What It's Worth

Weekly articles written by Jeffrey P. Hess about the value of collectibles and other rarities. The articles are published weekly on the Tampa Bay Times.

blackamoor jewelry

The Controversial World Of Blackamoor Jewelry

Jewelry depicting people of color has long been collectible. In the 19th century, Americans of color were
depicted in postcards, toys and other controversial in a disrespectful way.
Jewelry depicting “Moors” was often
done in a more dignified manner.

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edwardian necklace

An Edwardian-Era Stunner

We have written a lot about the importance of provenance (proof or history of a piece) when evaluating or selling fine antiques. This month, a Beverly Hills jeweler reached out to us to sell a necklace that had been sitting in his safe for many years. It is an exquisite Edwardian-era sapphire necklace of exceptional quality;
they hope our wide audience will find a buyer for it.

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Huge Architectural Antiques

We’re not new to this category. Years ago, we were chosen to auction 40 Murano glass chandeliers and light fixtures that the Vinoy instructed us to sell.

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eastman guitars

Chinese-Made Does Not Mean Inferior

A few weeks back, we proudly
wrote about an impressive
collection of exquisite guitars
sourced from the estate of a devoted
guitar collector. He was not a guitar
player, so his meticulous collection was in exceptional condition. We managed to surpass the estate’s initial offers from guitar dealers by double!

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sail boat painting

The Watercolors Of A Notorious Conman

Murph the Surf was a man of mystery who lived just two hours from us. A skilled championship surfer, he was known for his cool
demeanor, flashy shades, fast cars and laidback surfer lifestyle. He was good looking with a confident smile and a great physique, and always
had a stunning woman by his side in
pics from paparazzi.

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bay times advertising

Unmentionables Of Great Value

The three most popular What’s It Worth column subjects are about my son (endearing), when we lose money (endearing but depressing) and stories from “back in the day.”
Today, I’ll recount a circa-1990 story that I remember with crisp details and a few vague areas as well.

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