The term “collectibles” is a broad one and today’s subject has plenty of subtext.
Anything Cartier is collectible. Just as anything Tiffany is collectible. Or anything made by Patek Philippe. Or anything that has the Corvette logo.
Valuation of such items is difficult. As we have discussed before, the IRS defines value in several legal ways. Retail value, insurance value, wholesale value, fair market value and liquidation are all values that have specific, if sometimes elastic, definitions.
For this oversized Cartier sterling silver and wood box, one could get lost in the attempt to value it. Cartier, like Tiffany, made a lot of sterling silver tchotchkes to sell for quick profit as souvenirs. After all, not everyone can afford a Cartier gold bracelet or a Tiffany diamond ring.
So a gift item costing a hundred dollars or so, but presented in that easily identifiable Cartier red box has an immediate impact.
This box is quite attractive in its own right, and has a myriad of beneficial attributes. First, its size. As large as (or larger than) many a woman’s handbag or clutch, it was designed to be used for a special purpose — cigars. Yes, this wood and silver box is a cigar box. Kind of a humidor of sorts.
Value? While we paid $2,000 for it, one could argue it is worth only the silver value — $200 or so. But the wow factor of such a large, distinctive cigar box makes it especially desirable. And coming in its original red Cartier box (original packaging is always a plus) increases its value. And then there is the 18k gold handle or lip to open it, adorned with a natural cabochon sapphire.
Lastly, the engraving. A tiny bit of research suggests this box, circa late-1970s, was a gift from Cartier of Paris (the home office) to Howard Warnock, manager of the Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan.
As to retail value, to make an elaborate hinged box like this one today, in 18k gold and sterling silver with sapphire handle, would easily top $5,000 or more.
If you have someone special who might like this, or who might want to own a piece of history, it is for sale in our Hyde park location for $2,800. And we love trades.
OLD NORTHEAST JEWELERS.
FINE JEWELRY & WATCHES. BUYING & SELLING SINCE 1984.
St. Petersburg: 1131 4th St. N. 727.898.4377.
Tampa: Hyde Park Village. 1607 W. Swann Ave. 813.875.3935.
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