Late 19th-Century Italian Alabaster Bust
Appraised Value: $2,500 - $3,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:19)
Decorative Arts, Rugs & Textiles
Appraiser of Fine Art and Antiques
Szescila Appraisal Service
GUEST: It was in a lady's house who had died, and her granddaughter was holding an antiques sale. She many, many collectibles and antiques and I just fell in love with her when I saw her sitting there.
APPRAISER: And did they tell you anything about her when you got her? Who made her, what she was...
GUEST: They knew nothing about her at all. I didn't either; I just liked her and I bought her.
APPRAISER: And what did you pay for her?
GUEST: I can't remember. I can't find where I jotted it down. But it was anywhere from $300 to $400, something in that nature.
APPRAISER: And when was that?
GUEST: About 1988.
APPRAISER: Well, she's Italian and she's from the late 19th century. When we first looked at this, it appeared to be marble, but on closer examination, we decided that it is actually alabaster. And there are several reasons why we thought that. First of all, if it were marble, it would be cool to the touch, and this is not as cool as it should be. Also, this has sort of a translucence, and if you look in certain areas where it's slightly chipped-- there's an area right here-- you can see the whitishness. If you scratch the piece... it scratches easily. You're the one who actually found the signature on it.
APPRAISER: And it's just scratched into the side of the piece. And it says E. Gazzarini.
I have not been able to find anything on that artist. But he's actually put all these beautiful pieces of what's called micro-mosaic. So each one of these was made separately out of very tiny pieces of colored glass and then inlaid into the carving, which the carving on this is quite nice. We've got all this beautiful lace work that goes all the way across here and it continues onto the back. Many pieces don't have as nice a carved back. And that's a good thing that's going for your piece. And then it's sitting on a piece of Italian marble. A piece like this, without all these micro-mosaic pieces, would probably sell for somewhere at auction between $500 to $700.
APPRAISER: Because your piece has all of this very unusual and very well-done micro-mosaic, I would say that at auction, it would probably go somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000.
GUEST: That's very good.
APPRAISER: The fact that she has such a beautiful face, that also adds to the value of it.
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