Chinese White Jade Garment Hook & Plaque with Pendant Bracelet

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

APPRAISER:
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.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
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.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
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.

GUEST:
Oh, that makes me happy. Okay.

APPRAISER:
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.

GUEST:
Whoa, okay.

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

GUEST:
Wow, thank you so much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
James D. Julia Auctioneers
Fairfield, Maine
Appraised value (2010)
$3,800 Auction$23,000 Auction
Event
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)
Period
18th Century
Material
Enamel, Jade, Silver

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