Hat tip to a fan named Rani, who told me about a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow on PBS. On this episode, which aired June 27, 2016, Berj Zavian (from Cluster Jewelry in New York) appraised a ring with yellow diamonds, rubies, and a large citrine. According to the owner of the ring (who didn’t even know who Basil was!) Basil Rathbone gave the ring to his wife Ouida . Watch a 30-second clip from the show:
I tried to embed the video clip on this page, but it’s not working. Sorry!
Here’s a transcript of the video clip:
Did you know Basil Rathbone?
Uh, no, I did not.
Well, he was Sherlock Holmes in the old B movies, and he was quite a prolific collector of good jewelry.
This is yellow diamonds with rubies and a citrine. Who did he give it to?
Uh, his wife, Ouida Bergere.
That’s the ring that she was wearing. It’s roughly 1945. A ring like this could easily bring from $3,000 to $4,000 at auction.
How cool is that! It’s beautiful! I’m really envious of the person who owns this ring! The video clip is from an episode that originally aired in 2001. The description of the episode is “Uncover how appraisals from 15 years ago have changed.” And at the end of the video clip this text appears at the bottom of the screen:
Basil Rathbone Citrine Ring, ca. 1945
2016 $3,500 – $4,500
2001 $3,000 – $4,000
Mr. Zavian said the ring is from 1945, but if that’s the same ring on Ouida’s finger in this photo, the ring is from the 1930s. The photo shown here is a Hurrell photo from 1938 or 1939. Ouida looked much older in 1945.
Below is a photo from 1943. It appears that Ouida is wearing the ring! And she looks much older than in the photo above.
Rani, who shared this info with me, speculated that Basil gave Ouida this ring to match her flaming red hair. Or was it perhaps a gift to placate her apparently flaming temperament? What do you think?