Etruscan Revival Necklace, ca. 1860

Value (2010) | $5,000 Auction$10,000 Insurance
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GUEST:
It was originally a gift from my grandfather to my grandmother, and I don't know when that happened, but when I graduated from college, they gifted it to me. And that was about 20 years ago.

APPRAISER:
Do you have any idea or knowledge of the period of what this is?

GUEST:
I really have no idea, except a few years ago, I was in the Sackler Museum in Washington, D.C., and I don't remember the exact exhibit I was in, but I remember seeing a necklace in the exhibit, and I said to my mother, "I have a necklace that looks very similar to that."

APPRAISER:
It's a style we call Etruscan Revival.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
There were digs going on around the world, and these ancient styles and techniques inspired jewelers. This shape is a stylized amphora, and then you have these little fluted beads in between, for the separation. And then it's all on a woven chain, and the woven chain is what we call foxtail. It's certainly at least 18, maybe as much as 20 carat gold.

GUEST:
Wow, okay.

APPRAISER:
This Etruscan Revival period... it was really, really, really exploding during the 1860s and the 1870s, and that's when this was most likely made. It was most definitely made in Italy. There's no mark on it, so we don't know who did it, but whoever did do it was certainly a skilled craftsman. Now, what's the one thing you notice on the other side?

GUEST:
The little holes.

APPRAISER:
The little holes. There's two halves and they're soldered together, and when you're soldering two halves together and you're sealing them in, if the air doesn't have a place to escape, the bead would implode.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
So that's why you have to have the holes there. And then they would add these little beads, which is a style of granulation, which was also an old technique. They wouldn't do it with a torch, they would do it with acid. Something they learned from the old pieces. Now, have you worn it?

GUEST:
Never.

APPRAISER:
Never?

GUEST:
No.

APPRAISER:
If you don't mind, I'm going to get up and put it on you.

GUEST:
All right (laughs).

APPRAISER:
Yeah, I think it's much better there. So what do you think it's worth now?

GUEST:
Maybe a few hundred dollars?

APPRAISER:
At auction, it's going to be $5,000 to $7,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my God. (laughs) Wow.

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
That's awesome.

APPRAISER:
And if you walked into a store, this would probably cost around $10,000 to replace.

GUEST:
Wow, wow.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Doyle New York
New York, NY
Appraised value (2010)
$5,000 Auction$10,000 Insurance
Event
Washington, DC (August 21, 2010)
Period
19th Century
Form
Necklace
Material
Gold

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