Judy Rhoades, Special to The Baltimore Sun
May 26, 2011
Owner: Judy Rhoades, Catonsville
Back story: More than three decades ago, when the womens circle of her church held a big yard sale, Rhoades happened upon this antique watch.
"They had priced it at a quarter," says the government retiree. "It was very pretty but didnt work."
A divorced, single mother who at the time "had no money," she took it to a jeweler to fix it. "He said it would cost $35. He said it was worth several hundred dollars and a beautiful example of something rare. So I did get it fixed. Later, I got a gold chain and wore it to work." Rhoades rarely wears the watch now but still thinks its lovely. "I wonder who gave it away."
Expert: G. Amory LeCuyer, certified appraiser, Hampton House Auctions
Overview: "Even 35 years ago when you purchased this womans pendant watch, [it] was a very good buy. Enameling is the process of fusing powdered glass to metal. The color red is one of the more difficult colors to manipulate in this process and would add value to your watch. The style of your watch indicated a piece from the mid- to late 19th century."
Evaluation: "In working condition and without a known maker, the value of the watch would be in the $300 to $400 range. If, however, there is a makers name or mark on in the inside of the case, or if the case is 14-karat gold or higher, this value could quickly increase to more than $1,000."