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.
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