Judith Leiber Handbags, ca. 1970
These are from my mother's collection. She purchased them in Dallas at Neiman Marcus, from Stanley Marcus, in the '60s or the '70s. So she carried them to balls, and they were quite unusual, and I think they're very beautiful.
These are Judith Leiber bags. And Judith Leiber is a renowned purse company. She came from Budapest after World War II and started her own handbag company in 1963. She is coveted by celebrities, socialites, and these bags are in museums, like the Metropolitan Museum or the Smithsonian. She always had a very great sense of humor. It was either bejeweled gold bags or wonderful lions resting, or the fabulous seashell, which she also has in her book. They are also sold today, but they've been selling in stores since 1963. They now are known as collectibles. They're extraordinary. They're extravagant. They're so different, a departure from any other evening bag made or known in America. This one, from 1963, would now be worth about $600. This one-- all these stones are hand-done.
She had craftsmen do everything very, very neatly. And this would be worth between $600 and $700. Now, this one, which is the shell bag, it's very well-documented, and people just love the shell bag. I would say this, at auction, would be about $1,200.
Wow. That's impressive. That's great to hear, as my mother has a collection of about 20 Judith Leiber handbags, so that's very nice news. APPRAISER (laughing): You're in business.
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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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.
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