaker. Presented an Autograph Authentication Program at National Conferences in, St. Louis MO, and Atlantic City, NJ. Member of the APS Appraisal Committee. MANUSCRIPT SOCIETY: Member of the Board of Trustees, 2008-present. A document and manuscript organization dedicated to education and research of autograph history. Member and Contributor to Manuscript News. Member of the 2003 and 2009 Annual Meeting Planning Team and Guest Speaker at the Library of Congress. 

 Awards and Recognition

Good Scout Award. Recognized by the NJ State Senate and NJ State General Assembly in a Joint Resolution for meritorious record of service and commitment to his community. 2008 Recipient of the International Society of Appraisers Media Award, 2004 and 1992, for Outstanding Efforts in the Education of the General Public in Qualified Appraisal Practices and Ethical Standards. 1999 Honored as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Hope, New Jersey. Presented by the Mayor of Hope and the Hope Township Council. 1990 Recipient of the International Society of Appraisers Marketing Award for Exemplary Marketing and Promotion of Professional Appraisal Services. 1973 Eagle Scout Award, Boy Scouts of America 1996 ISA Service Award for work as Region 1 Representation of the International Society of Appraisers 1989 Recipient of International Society of Appraisers Service Award for developing Appraisal Education Programs for the ISA Computer Network. 1973 Eagle Scout Award, Boy Scouts of America Specialties Appraisal Services and Consultation for: Estate Tax Liability Charitable Contribution and Donation Insurance Coverage Equitable Distribution Insurance Claims Asset valuation Litigation Support Appraisal Education Pretrial research and Bankruptcy report preparation / consultation in the following specialties Historical Documents, autographs and manuscripts Coins, stamps & currency Rare & Collectible Books, pamphlets and correspondence Paper ephemera and collectibles Sports cards and sports memorabilia Movie memorabilia and movie Technology and Office Equipment and star collectibles Small engine equipment and engines Air craft, classic & exotic cars

