19th-Century Buckle & 20th-Century Necklace
Appraised Value: $5,300 - $7,300
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:05)
Peter Jon Shemonsky Fine & Antique Jewelry
GUEST: My younger sister gave them to me. She told me that she picked that up in England.
APPRAISER: And this piece?
GUEST: She got that in Wyoming. It was an estate sale. They wanted $120 for it, and then it come through to the end of the day and they hadn't sold it, and so she gave them $80 and they gave it to her.
APPRAISER: I see. The first piece here, this is a micromosaic. And that means it's very small pieces of glass that have been inlaid into the surface and it's created a picture. And this is a picture based on neoclassical romanticism, which was very popular in the late 19th century. This piece dates from about 1880. This is actually not a buckle. This is the whole central panel of a bracelet. So somebody turned it into a buckle. And in looking at the side right around here, there's also been a lot of restoration to the piece. Now, the second piece we're looking at here, this necklace is composed of various panels. These panels are enamel. But it's a rare type of enameling that we find in jewelry from the 1900s called "plique-a-jour," which means "light of day." And if I hold this up, you'll be able to see that these pieces transmit light just like a stained-glass window would. Now, this piece also has been altered. This presently is a short necklace. This would have originally been a long chain and would have hung all the way down toward the front of a woman's waist. All they did was
shorten the chain. So if you were to restore this piece back to its original shape, all you would have to do is lengthen the chain. This piece you could not restore. Because of the alteration, this piece is only worth about $300.
GUEST: Oh, is that right?
APPRAISER: Correct. Had it been in its original state, it was probably worth around $3,500. Now, the necklace, on the other hand, what's unique is that this is an Art Nouveau piece. It is from 1900. It's a wonderful piece of jewelry, and it's worth between $5,000 and $7,000.
GUEST: Oh, boy! Whoo, whoo. (laughing) You've got to be kidding.
APPRAISER: No, I'm not kidding you.
GUEST: That's the truth.
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