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Jeweled Russian Antique Yields Big Bucks


An antique bejeweled lipstick storage case created by the same craftsman responsible for the valuable Russian Faberge eggs, recently sold for over $8,100 on Goodwill of Delaware’s auction website. The buyer was a private collector located in Fort Worth, Texas who outbid the other interested parties over the week-long online auction.

The 10-karat gold storage case, with green and blue enamel work and 87 round cut diamonds and 16 garnets, was found among donated items from Goodwill’s store in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. When Grant McIntyre, who manages the operation for Goodwill of Delaware saw the item, he knew it was a rare find.

“I knew it was a very unusual piece, but when I began to research the item I was astounded at its lineage and history,” said McIntyre.

According to experts in Russian art consulted by McIntyre, the case had jeweler marks on it that indicated it was created by Anders Nevalainen, a Finnish gold and silver smith who worked under Carl Faberge in St. Petersburg, Russia in the late 1800’s. His workshop made silver-mounted frames in birch wood or lacquer, silver and gold cigarette cases, enameled silver-gilt cases with leather sleeves and several small silver-gilt objects. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Nevalainen and his family returned to his native Finland, where he died in 1933.

“This one-of-a-kind item was a rare piece of history with links to the time of the Czars of Russia,” said McIntyre. “It’s also indicative of the unusual and sometimes valuable items you can find on the website. In the last few months we’ve sold a signed Rudyard Kipling children’s book, 18 karat-gold and diamond earrings and even a rare chalkware bobble-head doll.”

He said savvy shoppers are finding that the online auction site (, which is linked with other Goodwill’s across the country, is a great place to find a bargain or a rare piece of history or art.

For 89 years, Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County’s mission has been to improve the quality of life for individuals with barriers to self-sufficiency through the “Power of Work.” In 2009, Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County provided over 15,000 services to individuals throughout the region.

Ted Sikorski

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