Chinese White Jade Garment Hook & Plaque with Pendant Bracelet

Value (2010) | $3,800 Auction$23,000 Auction

Well, I had a very generous mother-in-law. And these are both gifts from her. I found out that a lot of the things she gave me were not what they seemed, and that's what I would like to know-- exactly what this is.

The items themselves are all of Chinese origin. 20 years ago, if they were to come up on the market, the mirror here, if it was $200, I would have left it on the table if someone was selling it in an antique shop. The bracelet, if it was $75, I would've left it. The Chinese market now has heated up so much that these things have gone into a completely different atmosphere. One of the things that causes the Chinese market to be so strong is everything was looted out of China in the early 20th century. And the trade now is everything's going back to China. This piece here is composed of two elements. One is a garment hook that would have fit on a leather belt, and it would have had pendants hanging from it. And the top part is a plaque from a scepter called a ruyi. And in Chinese, ruyi means "as you wish." So when you have this thing on the table, it means you're receiving guests.


It's nephrite jade with great, great water. So that makes it a very fine piece of jade. We discussed this, and my colleagues, they thought it was 19th century. I actually believe that both elements of this are 18th century. And the plaque that's in the bracelet is probably even a little bit earlier than that.


It's a very early one. And that is a plaque that also probably hung from a belt. And this is almost pure white jade, and that's done with enamel work. Again, conversing with my colleagues about this, on the mirror alone, they said $3,000 to $6,000.

Oh, that makes me happy. Okay.

On the bracelet, maybe $800 to $1,000. At auction, the Chinese market is so strong, so powerful, I would not be in the least bit surprised if this mirror sold for $20,000.

Whoa, okay.

And the bracelet, more like $2,000 or $3,000.

Wow, thank you so much.

Appraisal Details

Tremont Auctions
Newton, MA
Appraised value (2010)
$3,800 Auction$23,000 Auction
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)
18th Century
Enamel, Jade, Silver

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.