20th-Century Jewelry, Compact & Purse
This belonged to my mother and she passed away-- it was two years in April-- and she was originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and she was quite a social, beautiful woman who was very interested in fashion and entertaining. I would imagine a lot of these were gifts. My mom was married twice, she was a beautiful woman, and she was a collector.
So I was drawn to this collection today because it's a wonderful snapshot of four of the major jewelry periods or movements. So we have here, beginning with this beautiful brooch, from the Art Deco period. The Art Deco period spanned from 1920 to 1930, and it was a period of extreme opulence and extravagance in our country. So women wore brooches during the day, they wore them at night, and they wore them to complement their very simple, flapper dresses from that time. It's comprised of platinum and diamonds. The center diamond weighs about a half a carat, and it's framed by additional old European-cut diamonds and single-cut diamonds. I calculated that the total carat weight for the whole brooch is about six carats worth of diamonds. I wish I could tell you exactly who it was made by. There are no marks on the back. My guess is that it was made in America in New York City somewhere between 1925 and 1930. At auction today, just for that brooch, I would say it's worth about $7,000.
After we have this wonderful example of 1920s, we come here to this compact. It is from the Retro period. The Retro period dated from about 1935 to 1950. So we have here an example of a silver and gold compact with sapphire set clasps. When I was looking at this compact, I noticed that it is signed by Tiffany and Company, and this is a beautiful example from the time. This is a larger compact, it probably would have been used for cigarettes as a cigarette case rather than to powder your nose. And at auction today, I would expect the cigarette case to bring about $1,000. Following the Retro jewelry period we come to the 1950s. This was a period of extreme economic growth and success, so we have very heavy 18 karat gold woven body of the purse with a very beautifully decorated diamond and emerald clasp. The handbag is Italian. I don't know who made it or who retailed it. It was probably retailed in our country, most likely retailed in New York City. Just the gold alone weighs 300 pennyweights, which today is worth $14,000. When I take the rest into account, including the design, the craftsmanship, and the materials used, I would say at auction that evening bag is worth about $20,000.
And, finally, we have this beautiful pendant that is made by Van Cleef & Arpels. And we see that here with a signature on the back, it says, "VCA, New York," with a serial number. This emerald and diamond pendant would have been mounted by Van Cleef in the 1960s. The emerald, based on the color and the quality and the inclusions, to me, appears to be a Colombian emerald. I calculated that the total carat weight of this emerald is about five-and-a-half carats, it's framed by about two-and-a-half carats worth of diamonds. It's a very beautiful piece, and at auction today, I'd say it's worth about $10,000. I would expect the entire collection to bring about $38,000.
Oh, thank you, Lucy. (voice breaking) She'd be so pleased. She would. Thank you.
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."
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