Stickpin Collection, ca. 1885
Appraised Value: $12,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:10)
GUEST: We were on a trip to Spain, and I had read about this auction that was going to take place in Madrid. So my wife and I went there and both of us saw these pins and liked them, and she particularly liked them. And we had just been recently married and I was going to impress her, so I said, "Well, let's bid on them. We'll... we'll leave a bid." So I left a bid ten percent above the opening price.
APPRAISER: What do you figure the whole collection cost? We have 13 pins here.
GUEST: I paid around $1,200 for all of them.
APPRAISER: So, roughly, less than $100 each.
APPRAISER: Well, this is a very nice collection, and I would say it was assembled by somebody with money and a discerning eye and a knowledge about what they were buying and someone that was well traveled. Most of these stickpins are French and they have the French hallmarks. And all of the gemstones that appear are genuine. And I'm just going to point out some of the exceptional ones. Starting in the center here, we have this knight in armor inset with rubies. Next to that, this wonderful standing figure. He's fully enameled over gold. And then this is a horse's nail, and this is diamond and ruby and gold. Then we have some decorative ones down here. There's a bird in flight, a battle-ax with a helmet-- very Spanish, very Castilian-looking. This bird is diamond and gold with a cabochon sapphire body.
GUEST (chuckling): Wow!
APPRAISER: So you've got quite a collection of stickpins-- very desirable for collectors. Your wife tells me you don't wear these too much.
GUEST: Sometimes I wear the gladiator in my lapel, similar to what you've got on. I've got mine on. One of the problems was is that I didn't have any way for it not to fall out. It fell out a couple of times, and I said, "You know, I'd better put this back in the box because if I lose this, Louann's going to kill me."
APPRAISER: I took this off of my pin and put it here to show it. This is a stickpin clutch. And this is not antique. This is a little accessory that you can order or buy from most jewelers. And this slips over the end of the stickpin. It protects you from sticking yourself, but it also keeps it secure so that it doesn't fall out. And that goes behind the lapel or underneath the tie. Now, about money here. If I did an average across the board of your $1,200 that you invested, I'd say you've got ten times the money.
GUEST: You got to be kidding.
APPRAISER: No, I'm not kidding. And I'm going to show you...
GUEST: That's hard to believe.
APPRAISER: A pin like this, easy $2,000, $2,500. A pin like this-- natural pearl, diamond, interesting figure-- again, a $2,000 pin. A figure that's military, enameled like this, in perfect condition-- no chips, no damage-- another 2,000. You keep adding it up, and if I was doing an estate appraisal for insurance purposes, we're definitely an easy $12,000.
GUEST: Wow, Barry, that's incredible, that's absolutely incredible. We had no idea.
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