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Basil’s Citrine Ring

BZavian_Ring2-crop-c0-55__0-29-676x380

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:

http://www.pbs.org/video/2365784160/

http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365784160

I tried to embed the video clip on this page, but it’s not working. Sorry!

Here’s a transcript of the video clip:

APPRAISER:
Did you know Basil Rathbone?

GUEST:
Uh, no, I did not.

APPRAISER:
Well, he was Sherlock Holmes in the old B movies, and he was quite a prolific collector of good jewelry.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
This is yellow diamonds with rubies and a citrine. Who did he give it to?

GUEST:
Uh, his wife, Ouida Bergere.

APPRAISER:
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.

GUEST:
Really?

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.

ringonOuida

Below is a photo from 1943. It appears that Ouida is wearing the ring! And she looks much older than in the photo above.

bror16

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?

Thanks, Rani!

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4 Comments

  1. Judy D. says

    Love that show but never saw this! Good work on supplying the info. Couldn’t help looking up birthstones and don’t know offhand Weedy’s birth date (or fictional versions thereof), so this was a bit interesting: CITRINE: November–a quartz; healing, health, vitality, energy, wealth. Affordable. Also same month TOPAZ: affection, strength and intelligence. Guess we can see why he (or she) chose Citrine. Both are gorgeous big showy stones. Maybe if Baz did collect fine jewelry that’s what she lived on in her expensive last apartment–sell a piece as needed until it all runs out. Or is it true that someone paid or helped with her rent.

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    • marciajessen says

      I think I read that some of Basil’s and Ouida’s friends took up a collection for Ouida because she was broke. That would have been a few years before her death. If Cynthia had been alive and well, she would have taken care of her mother.

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  2. marciajessen says

    I was also surprised by the appraiser’s comment that Basil was “a prolific collector of good jewelry.” I don’t remember reading anything like that before.

    Like

  3. Campbell says

    (!!!!!) Don’t know which is more surprising: 1. It was found or 2. Didn’t know Basil??

    Like

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