Suzanne Belperron Jewel Collection, ca. 1945
Appraised Value: $60,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:37)
GUEST: Well, they're made by Suzanne Belperron, who was my great-aunt. This particular ring was my mother's engagement ring that my father had made for her. I think the middle ring and the pin were actually originally my grandmother's. I'm not sure when she got the ring, but the pin I think was for the birth of one of her children, and then she gave that to my mother when either my brother or my sister was born. I'm the youngest, so it wasn't when I was born.
APPRAISER: You said you brought these things to a local jeweler and he had never heard of Suzanne Belperron.
APPRAISER: And that's not unusual. She, although is very famous in our industry, is not a household name, such as Cartier or many of the other famous French designers, and she was a very famous French designer, but one whose work is so rare that we seldom see it and it hardly ever comes available in the market. Of course she was French, and your family on that side...
GUEST: Yes, my father grew up in France and met my mother on the Ile de France, and she lived here, and so they came to America.
APPRAISER: Suzanne Belperron was a remarkable woman. She was born in 1900 and came of age during the suffragette movement and had this ingrained idea that women could do anything. Her works are immensely rare for a number of reasons. They are never signed.
APPRAISER: She did not sign her work. You had to know that it was Suzanne Belperron. Many of the things were made for people she knew. And some of the people she knew were people like the Duchess of Windsor. And Frank Sinatra. And jet-setters before there were jets. Her most active period was before the war, in the 1930s, when she really became famous and a name for herself in those circles. And so your four pieces of Belperron jewelry to arrive here today was a remarkable thing, since we've never had the opportunity to show them in all these years on the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
APPRAISER: She retired in 1974, and we think the last piece of jewelry she ever made was in the '80s. But these were commissioned pieces made as gifts
for your family. They're precious material-- they're platinum, they're diamonds, the ring is opal. The custom-made gold and diamond engagement ring with a beautiful Asscher-cut diamond. And the most interesting design pin in ivory and coral in that fantastic shape with yellow gold.
GUEST: What is the material that's in the center ring here?
APPRAISER: Well, the ring itself is platinum.
APPRAISER: It's quite substantial. And the top section has angled agate, and set into the agate are diamonds mounted into it, and it's constructed and designed very beautifully and just what we would expect of a very strong Suzanne Belperron piece. Based on auction records and competitive pricing, as a collection, conservatively at retail, $60,000...
APPRAISER: For the four pieces. And this is a market where the collectors are fierce and fight each other, so I have to say "conservatively," because those prices could easily be eclipsed in a competitive marketplace.
GUEST: Are they worth more because they're a collection? Or is it as just the individual pieces?
APPRAISER: The individual pieces and because of the provenance. Because these were made for your family and we know without a doubt they are Belperron because of who your family are and how they acquired them.
APPRAISER: The ring itself, that ring easily $25,000 or more.
GUEST: Wow. (laughs) I didn't realize it was that... that expensive.
APPRAISER: Thanks for bringing it to the Roadshow and congratulations.
GUEST: Thank you. I was expecting, maybe for all of them, somewhere maybe between $10,000 to $15,000, maybe $20,000.
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