Boucheron Healing Stone Necessaire, ca. 1885

Value (2010) | $10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction

I was living in Brazil. And I saw this in an antique show, and it was presented to me as being some kind of a Chinese game or something. When I looked at it, I thought, "That can't be a Chinese game. It has all these different gems inside." And I said, "It must be like an energy battery." There are many people that believe you can use crystals to do healing and curing. And I really felt that that's what it was, so I purchased the thing, $500, and I took it home and I started examining it, and I discovered a tiny, tiny signature, that it was made in Boucheron, in Paris, 1884. Several years later we were in Paris, and I went to Boucheron, and I showed them the piece, and they thought it was beautiful, but they said, "We don't have the ledger on it." So it was probably a special order or something. It wasn't something that they just made regularly.

The date that you have with it absolutely fits Boucheron being formed in 1858. Boucheron, a French jeweler, a renowned name. He was certainly one of the innovators of different types of motifs and styles. And if you look over here, it doesn't focus on one culture. You have these little florets, then over here you'll see a peony, and then we have a fan.


And then, if we roll it over...

There's even a little teapot.

Exactly-- a little teapot. Again, here's that repeating pattern. We have some ferns. Around the edge, there's some bamboo. So there's a lot of different, loosely interpreted Asian motifs going on. Now, this metal is sterling silver, and what's happened is it's nicely oxidized to this nice hue. And this is all hand-pierced. They lay it out, and they engrave it lightly, and then they'll sit down and pierce all these sections out. And then after they're done piercing it, they go back and engrave everything. This is very typical of the work that Boucheron would have done on a woman's necessaire. A necessaire would have been a type of minaudiëre or a case-- something they would have taken out in the evening. But I think this is a healing necessaire. Now, we have to open it up. There's two little pushes over here. We're going to push this in. Can I just pour these out here?


The stones that are here I looked up, and it says amethyst is a very calming effect. People use it for meditation. Crystal can remove bad or negative energy. Once you put these all back in here... and you would put the cover back on, if you go to the other side, this side doesn't let them go down into the cylinder. You put the crystal or the stone of your choice. Let's say right now you want to be calm. You put the amethyst here, you flip the cover, and now you can hold the device.

You know, that's something that I hadn't thought about.

To show everybody where it's signed, because it is very tiny.

Very tiny.

You can see on the rims over here, it's signed "Boucheron, Paris."


And my feeling is also with you on that this was most definitely a special order. At auction today, something like this could be, I would say, $10,000 to $12,000.

Very good. That sounds great; it's great.

Appraisal Details

Doyle New York
New York, NY
Appraised value (2010)
$10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)
19th Century
Amethyst, Silver, Stone

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