Tiffany & Co. Etruscan Revival Gold Necklace with Box
Appraised Value: $25,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:26)
GUEST: My aunt, who recently passed away, gave it to me about 25 years ago.
APPRAISER: But what did you do with it?
GUEST: I had it in the closet for all this time.
APPRAISER: All this time. All right, let's get Auntie's necklace out of the closet. It very obvious to anybody that looks at it, the signature inside the box says Tiffany & Co., New York and Paris. Tiffany didn't start as jewelers. They started early on in the 1800s as a dry-goods store. About the 1850s, as their clientele became more affluent, they started importing jewelry from Europe, beautiful jewelry. They didn't make any of it.
APPRAISER: About 1850, they opened a Paris branch, and they started commissioning very famous French jewelers to make jewelry for Tiffany under their name. We know from the box, because it says New York and Paris, what time frame-- around 1850, which is pretty early for Tiffany. Not much later than 1870, because they added more stores, and they would have added other places into the label in the box.
APPRAISER: The necklace itself is 18-karat gold. I don't know if you knew that.
GUEST: No, I didn't, no.
APPRAISER: In two colors of gold-- you can see the gold alternates between silver and yellow-looking-- but it's all 18-karat. This necklace is in a style that's called Etruscan Revival, or Classical Revival. In the middle of the 19th century, they began excavating ancient jewels from the Etruscans from thousands of years ago. And they thought the jewelry was so beautiful that they wanted to reproduce it for the modern Europe of the 1870s.
APPRAISER: And this is a piece retailed by Tiffany in their Paris branch in the Etruscan Revival style. Part of that is this granulation that we see going along the acorn shape here and also that kind of funny face in the front. Many of these Tiffany pieces were made by another French firm for them-- Boucheron...
APPRAISER: An important French maker. Not all of them were signed. As a matter of fact, Boucheron hardly ever signed anything for Tiffany. But I found evidence that this may have been done by Boucheron, by the style. This one is signed "Tiffany" here, which is very unusual.
APPRAISER: An antique gold Etruscan Revival necklace, in its original condition, such as this one is, without the Tiffany provenance, without an association of Boucheron, would easily fetch $15,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: Maybe $18,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: A necklace such as this, in the Tiffany box, where we're certain that it's Tiffany, now we're talking well over $20,000.
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: A piece like this with the association of Boucheron as the French maker is easily over $25,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness... oh! I'm just... I'm in shock right now.
APPRAISER: So it's a good thing you got it out of the closet. Now, you told me you wore it last night.
GUEST: I put it on last night. It was a little tight, and I didn't want to break anything. I said that'd be just like me to break it. It's amazing.
APPRAISER: You okay?
GUEST: Brings tears to my eyes.
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