Staff at the Victoria and Albert Museum are available to give opinions on art and design objects brought to the Museum by their owners for inspection. Where it is impractical to bring a particular object, a photograph may be adequate. Opinions and other enquiries can also be dealt with by post or e-mail.
The opinions service operates on the first Tuesday of each month, between 14.30 and 17.00.
Staff at the Information Desk will direct you to the appropriate section of the Museum. You are advised to check in advance that the relevant Collections expert will be available – see Contact us for full details.
Please note we do not give opinions on oil paintings other than those believed to be by John Constable.
Video: Opinions day
This video shows you what happens on Opinions Day at the V&A.
Please note that valuations of objects cannot be provided, neither are opinions given in support of valuations, nor to assist in the acquisition or disposal of objects. Providing opinions takes time, and visitors are requested to limit the number of objects they bring for opinion on any one day. Visitors requesting opinions should also note the following conditions and exclusions.
The Museum provides opinions only on objects that fall within the scope of its collections. In general terms, opinions can therefore only be given on objects from Europe, Asia and North America. The Museum does not, however, provide opinions on oil paintings, with the exception of works believed to be by Constable.
The Museum accepts no legal or other responsibility for any loss or damage arising from reliance on the opinion, whether by the person to whom the opinion is expressed or by any other person, for the purpose of obtaining a valuation of the object or for any other loss or damage arising from the opinion.
Opinions will be expressed only to the owner of an object or to his/her representative. No object held on approval for purchase will be examined.
It is against Museum policy to give valuations, to provide opinions in order to assist in obtaining valuations, to assist in the disposal of private property or to express opinions regarding the merits of commercial organisations.
Members of staff are entitled to decline, without giving any reason, to express an opinion.
Objects brought for opinion cannot be left in the museum.
Objects should not be sent by post, nor can assistance be given with heavy or large objects. In both cases a photograph may be adequate.
The Opinions Service is provided subject to staff availability. Visitors are advised to check in advance.
Please take extra care with garments made of wool, fur or with feather trims as these may be attractive to insect pests that pose a problem for museum collections, such as clothes moths and carpet beetle.
For more information about caring for your possessions please click here.