Newark Gem-set Gold Lapel Watch, ca. 1900
This is something I inherited from my grandmother. I call it a pin watch.
Do you know where your grandmother got it?
No, I don't. It's something that's been in her family for a long time. She was born in the late 1800s. I believe it came from one of her family members, but they came from Germany, so that's all the history I know about it. Have no written information on it.
What you have is a wonderful example of American jewelry from the turn of the century, turn of the last century, around 1900.
Oh, my goodness.
But a piece of jewelry that's wonderful on many levels, and it owes a debt to European inspiration. Let me first point out it is a watch, yes, you're absolutely right. It's a lapel watch, but it's more significant actually as a piece of jewelry. It's a good quality, somewhat generic American watch movement from that period, but it's set into a gold setting of intertwined snakes made by a very well-known Newark jeweler called Bippart, Griscom, and Osborn, and the mark, it says "14K," and next to it is the mark of the Newark jeweler. Newark, New Jersey, was one of the main centers of American jewelry making at that time. You've got emeralds, diamonds, demantoid garnets, which are typical of the period, green garnets, rubies, more emerald, cabochon emerald, and diamonds. These intertwined snakes you see in English jewelry, you see it in French jewelry, and now you see it in American jewelry as well. It's all very good quality, well-rendered gold work, absolutely the best you would see in the U.S. at that time. Even underneath the face, you see green guilloche enamel, which you can see... Through it. ...through the pierce work. Snakes were not an evil symbol; they were a symbol of everlasting love.
Is that right?
Yeah, so it was a motif that was common in the Victorian period and much earlier as well. Oh, my goodness. So it's a watch, yes, but more importantly, it's a lovely example of American jewelry from the very beginnings of American jewelry manufacturing. Oh, my goodness. At a retail level, in a retail store, this would probably be priced around $12,000.
Oh, my goodness. Is that right? I'm surprised, I had no idea.
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.
Broadway's Best on PBS
Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles; One Man, Two Guvnors; Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, and Lea Salonga in Concert.