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    Gold & Enamel Singing Bird Box

    Appraised Value:

    $10,000 - $15,000 (1997)

    Updated Value:

    $20,000 - $30,000 (2011)

    Appraised on: June 14, 1997

    Appraised in: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Appraised by: Jonathan Snellenburg

    Category: Decorative Arts

    Episode Info: Pittsburgh (#1627)

    Originally Aired: July 23, 2012

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 5 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Box
    Material: Gold, Enamel
    Value Range: $10,000 - $15,000 (1997)
    Updated Value: $20,000 - $30,000 (2011)

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    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (2:22)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Jonathan Snellenburg
    Clocks & Watches

    Bonhams

    Appraisal Transcript:

    APPRAISER: When I first saw this, I got a real thrill because when I see boxes like this, you know what the first word that comes to my mind is? Fabergé. Now we should open this up, because when I opened it up initially, I was slightly disappointed because I didn't see Fabergé, but I did see something else. You can tell me where you got this box.

    GUEST: I bought it from a dealer in Florida. At the time, he had three of these and he wanted to keep two of them and didn't like this one. He thought it was kind of ugly.

    APPRAISER: Well, it's a very interesting lid. We can take the box out... put it on the table. And this is what we call, when we set it off... (bird chirping) ...a singing bird box. Now, this is a kind of music box that was made in Switzerland, but what's interesting about this is the outer box that it comes in, and that says "Hammer Galleries," and that refers to the famous American industrialist Armand Hammer, who was amongst the first people to bring treasures out of Russia after the Russian revolution. Now, what's very interesting about this is the lid that you mentioned. It's a rather wild-looking character and if I let my imagination go wild, I'd say that's probably Rasputin. But what's interesting mainly is the fact that that lid didn't start life on that box. It has absolutely nothing to do with it. Probably when this box was new, it had a bouquet of flowers, a scene of Geneva, something like that. It's enamel. It probably got broken, and it was replaced with a Russian character and it was sold as a czarist treasure. Now, don't look so disappointed at me right now because even so, a box like this is still quite a valuable object. And even with the lid the way it is-- and this was probably done 75, 80 years ago-- it's probably still a $10,000 to $15,000 box. Still quite special and quite a wonderful object and I'm really delighted that you brought it here.

    GUEST: Thank you.




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