Heirloom English Bracelet, ca. 1872

Value (2008) | $9,500 Insurance

GUEST:
It was passed down to me from my great-aunt, and it was a wedding gift to my great-great-grandmother from her great-uncle, Hugh McCulloch, who was United States Secretary of the Treasury under Abraham Lincoln.

APPRAISER:
And Mr. McCulloch gave a little gift card with his stationery.

GUEST:
He did.

APPRAISER:
On the other side is his signature.

GUEST:
That's right.

APPRAISER:
And it's from "Uncle Hugh"-- wasn't it uncle?

GUEST:
Yes, that's right-- 1872.

APPRAISER:
And he went on to be Secretary of Treasury more than one time. He was under Lincoln, and then Lincoln was assassinated, so...

GUEST:
And then he was Secretary of the Treasury under Andrew Johnson, and he was also Secretary of the Treasury under Chester Arthur. And he also served three days in the term of Grover Cleveland.

APPRAISER:
Well, as we can see, the bracelet is yellow gold. It's 18-karat. It's made in England. There's an imprint on the inside of the box where the jeweler that sold it in London at the time that it was purchased, in the 1870s-- it's "Mr. Streeter, Hancock & Company, Goldsmiths & Jewellers to the Royal Family" on Conduit Street and Bond Street in London. We don't know the exact jeweler that made it, but it is English and Victorian and from the time period of the wedding. And the style is completely English, 1870s. This color we call robin's egg blue, and this was the color of the early 1870s.

GUEST:
Oh, interesting. Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
And they are natural Oriental pearls, and kind of an Etruscan revival of granulated design going around the border of the bracelet. The original box keeps it in pristine, perfect condition. And, of course, the historical association gives us a lot of food for thought about how much you value something that comes from an important American family, in addition to what its market value would be.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
You might buy a bracelet like this in the marketplace for perhaps $6,000 or $7,000.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

APPRAISER:
But with the history affixed to it, we have to tack on an additional value, and in insurance replacement, I would want to see it appraised for about $9,500.

GUEST:
$9,500. We love it.

APPRAISER:
Thanks for bringing it in.

GUEST:
Yes, thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Edith Weber Antique Jewelry
New York, NY
Appraised value (2008)
$9,500 Insurance
Event
Grand Rapids, MI (August 09, 2008)
Period
19th Century
Form
Bracelet
Material
Gold, Pearl

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