20th-Century Rice-Weiner "Thief of Bagdad" Jewelry
Appraised Value: $400
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (3:16)
Independent Appraiser and Owner
GUEST: It's called the "Thief of Bagdad" jewelry, and it is somehow connected with... I think it was a late-1930s movie,"The Thief of Bagdad." It was directed by Alexander Korda. I believe Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. had the lead in it, and I've tried doing some research on it, but I keep getting contradictory information.
GUEST: What I originally read was that they believed it was done as wrap gifts for the cast and crew, and then I later found another article that talked... said no, that would have been a large production, but there's far too many pieces of jewelry for it to have been just gifts for the cast and crew.
APPRAISER: Alexander Korda was the director of "The Thief of Bagdad" in 1940 and "The Jungle Book" in 1943. But Alexander Korda had nothing to do with this jewelry. It was licensed to a company called Rice-Weiner that started production about 1938.
APPRAISER: And so what the Alexander Korda signature is the licensing agreement with this company. When we look at the signature, Alexander Korda, it's a "Thief of Bagdad," but it's not a cast-member story. There would be thousands of cast members out there wearing Alexander Korda, and what a great gift. It was produced during World War II, and there were several types of rationing done in World War II, and one was on rhinestones. Previously, rhinestone jewelry had a lot of stones. During the Art Deco, they were paved with rhinestones. But you'll notice this jewelry has very few stones, because we were at war. So we've got cabochon stones, we've got some pointed-back stones, we've got some pearl stones, and we've got a lot of intricate metalwork. Our stones came from Czechoslovakia and Austria mostly, so we had to use what was in our back storeroom. We couldn't get rhinestones. And we used older-style stones for jewelry in the '40s that we would have used for jewelry from the '20s and '30s, because that's all we had left laying around. The '40s style carries through with the brass chain. The pearls have a wonderful golden tone, and believe me, that's a hard tone to match. They were originally white, but they've turned gold with age. You can see there's a definite similarity. All the pieces have the same style, the same type of stone, and they're wonderfully produced. Now, have you got any idea what they're worth?
GUEST: Most of what I have been able to find have been referring to pins and some pendant pieces, so I really have no idea.
APPRAISER: Pins and pendants are more frequently found, and I've never seen a pair of earrings, ever. So that's what you've got to search for, is earrings. But this necklace is worth about $200 on today's market.
APPRAISER: This necklace is worth about $100, and the bracelet is also worth about $100.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: So about $400. Thank you so much for bringing them in.
GUEST: Thank you-- I finally learned something. I love it.
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