Hardstone Cameo Jewelry, ca. 1885
Appraised Value: $4,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:10)
Front Desk, Jewelry
GUEST: They're from my grandmother, and she had the earrings hanging by her dressing table on the wall, and I'd admired them all the time when I was a little girl.
APPRAISER: She never wore them?
GUEST: No. I never saw her wear them.
APPRAISER: No kidding?
GUEST: She didn't have pierced ears, and I told her I would get my ears pierced so I could wear them.
APPRAISER: Did you?
GUEST: And I...I did do that.
APPRAISER: Oh, good.
GUEST: And she gave them to me.
APPRAISER: The stones that are in here are hardstone cameos. And technically, they're three-colored carnelian. There's brown, gray and white. And the interesting part about them is when cameos are carved, they usually carve them both the same way. These are carved left and right. Then this large cameo is a replica of the small one, as far as the lady playing a harp. There is no hallmark on the piece at all. The cameos were most likely carved in Germany a long time ago, because the type of carving they are, the delicate carving, you have to figure them to be carved somewhere around 1880, 1890. Then you have natural pearls coming around the whole thing, with small, little old-mine diamonds, which is in the same period. They're not cultured pearls. Of course there was no cultured pearls then.
APPRAISER: So that's another plus. If you take a look in the back of this pin, the stone is not set. It is screwed in. There are three small bolts and nuts that are built right there. You can actually unscrew the bolt and take the stone out to repair the piece. The workmanship, I would say, this is a top-drawer piece. And the value on this at auction in today's auction prices is somewhere between $4,000 and $6,000.
GUEST: Oh, my gosh.
APPRAISER: And it happens to be... I-I... I'm going crazy over it, because there's nothing wrong with it. You usually find a little dent here or a little ding here. There's nothing wrong with this. Mint condition.
GUEST: Oh, my gosh, thank you.
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.