♪ ♪ CORAL PEÑA: The treasures of New England are in the spotlight right now in part six of "Antiques Roadshow Recut: Rosecliff."
I swapped it, part of it, for a puppy.
♪ ♪ PEÑA: "Roadshow's" camera crews set up at the glamorous Rosecliff mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, to capture and celebrate the stories behind some of America's treasures.
Take a look.
APPRAISER: You asked me if your watch is 18-karat.
You saw me whip out this little piece of slate, and I made some scratch marks.
The scratch mark in the center is my bracelet, which I know is silver.
This scratch mark right here is from this inside cover, called the cuvette.
And then the last scratch mark is from this outside cover.
This is acid.
It's for 18-karat gold.
So if I hit the silver, you see it gets chalky white?
Not gold, all right?
So now we're going to go to the cuvette, and we're going to hit it, and you see it disappears immediately.
So that's not real gold, either.
Not real gold.
The third one, the outside cover, we put the acid on it.
And you see, the color's holding strong.
So your watch is in fact 18-karat.
Isn't that great?
You got a couple of condition issues.
It's not a terribly sought-after watch today.
I would say, at auction, you're looking at probably $300 to $500 in this condition.
Well, thank you.
♪ ♪ WOMAN: Good morning, good morning!
PEÑA: In the salon, the monumental Gothic-style chimney piece, made of limestone, has four deeply carved relief panels.
These scenes tell the story of a knight who finds redemption after surviving a life-threatening voyage at sea, and, grateful to God for saving his life, builds a chapel for the less fortunate.
♪ ♪ APPRAISER: So this is a pretty kooky thing you brought in.
Tell me where you got it.
MAN: Well, I actually got it at a yard sale.
The gentleman that owned it was an older gentleman.
He said, "You really need to buy this," and I paid $25 for it.
I know that Sam Zell had these made for some of his employees, and he gave it to them as gifts.
Sam Zell, who is an investor, mostly in real estate-- I think he's one of the biggest holders of real estate investment trusts-- had these made every year and gave them out in the New Year to friends, employees, and associates.
So here the plaque says "Sam Zell, Wired Exports," and it's number 428 out of 675.
I've seen ones from other years.
This particular one is from 2003.
But they all have a different theme.
And you say this one talks?
This one talks, it talks about exporting American goods to China.
We're going to see if it actually gets going here.
The complication of the device makes it interesting and unique, and because of Sam Zell's power in the industry, make it something that folks are interested in.
Conservatively, a retail value on this, we're looking at, like, $5,000.
I never thought it would be worth that much.
WOMAN: My father gave it to my mother as a birthday present, in... sometime in the early '70s, I believe.
And she wore it a few times, and then she left it to me, really because I was the only one with the sort of chest to wear it.
Thing is, you can't really wear it every day.
You really need a ball gown to go with it, and I don't wear a ball gown very often, needless to say.
So it sat in a drawer for a long time, and then I swapped out part of it for a puppy.
You-- I'm sorry?
I swapped it, part of it, for a puppy.
And I thought my mother and father would really approve of the necklace I probably wasn't go to wear to a darling Jack Russell by the name of Max.
And how did you get the necklace back?
I... borrowed it back.
And I was a bit worried that when I borrowed it back, the gentleman with whom the swap was made might want my puppy back.
He's, needless to say, not going to get the puppy back, because I love him far too much.
And when I heard the "Antiques Roadshow" was coming, I thought this would be a great place to bring it and just find out a bit more about it.
Well, when you brought it up to me, I got very excited, because it did look like a jeweler that was named Andrew Grima.
He was a British jeweler, making jewelry in London, and basically, he liked to use all of these amazing crystals and geodes.
And so he looked at jewelry as sculpture.
This particular jeweler, who we have here, from Russell of London... Mm-hmm.
We needed to do some more research on this particular jeweler, but he's definitely a contemporary of Andrew Grima.
It's from 1975, which is exactly when Andrew Grima was in his prime.
He was using things that weren't necessarily valuable.
