Austro-Hungarian Renaissance Revival Pendant, ca. 1870

Value (2011) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

I know that it has belonged to my grandmother, but I don't know where she got it from. Her family was Danish, but I don't know if it's Danish or it could be from any place in Europe as far as I'm concerned. I inherited it from my mother, who had gotten it from her mother.

I see, so it's been passed down generationally.


Well, it's a very interesting piece, it's also a very large piece. Stylistically, we refer to this as Renaissance revival, and we call it that because many of the design articles here-- the small little cherubs, the knight at the top, the combination of enamel work, the pearls-- they're all taking visual and design clues from Renaissance paintings and the jewelry in the Renaissance paintings. Now, this piece was made in the mid to late 19th century, and it would have come from Europe. Although there are no hallmarks, I suspect that the piece is probably from Austria, or what we call Austro-Hungaria.

Uh-huh, yeah.

Which is known for this type of Renaissance revival work. And as Renaissance revival work is concerned, this is actually a very nice example. You've got a combination of silver and gold, but the real star is its centerpiece. This is a carved cameo, and it's carved out of stone, and stone obviously is much harder than the shell, which is a typical material for cameos. So this was really quite an exceptionally talented carver. The subject matter here is Hercules wrestling the lion. Now, as I mentioned, this piece is from the mid to late 19th century. The cameo itself, though, is late 17th to early 18th century and most likely Italian.


There was a real tradition in the 1860s, 1870s, 1880s to go use what were probably at the time considered ancient cameos-- even though this was not ancient, it was probably thought of as being ancient-- and remounting them into pieces of jewelry at this period. The pearls are natural, the red stones here, these are rubies, and multi-colored enamel. It's really quite a unique piece, and I would say a piece like this at auction could bring anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000.

Oh, my goodness. Yeah, I had no idea. No idea at all.

Appraisal Details

Heritage Auctions
San Francisco, CA
Appraised value (2011)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)

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.