Papers, Treatises, and Published Works

Co-author: Betcha Didn't Know That 101 Antiques and Collectibles Trivia Tips That Can Make You Rich, Famous, and the Hit of the Party Co-author: NAC Appraisal Marketing Bootcamp-in-a-box; the Ultimate Appraisal Marketing Journey Pen & Quill: The publication of the Universal Autograph Collectors' Club "Identifying Non-genuine Autographs: Printed signatures and signed photographs" Pen & Quill XXI, No. 3 May-June 1988 "Identifying Non-genuine Autographs: Secretarial signatures" Pen & Quill , XXI, No. 5 Sept.-Oct. l988 "Auto-pens and Machine Signed Signatures" Pen & Quill , XXI, No. 6 Nov.-Dec. l988 "Companion Autographs" Pen & Quill, XXII, No. 2, March-April l989 "Sherlock Holmes and Autograph Authentication" Pen & Quill, XXII. No. 3, May-June l989 "Pre-printed and Rubber-stamp Signatures" Pen & Quill, XXII, No. 4, July-August l989 "Autograph Appraisals -- What You Need To Know" Pen & Quill, XXII, No. 5, September-October l989 "New Forgery Style Discovered" Pen & Quill, XXIII, No. 1, January-February l990 "George and Gracie's Rubber Stamp, Pen & Quill, XXIII, No. 3, May-June l990 "Will The Real John Jay Please Stand Up," Pen & Quill, XXIII, No. 4, July-August l990 "Autographs and Ethics: Perfect Together, Pen & Quill, XXIII, No. 5, September-October l990 "Pay Me Now, Or Pay Me Later, Pen & Quill, XXIV, No. 5, September-October l991 "Four Score and Seven Years Ago..., Pen & Quill, XXIV, No. 6, November-December l991 "Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth and The UACC', Pen & Quill, XXV, No. 2, March-April l992 "Common Sense Ain't So Common," Pen & Quill, XXV, No. 3, May-June l992 "Overlooked Assets, Pen & Quill, XXV, No. 4, July-August l992 "Lots of Common Sense in the UACC," Pen & Quill, XXV, No. 5, September-October l992 "Who Owns That Autograph?, Pen & Quill, XXV, No. 6, November-December l992 "First Lady Autopens, Pen & Quill, XXVI, No.1, January-February l993 "Autographs and the Law," Pen & Quill, XXVI, No. 2, March-April l993 "Signed Sheet Music," Pen & Quill, XXVI, No. 3, May-June l993 "Rubber Stamp Signatures," Pen & Quill, XXVI, No. 4, July-August l993 "Looking Behind the Signatures," Pen & Quill, XXVI, No. 5, September-Oct. l993 "Printed Facsimile Signatures," Pen & Quill, XXVI, No. 6, November-Dec. l993 "Facsimile Hitler Documents," Pen & Quill, XXVII, No. 7, January-February l994 "Alfred Lord Tennyson and Misidentified Autographs," Pen & Quill, XXVII, No. 2, March-April l994 "Signed in the Photograph," Pen & Quill, XXVII, No. 3, May-June l994 "Group Facsimile Signatures," Pen & Quill, XXVII, No. 4, July-August l994 "Brian and Jay's Collecting Tips," Pen & Quill, XXVII, No. 5, September-October l994 "My Favorite Catalogs," Pen & Quill, XXVII, No. 6, November-December l994 "A Rather Large Opera Autograph," Pen & Quill, XXVIII, No. 1, January-February l995 "Frank Who? (Franking Privilege)," Pen & Quill, XXVIII, No.2, March-April l995 "Father of the Blues (W. C. Handy )," Pen & Quill, XXVIII, No. 3, May-June l995 "High-Tech Collecting," Pen & Quill, XXVIII, No. 5, September-October l995 "Autographs Under Glass," Pen & Quill, XXIX, No. 1, January-February l996 "So What's It Worth?," Pen & Quill, XXIX, No. 2, March-April l996 ~~~~~~~~~~~ Other Works ~~~~~~~~~~~ "Identifying and Appraising Autographs, Manuscripts and Historical Documents" In conjunction with the development of a specialty studies program for the International Society of Appraisers. 1996 "The Autograph Detective" The Paper and Advertising Collector June 1988 pp16-17 "What's it Worth to You?" Antiques and Collectibles Column Montage Magazine, Author -- Feature Writer "What's it Worth to You?" Spring/Summer 1996, pp 25-26 "In Search of Signatures - A collector's Guide to Finding Authentic Autographs" Fall 1996, pp 66-67 "Old Books in the Attic" Montage, Winter 1996, "The Lowdown on LPs & 45s: Are Your Old Records collectibles or Cob-Web Collectors?" pp 70-71 "2000 Collectibles in the New Millennium, "What's it Worth to You?" Montage Winter 2000 "Oh, You Beautiful Doll!" Barbie and Antique dolls pp 40-41 "Collecting Baseball Memorabilia; Hitting a Home Run or Striking Out? pp 55-56 "How To Tell If It's Genuine" Paper Collectors' Marketplace, September 1991 pp 16, 19, 84 "Robots That Forge Signatures" Paper Collectors' Marketplace, November 1991 pp 8, 78 "How To Identify A Qualified Appraisal" The Manuscript Society News, Winter 1995, 24-27 "Collectible Stamps and Coins The Appraisers Information Exchange, Publication of the International Society of Appraisers, Winter 2003-2004 "Betcha Didnt Know That Oldies 1510, WRNJ, Hackettstown/Washington, NJ Co-author and on-air talent of this continuing series of radio spots relating to the value and history of antiques and collectibles "Value This! With Brian and Leon, formally Trash or Treasure With Brian and Leon Oldies 1510, WRNJ, Hackettstown/Washington, NJ, and WNTI FM and webcast Co-author and on-air talent of the syndicated weekly call in radio road show September 2001-present "Betcha Didn't Know That! Volume One: 101 Antiques and Collectibles Trivia Tips That Can Make You Rich, Famous, and the Hit of the Party By: Leon Castner and Brian Kathenes. 2007 National Appraisal Consultants, Hope NJ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Published articles unrelated to specific appraisal work and valuation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Syndicated columnist: How To Build Team That Will Still Respect You in the Morning; Series of articles written and published by the American Society for Training and Development Editor and writer: The Scoop The Newsletter of the Hope Area Chamber of Commerce, Hope, NJ Successful Selling Strategies: Volume one and Volume 2. Beyond Hope Publishing, Hope NJ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Additional Presentations ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dealing With Ethical Dilemmas ISA Conference Chicago IL Assets 2005 Appraising and Identifying Autographs Letters and Historical Documents 1996 Houston, TX: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference Your Appraisal Practice Business or Hobby -- Turbo Charging your Business 1998 San Diego CA International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference ~~~~~ Other ~~~~~ Appraisal Report Development, Litigation Support, Expert Witness Testimony and Deposition Richard Nixon v. United States of America (Nixon Watergate Papers Case) Estate of Richard Nixon v. United States of America (Nixon Watergate Papers Case) Griffin & Taylor v. United States of America (7-14-98) Cr69643.0 (Nixon Watergate Papers Case) Linda Pincus v. Whirpool, Sears, et al Docket No. MON-L-5834-93 (Personalty residential fire claim residential contents and equipment) Historical Documents International v. J, Ronald Getty; Edwin Shiver and Zankel & McGrane No c-94-290-B (John Paul Getty diary case) Parkway Sterling-Regal Haig Tashjian BER-L-5174 (Personalty litigation fine art & residential contents) Sharon, et al v. Northeast Self-Storage, Inc. and Manchester Self-Storage, Inc., New Hampshire (personal property collectibles valuation including: baseball cards, sports cards, sports memorabilia dolls, toys, action figures, celebrity memorabilia and television collectibles) Upsala College Bankruptcy; East Orange, NJ -- Appraisal of the college personalty assets, library, contents, rare books archive, and Abraham Lincoln Collection Fleer / Skybox International: Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors: Appraiser and Consultant (Sports memorabilia appraisal and consultation of the Fleer sports memorabilia inventory) Numerous dissolution of marriage cases containing personal property including: residential contents, rare books, aircraft, classic cars, Hollywood & rock memorabilia, and sports collectibles


  • Books
  • Collectibles - Coins & Currency
  • Collectibles - Stamps & Postal History
  • Documents - Autographs
  • Memorabilia


  • Adjuster
  • Damage Claims
  • Divorce Settlements
  • Expert Witness

Performs Appraisals Of

  • Americana
  • Collectibles
  • Documents
  • Documents - Autographs