Edward Farmer Jade and Gold Box
This was given to me as a gift at the age of ten, and I won't say how long that was ago.
I'm not going to ask.
It was purchased in New York at Parke Bernet galleries. I was told that the jade pieces came from a ceremonial belt, Chinese, and probably came into this country in the mid- to late 19th century. The piece was commissioned to incorporate these pieces of jade at the Edward Farmer Studio in New York.
All those things are absolutely correct. But there's a few other things about it which really will help determine what the value is. These white panels are indeed part of a Chinese belt, and the belt... you'll notice on this particular box that the panels match each other. And that's because you have the two sides of the belt so they're evenly matched. And you can see that here on this side. This one has a shou symbol in the center, which is for good luck. And as we flip it around, you'll see exactly the same panel on the back. And if we do the same for the top, you'll see that there are, in fact, panels that have dragons, and the carving of this jade and the color of the jade is indicative of a type of workmanship that would have been made in the 16th century. And it would have come from a tomb.
So it was buried and someone took it from a tomb. Likely would have been sometime right around the Boxer Rebellion, which is in the early part of this century. Now, the other thing that's interesting is Edward Farmer was a major New York City designer-decorator- goldsmith. He worked in the Carlyle Hotel from the '20s through the 1940s, and he worked in a manner very similar to the things that were done by Cartier, where they would actually have European shapes and they would incorporate Asian materials, principally jade, lacquer and other things. What's interesting about Edward Farmer is a lot of his stuff comes up for auction, but typically most of the pieces fetch prices that are in the range of $1,000 to $5,000. Most of those are not gold. This is, in fact, as you turn it up and look and see right here: "Edward Farmer, 18-karat gold." So what we're looking at is not just a regular Edward Farmer box; you're looking at one of the finest boxes Edward Farmer ever made, and I've seen lots of Edward Farmer things. These incorporate Mandarin beads from a necklace. And I would have to say that this is going to be worth quite a bit of money. You're smiling-- you ought to smile.
Well, quite a bit is better than not too much.
You got this as a gift?
It was a gift from a wealthy friend of the family, yes.
Well, in fact, this is worth, I would say, between $80,000 and $125,000. That's a lot of money.
Yes, it is.
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.
Summer Night Concerts
Relax with four amazing concerts from the Vienna Philharmonic and special guests.