19th-Century Chinese Jade Scepter
It was with a collection of things from China that my father got in payment for doing some electrical work for a Chinese gentleman in Washington, D.C., in about 1957. So I thought it'd be fun to bring it to the Roadshow.
This is a special Chinese magical scepter. It's called a ruyi scepter, and that means literally "as you wish." It's like a Chinese magic wand.
And it is a type of thing you would give as an offering, a gift to someone. An important personage might receive something like this from another equal. And it would be a wonderful present. This particular piece is 19th-century and you have all sorts of wonderful carving on it. It is nephrite jade, which is one of the two types of jade. Here on this end, you have a bat which is a symbol of good luck and very popular in Chinese art. Here-- try to see it-- is a qilin, which is sort of a baby dragon, but it's a mythical animal from Chinese lore. And on this top right here you have a fantastic landscape pattern... I mean, landscape design carved into it, but the whole top section of this is shaped like a lingzhi fungus, which is a fungus of immortality. So this would mean long life and good luck. This is such a fun piece and it's really nice. They make modern ones, but this one is 19th-century. There are earlier ones. This jade is not quite as white as we would like it to be for a nephrite, but it's still a nice color. These items, as you can imagine, are very popular at auction. People love to have them, and there's generally a lot of competition on them. If I were to put this in an auction, I would estimate it at $1,500 to $2,500 as a conservative estimate.
That is very good news. Oh, good.
Did you have any idea of value?
Actually, no, never had it appraised or anything. That's a lot of fun.
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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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