For example, this is just an amethyst geode, and he split it in half to resemble the butterfly wings, embellished it with some tiny diamonds from the top and the bottom, and even made the little antenna, right here, en tremblant.
So it trembles when you wear it.
It's in 18-karat gold.
It's truly one of a kind.
And you said you don't wear it very often, but we're in Newport.
Maybe you should wear it.
Maybe I should wear it.
We're in the best place for it, right now.
I'd better find the grand balls to go to in order to wear it.
There are people that are buying 1970s jewelry.
So anything a little different, anything a little bit unusual, or very unusual, we'll call this...
...is very desirable right now.
I would say auction estimate would be between $3,000 and $5,000.
That's very nice to hear, and also that makes sense, because I didn't think my father probably went and spent $100,000 on a birthday present.
If it was an insurance value... Mm-hmm.
It would be, you know, close to double that.
WOMAN: My husband found this print that is called "July Fifteenth," and that happens to be our wedding anniversary.
So he said, "I have to get you this print as a present."
So he was checking lots of auctions, and every time he tried to bid, he was outbid.
When he was bidding and not getting the print... Mm-hmm.
Can I ask what he was bidding?
He bid, like, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000.
And he was overbid.
And then finally, in this last auction, he only bid $1,000, and we got it.
Well, this is, as you know, a lithograph by Grant Wood named "July Fifteenth."
This was actually printed in '38.
Now, Grant Wood was an American Regionalist, and he was known for scenes of Iowa-- although he did study abroad, he spent most of his career in Iowa-- and creating these wonderful landscapes that, on the one hand, were carefully observed and accurate, and on the other hand, have this sort of surging, undulating sort of style.
And we get a sense of nature that's been made to look energized and alive.
If we were to put this into auction today, we would put it into an American print sale.
And the estimate would be $5,000 to $7,000 in the current market.
Okay, that's good, that's good, thank you.
WOMAN: This was sitting on my grandparents' coffee table ever since I can remember.
My grandfather's brother George, who lived in Berlin during World War II, got it from some Jewish friends that he helped escape Berlin during the war.
And he gave it to my grandparents.
And I inherited this after my grandmother passed away.
I've heard that it belonged on the tusk of an elephant, perhaps, and also, we looked at magazines, and my cousin says she saw one of these on the ankle of some tribesman or something.
So I don't know.
It is an anklet.
And it's called an antal.
They're made in Oman, which is on the Arabian Peninsula.
In a place called Nizwa.
And would probably be part of the dowry, and I think this one was probably made any time probably about 1850 to about 1910.
It's made out of silver.
The workmanship is extremely good.
It's very beautiful, indeed.
And, as you can tell, I really like it.
Thank you, I like it, too.
I think a retail price for this would be around $800 to $1,000.
(gasps): Holy cow!
I, I had no idea.
MAN: This has come down through six generations of my family, from Tiverton, Rhode Island.
Our family folklore has always said that it was a Goddard knee-hole desk.
This is called a bureau table.
People often mistakenly refer to them as knee-hole desks.
It's not a desk.
It was made as a dressing table, and this would have graced the bedroom of an extremely wealthy 18th-century patron.
It was made about 1770 to '80, and we can tell that by the construction, by the patina of the wood, and also, it has the original brass hardware, which is helpful.
So it is an 18th-century piece.
It does have some originality issues.
The lobe is broken off of the drawer.
Also, the rear feet are replacements.
And there's a support that's been added across the entire back.
This recessed cupboard door appears to be an old replacement.
It's not the same quality as the rest of the piece, the wood is a little bit different, the lock is a replacement, the hinges are not original.
In terms of where the piece was made, you mentioned the Goddards of Newport, famous cabinetmakers.
This is a block-front piece, the way the drawers are blocked, was popular in Newport.
It was also popular in Boston.
If we look at the details of the construction, this is not consistent with, with Newport.
For example, Newport block-front bureau tables have a, a blade here above the top drawer, and then a large molding.
This doesn't have that.
They have exposed dovetails here.
In Boston, they covered it with a strip of wood.
And the blocking of the front edge, that's Boston.
Newport, they tend to, to be straight across.
