18th-Century Ivory Miniatures
Well, an elderly relative of ours retired from the east, and these I believe she gave to my mother, because they were kind of family oriented. And so they've been in the bank vault for the last 50 years, I guess.
You mentioned that you know who the artist is who did the miniatures?
Yes. A friend of my brother's went to the portrait gallery in Washington, and it was their belief that the picture, the two smaller ones were painted by somebody named Dunkerley.
That's correct. What we have here are wedding gifts from Mr. Young and Mrs. Young to each other. And they are done by the artist Joseph Dunkerley, who worked in Boston in the 18th century. And, what's an interesting detail about these, if you look on the back of this miniature you see here, it says, "I.Y. to S.R." And then on the back of the lady's, it says, "S.R. to I.Y." So it's an interesting story about the husband and wife. What I bet you didn't know is that Dunkerley was a tenant of Paul Revere in Boston.
I didn't know that.
The silversmith and patriot Paul Revere. And, because of that, we can attribute the case and the engraving to Paul Revere.
What also is another interesting element of this is the mourning picture, which sadly commemorates the death of their only daughter, Betsy, who passed away at the age of 12. Have you ever had these appraised or have any idea of the value?
No. Not at all.
If they were to come to auction today, I would estimate their value to be $15,000 to $20,000.
Wow. (laughs) I'm sure my brother and sister will be happy to hear about that, I mean they're family things, though they wouldn't be sold, but it's nice to know the value of them.
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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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Summer Night Concerts
Relax with four amazing concerts from the Vienna Philharmonic and special guests.