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Thread: Antique Roadshow

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Antique Roadshow

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/

    They just showed their stop in Grand Rapids, MI on PBS last night. I don't know about you, but there is something oddly compelling about that show. Yes, seeing some of the odd knicknacks that people bring in is interesting in and of itself, but even more entertaining sometimes is watching people's reactions (I swear they've caught a few aspiring actors over the years) when they learn that the chamber pot that Uncle Bob bought at a garage sale 25 years ago for fifty cents happens to have belonged to King Charles II and is now worth over ten grand.

    The most entertaining of all, though, is watching the palpable disappointment that people try to conceal when they find out some treasured family heirloom is a cheap knock-off worth $50! ("...M'am do you have the cover to this Superman 1 comic book?" "Yeah I did, but I tore it off and threw it away because it had a small water stain on it that made it look unattractive....")

    Anyone else ever watch that show? Anyone ever take some antique to an appraiser and get a surprise?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Yes, I will catch a couple minutes if it is on.

    I have often thought of bringing a dagger grandpa brought from the "Old Country" to see what it is worth.

    I wonder if I get an extra cash value estimate on the dagger if I put it in my teeth and swing in on a chandalier?
    Last edited by zman; 08 May 2009 at 11:09 AM.
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    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Its a lot like Law and Order, if you watch more than 47.8 seconds of the opening of the show you are hooked into watching it for the duration of the episode!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia View post
    if you watch more than 47.8 seconds of the opening of the show you are hooked into watching it for the duration of the episode!
    TRUE.

    The show has actually got a certain educational aspect too. The remarks from the expert appraisers are sometimes illuminating, particularly when they place antique items into their proper historical context. I think the show also has appeal to the CSI/detective show audience too. Last night, for instance, someone brought in an old sword and the appraiser explained how they could confirm the sword was a genuine Confederate sword vs a fake and where it was cast based on the amount of impurities in the casting, the depth of the decorative etching, and could tell the knicks in the blade were not due to use in combat, etc.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    The last episode was actually the 3rd week of the GR stop. We've watched it since the first season and actually took a couple of items to be appraised when they came to Dallas the first time a few years ago. We did not become fabulously wealthy but enjoyed it anyway.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  6. #6
    We're regular viewers of AR. I watched last night since I missed the first showing on Monday for a Council meeting (and since TOH is in reruns). I wanted to go to the show when it came to Louisville a couple of years ago but didn't get tix. I've got a very old home movie camera (c.1920) that I'd be curious to know the value.

    Favorite Happy Appraisal:
    The Navajo Rug that was worth the (then and maybe still) highest amount ever: $500,000. I seem to recall the elderly owner was in tears when he heard what it was worth.

    Favorite Unhappy Appraisal:
    An early season from Seattle or Portland. The Keno brothers were raving over a chest-on-chest from Boston and the owner was proud as a peacock. They appraised it at $100,000 (IIRC). Then the other shoe dropped: had you not recently refinished it they said, it would be worth $350,000. The owners tried to maintain a brave face.
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    It's one of the UK's televisual institutions. Brilliant programme, great to see people's reactions to the valuations provided. It's great when you get someone coming along with a family heirloom and it gets a high value attributed to it. The expert often says "oh, but you won't be interested in selling it of course" whilst the owner agrees by nodding vacantly as you can almost see the £ signs rolling around in their eyes.

    Great viewing.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    I have often thought of bringing a dagger grandpa brought from the "Old Country" to see what it is worth.

    I wonder if I get an extra cash value estimate on the dagger if I put it in my teeth and swing in on a chandalier?
    HA! FWIW, I just sold a WW2 era German Officers Dagger with scabbard and straps. Not in the best of condition, it fetched $150 wholesale to a dealer. Retail value, closer to $300 me thinks...

  9. #9
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    AR is like crack. And it doesn't matter if it's the UK or US version, it's all good. the Canadian version is a little dry for me though. When you are really addicted to old crap, (and priceless gems), you'll find this page to search out funky treasures for yourself.

    I've never been to an Antiques Roadshow, but I know what I'd take. I have a very early Longfellow book, signed by some dude living during the period. It's from before they started putting dates or edition numbers on the printings, so no clues there. But I've had it so long, I kind of forgot about it. So with this interweb thingy, I could probably find out more about it myself, too.

    The second thing I'd bring to AR is this super funky owl made of what I think is tin and bronze. It's seriously the coolest folk art sculpture I've ever found, and I bought it in a Value Village in Washington State for $20 about 15 years ago. It kind of looks like a big version of that crazy robot owl from Clash of the Titans. It certainly doesn't look manufactured, but even if it was, it would be cool to find out more about how many were made and during what time.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HarryFossettsHat View post
    It's one of the UK's televisual institutions. Brilliant programme, great to see people's reactions to the valuations provided. It's great when you get someone coming along with a family heirloom and it gets a high value attributed to it. The expert often says "oh, but you won't be interested in selling it of course" whilst the owner agrees by nodding vacantly as you can almost see the £ signs rolling around in their eyes.

    Great viewing.
    There used to be a show on HGTV that would allow the owner to put it up for sale immediately and people could call in to bid on it. I think that was a great idea.

    Whenever I watch the reaction "oh, it was granddad's; we could never sell it", I scream at the tv "take a picture of it, put it up for sale, and pay off your house with the cash! Granddad would approve!"
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Haven't watched AR in awhile, but I go through spurts where I am hooked. That show always makes me cry. It is so wonderful when some kind and sincere person learns that their little item is worth a goldmine. I get weepy.

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