​​Merritt Leigh Hampton, ISA  

The region's most experienced personal property appraiser. 

​​​​​Hampton Professional Services 

 Accredited in 2001 upon completion of the International Society of Appraisers’ curriculum, inclusive of the ISA requirement of three years previous professional involvement in the antiques industry.

• Between 1998 and 2017, has completed 40+ hours of continuing education annually in the study of antiques, decorative arts and fine art via participation in webinars, seminars and symposiums, plus accrued development credits as coordinator of an appraisal seminar series, in addition to ongoing participation in conferences sponsored by the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) in Winston-Salem, NC, and other accredited providers. (Note ISA requires 10 hours per year.)

• Re-qualified in September 2006, December 2011 and October 2016 as an Accredited Member of ISA, based on successfully completing a three-hour examination following an intensive refresher course on appraisal practice, methodology and ethics; requalification is required every five years by ISA.

• Biennially completes the Uniform Standards Practice and Procedures course (USPAP) as developed and administered by the federally funded The Appraisal Foundation, as required every two years for all personal property appraisers.

• Licensed: North Carolina Real Property Broker, 1982 to date.

• Education: BA University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC, 1981

Want to know even more about Merritt's background and experience? Keep reading:

Throughout her national-award winning career in advertising, marketing and publishing during the first 20 years of her business life, Merritt Hampton found many creative ways to apply her professional expertise to her personal interest in antiques. For example, in 1996 she founded the non-profit North Carolina Decorative Arts League, organizing regional lectures and field trips for the 100+ members she personally recruited  This educational endeavor supplemented the many educational seminar studies she pursued at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and The Winterthur Museum & Institute. 
    In addition to these focused courses and her liberal arts education from the University of North Carolina system, in 2001 Merritt also completed the stringent curriculum required for accreditation to appraise from the International Society of Appraisers, with a specialization in antiques, decorative arts, fine art and residential contents – finishing first her class.

Merritt acquired an abundance of antiques-field experience in the 1980s-90s through her publishing expertise also: she edited The MidAtlantic Antiques Magazine for four years; reported for over 20 national, regional and local antiques special interest publications for more than ten years; and was a regular columnist for The News & Observer, at the time NC’s largest daily newspaper, for five years. Throughout her two-year employment contract as the North American public relations consultant for the world’s largest antiques show promotions firm, DMG Worldwide headquartered in London, her writing on the topic of antiques was widely published at both the national and international level.

Perhaps her most unique educational experience was her three-year stint as Director of Marketing for a major antiques importer, where she was involved in identifying, pricing and marketing antiques shipped from buyers located around the world. During the four years this company operated, over 50,000 objects were imported into their warehouses in Greensboro, NC. Merritt reviewed an average of one container shipment every other week — which meant handling at least 200 unique items every seven days. Quick to recognize the then-emerging role of web-based marketing, she created what was at that time the largest antiques website on the Internet, with a searchable database that included nearly 85% of the massive inventory. 
    Merritt also represented the firm at the, bi-annual International Home Furnishing Markets in High Point, NC, which then attracted 80,000+ national and international wholesale buyers; was active in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) as an antiques specialist; contributed to numerous benefits including several Southern Living Magazine showcase homes and a Country Living Magazine showcase village of homes; and supplied antiques for many NC-based movies including the Oscar-winning film Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. 
    She also exhibited at selected regional antique shows for the antiques importing company, and as the company’s ambassador, attended major regional and national antiques industry events during her whirlwind tenure. It was immediately following this position, which concluded due to the sale of the company, that Merritt achieved her appraisal accreditation in 2001 and began appraising antiques professionally.

Having since been selected to provide a wide array of appraisal services, ranging from the 1,800+ item insurance appraisal for the University of North Carolina’s Historic Properties Collection to a single-item multi-million dollar donation appraisal for a private client, Merritt continues to hone her research skills and add to her considerable knowledge base with each new client’s collections.

 As a full-time appraiser, Merritt completes approximately 60 appraisals a year for individuals and corporations statewide. Approximately 20% of these are for insurance coverage and/or claims, 40% for estate purposes, 30% for charitable donation, and 10% for equitable distribution.

 An eighth-generation North Carolinian, Merritt has resided in Chapel Hill, NC, since 1998 and provides fine art collection management services as well as professional appraisals and customized personal property disposition services for clients located throughout the state, welcoming appraisal assignments ranging in size from a single treasured object to complex estates with literally thousands of items.

North Carolina native Merritt Hampton has thrived as an independent personal property appraiser specializing in antiques, decorative arts and fine arts, and has provided appraisal services for literally dozens of individual clients, corporations, museums and institutions throughout her home state.


Several of her unique assignments, such as the appraisal for insurance coverage of 1,800+ items in the Historic Properties Collection held by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the estate appraisal of more than 2,500 objects for the family of Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans of Durham, NC, have resulted in Merritt literally acquiring more hands-on appraisal experience, and exposure to rare and highly-valuable objects, during her first decade in the profession than most personal property appraisers will acquire in a lifetime.

Whether you have one single treasured object you'd like to insure; have a historically significant collection you'd like to donate; are facing the task of reporting a complex multi-site estate for tax purposes; or whatever your appraisal objectives may be, you deserve the region's most experienced appraiser: Merritt Hampton.