The piece is made of mahogany, and the secondary wood is all white pine.
If this were made in Newport, we would expect it to have poplar or chestnut secondary woods.
So this piece was made in Boston.
If it were a Goddard-Townsend piece, that would bring it to a different level.
It's still a beautiful piece of furniture, but the value of what's called "brown furniture" in the industry is way down from where it used to be, particularly pieces that are not perfect.
At auction, it would probably have a $5,000 to $7,000 estimate.
If this were in perfect condition, even in today's market, it would bring at least $40,000 to $50,000 at auction, so... Wow, great, thank you.
WOMAN: This is an Italian painting, and I inherited it from my mother when she passed away, and I think it's kind of cool.
It's got a beautiful hand-carved frame that apparently is relatively newer in comparison to the painting itself, which is from the 1600s.
They're wonderfully done.
The subject is very good.
I can see a wide range of appeal for them.
I would say each of these is probably worth in the $2,000 to $3,000 range.
This is all hand-painted.
They called them piano lamps.
You often see them placed on the top of pianos.
Have you had it appraised before?
Never, it, it spends its life in a closet in a box.
Well, you have to get it out and enjoy it.
I mean, look at that bluebird.
What's not to like there?
A lamp like this, today, would be worth around $200, $300.
♪ ♪ WOMAN: My mother-in-law gave it to me, and there was a note in the box that said it was from her grandmother's sister, and that it was seed pearls and jade, and the sister was born in 1861.
What we have here is a Mughal seed pearl and kundan-set emerald necklace.
And the kundan setting is a method of carving into the emerald.
They carve out channels into them, they set the gemstones, and then they hammer in lines of very high-karat gold.
The stones are seed pearls and rubies.
I would date it to around 1890, maybe 1900.
It's all old Indian-manufactured.
Antique Indian jewelry is in demand now.
The Indians are becoming a buying community, rather than a jewelry net selling community.
They're searching for the old pieces.
So an old necklace like this, at auction today, would be $4,000 to $6,000.
Oh, my goodness!
I love wearing it.
WOMAN: I actually got it through my divorce 18 years ago.
My ex-husband used to be a collector of antique toys.
(laughs) What we have here is an ocean liner, the ocean liner Britannia.
I would date this right around 1900.
We have the original mark right there.
And that has "GBN," and what that means is, "Gebrüder Bing Nuremberg."
And "Gebrüder" means "brother."
Bing, the name of the company, and it was located in Nuremberg.
It's got this really decorative bow up here.
That indicates to me that it's a nice, early boat.
It's a clockwork model, so you would wind it up, pull the key out, and you could actually put it in water.
Back here, we have this big box.
It's the original box for this boat.
I have never seen a box for a Bing boat like this, this early boat.
It has the original stand on the bottom with wheels, so the child could play with it on the floor.
This was a very high-end, of-the-period piece.
It's in outstanding condition, but I believe that this mast and this mast are replacements.
Now, I don't feel that that is a major problem, and I also feel that the anchors are probably replacements.
The way this boat is, in today's market, I think a fair auction estimate would be $8,000 to $10,000.
It's just an awesome ocean liner.
PEÑA: Tessie Oelrichs' son inherited Rosecliff after her death in 1926.
Hermann Jr. used the ballroom for ping pong matches, and even the fast-paced game of jai alai.
♪ ♪ MAN: I inherited these from my parents, who had inherited them from my great-grandparents.
They're magnificent pieces of jade.
And they're actually, they're very, very typically 18th century, in terms of the quality of the carving and the stands, particularly.
But they're not-- they were actually made probably between 1880 and 1890.
And particularly, because of the color of that piece of jade, that material was only found in, like, Siberia in the 1870s.
So it wasn't available before that period of time.
But the carving is top, top quality.
By that age, the price in, like, the 1920s on something like this, in a good shop, would've been even $4,000 to $6,000.
Then, after the Second World War, the price on things like this, the pair of them, would be $1,500.
Oh, wow, okay.
And now with the Chinese buying back their own material, and particularly with a fixation about jade, they're looking for things like this.
