20th-Century Art Smith Silver Necklace
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:49)
APPRAISER: What is someone from Wellesley doing with that necklace? How did you get it?
What is it?
GUEST: It's the first time I've ever worn it. It's always been hanging on the wall.
APPRAISER: And where did you get it?
GUEST: It had been my mother's. She bought it to wear but she never wore it either. It didn't translate well from her excitement of New York to Andover, Massachusetts where I grew up.
APPRAISER: Where did she buy it?
GUEST: She bought it, I think from someone in Greenwich Village.
APPRAISER: And that would have been what year, you think?
GUEST: When I was in high school, probably in the early '60s.
APPRAISER: Now, do you know who made it?
GUEST: Yes, she told me someone named Art Smith made it.
APPRAISER: And she bought it from the artist directly, right? Well, I can tell you
about Art Smith. He was one of the art jewelers that worked in the '50s. He started in 1953 and he had an upstairs studio iin Greenwich Village And he was part of that movement. We call them... actually, there was a book called The Messengers of Modernism that just came out that talks about all these people that sort of were the beginning of the modern movement such like Coulter, Sam Kramer, Ed Wiener and, of course, Art Smith.
Now, Art Smith was black and he was one of the first black artists to do jewelry during that period.
He actually liked to do things that reminded him oof tribal art which, as you can see,
this certainly relates to that. The necklace is in silver. The stones that you're looking at here
they are out of the quartz family. They don't have great value and they're justvery colorful
and some of them actually move when you move them, they actually turn. The necklace is
grand and certainly eye-catching. And I think it's probably an extraordinary one-of-a-kind
by Art Smith. You know, in the market today these necklaces are very, very collectible. And I think
what you've done by wearing it on a wall, so to speak--wearable art-- is the perfect venue for something like this. But I'm hoping that you'll wear it again. Um, any thoughts on it? Do you love it?
Are you afraid of it?
GUEST: Well, no, I'm not afraid of it. I couldn't decide what to wear it with.
And I also noticed, I couldn't find his name. Could you find his name anywhere in it?
APPRAISER: Now, this one is not signed. Art Smith signed some pieces, didn't
sign others. I didn't think he'd have to sign this piece because, to me, this is the ultimate
piece of jewelry by Art Smith and it continues all the way around. Any thoughts as to value?
Are you curious?
GUEST: Oh, well, of course, I'm curious. I have no intention of doing anything
beyond hanging it on the wall or maybe wearing it.
APPRAISER: You are at a level today at $5,000 to $7,000 in the market.
GUEST: Oh. Is that your final answer?
APPRAISER: No, because, you know what? It could bring $10,000.
( laughs )
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