Mid-20th Century Jose DeRivera Silver Pin
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $7,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: ()
Lillian Nassau, LLC
APPRAISER: Well, Nadine, this piece of jewelry is made by your friend? Tell us who your friend was.
GUEST: José Ruiz de Rivera.
APPRAISER: Uh-huh. And he became quite a famous sculptor after you first met him, right?
GUEST: Yes, yes, he did. And he made several pins like this and gave them to friends as gifts.
APPRAISER: Uh-huh. We have this wonderful picture of you with Rivera here on the beach at Fire Island, was it?
GUEST: At Fire Island. Uh-huh.
APPRAISER: And that's you?
GUEST: Yeah, and then he was drafted. He went into the army, anyway. He wrote me that letter, which is a wonderful letter,
GUEST: so I've always kept it.
APPRAISER: And when you met him, was he a struggling artist?
GUEST: Yes, you'd say that, yes. He lived in a little, dingy garret.
APPRAISER: When he started out, he worked for the Works Progress Administration, which got him through the Depression, and he became quite successful in the mid-'50s and the 1960s...
APPRAISER: ...making these abstract sculptures that look a little bit like the pin that he made for you.
APPRAISER: His work is in major museums: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian. He did these wonderful large, monumental pieces. And he was friends with another sculptor who made jewelry. He was a friend of Alexander Calder. He called him Sandy. His work is very highly sought after now.
GUEST: It is.
APPRAISER: Yeah. It's very, very popular. It sort of epitomizes the modern movement of the 1950s, with these wonderful, sleek, elegant forms. Some of his pieces rotated and moved, didn't they?
APPRAISER: And did you stay friendly with him through his career?
GUEST: Yes, yes. Then I left New York about 1948, but we corresponded.
APPRAISER: And when did he give you the pin?
GUEST: About '44.
APPRAISER: He was especially noted for the beautiful finish. It is nice-- I mean, it's made out of sterling silver. It has this wonderful bead here on it; it's signed on the back,
APPRAISER: and he fabricated the whole thing himself. It's really quite beautiful.
APPRAISER: I would think, at auction, it would probably bring between $5,000 and $7,000.
GUEST: Oh, oh, okay. That's good to know.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.