And conservatively, the value at auction would be between $30,000 to $50,000.
On these now.
Well, I've always loved them, and... Yeah, they're a beautiful presentation.
And the carvings...
The carvings have... always mesmerized me as a child.
I have two Eschers that my husband bought from Mr. Escher in '61.
He and a friend of his were interested in art, were looking around for what they could invest in.
He didn't like Andy Warhol's tomato soup cans, he thought it was ugly at $15, didn't want it, and wrote to Mr. Escher for the prints.
And I got them and the letters from Mr. Escher saying that if he wanted to buy more, buy them all at once.
He's a feisty guy and didn't want to keep going to the post office.
Of course, we're talking about M.C.
His visual imagery is probably some of the most well-known, nowadays, to college students across the United States, who all have a poster of some of his work on their walls.
At the time when your husband had bought it, he wasn't as well-known.
He was living in the Netherlands as of 1941, in Baarn, until 1970.
This one is "Belvedere."
"A beautiful view," belvedere, in Italian.
He lived in Italy from about 1923 until 1935, and the view is of the Abruzzo mountains.
This is based on Escher's impossible cube.
This was an idea that he had... Mm-hmm.
About a cube which cannot exist in reality.
And what he was famous for was depicting, in two-dimensional form, that which cannot happen three-dimensionally.
That structure itself cannot exist.
But all of it looks so natural.
And a lot of it is very highly mathematically informed.
Although he did not consider himself a mathematician, he was writing and corresponding with a lot of mathematicians.
This lithograph, it's signed, lower left in pencil, in the margin, and it's also numbered eight out of 51, and it has a Roman numeral "II."
The Roman numeral refers to the state.
States are one grouping of the lithographs.
Some little change was made, and that made into a different state.
Let's also talk about "Ascending and Descending."
What we see are these figures walking up and down a staircase, but really, it's an impossible staircase.
They don't go anywhere.
Because it never ends.
This one was done in 1960, "Belvedere" was in 1958.
This one doesn't have any Roman numerals, but it does have a pencil signature and a number, 26 out of 52.
Can you tell me how much your husband paid for that?
I think they were $30 for each, and two dollars for postage.
And two dollars postage.
Have you ever had these appraised?
In 2004, we had our artwork appraised for insurance.
And at that time, they said "Belvedere" was $20,000, and the "Ascending and Descending" at $17,500.
We mentioned the letters, but they didn't seem to be, go into the, anything into the equation.
The letters are letters from Escher himself to your husband.
And it actually shows his wry sense of humor.
Telling him to, as you had mentioned, to buy more at one time.
He was famous for his, his wry sense of humor.
And there are a lot of fake Escher prints on the market, so we know that-- with these letters-- that these works are real.
Even Escher autographs, even without prints, are valuable in and of themselves.
I would insure these at $50,000 each.
PEÑA: You're watching part six This is a first-place trophy from the Canton Sailing Regatta in 1859.
It's a wonderful example of what we would call China trade silver.
If you can imagine the, the maritime trade as it would sail to Canton, once it arrived there, it was there for three months, six months.
All those sailors needed things to do.
So they golfed, they played polo, they played soccer, and they sailed.
You said 1859, I see 1850.
Most of these were made for the Chinese market.
What you would do is, you'd go into your Chinese retailer, the silversmith, and you'd pick out what you wanted, and then you would have it engraved for that particular occasion.
Well, they happened to pick out a Chinese silver cup that was made for the Western market.
Many of the ones made for the Chinese market have these embossed dragons and figures and villages all over them that represent Chinese life.
This has more the acanthus leaves that you would find in a nice piece of English silver.
Now, underneath here, we have the hallmark that looks English, but it's really a pseudo-English hallmark.
And in the middle of that, you see the three letters that distinguish this as having been made by Khe Cheong, a very prominent silversmith in the mid-part of the 19th century for China.
In a well-advertised auction, this should sell somewhere in the range of between $5,000 and $8,000.
I think it's great.
PEÑA: Thanks for watching.
Tune in again for another great episode of "Antiques Roadshow Recut."