Do you watch the Antiques Roadshow?
I’ve grown up watching it and Saturday I got to go to a show. My mother-in-law emailed them requesting tickets when she saw they were going to be in Birmingham Alabama. They drew her name. 15,000 people requested tickets and only 3,000 received them. They were free.
Our time was for 11:00. We could arrive at 10:30 but no earlier.
I had a chance to go several years ago with an elderly friend who had acquired two tickets. Unfortunately, I had a conflict and couldn’t go. But I had lunch with her later and listened to every detail of her trip.
I was extra excited about having the chance to go again.
What to take?
You can take 2 items. If you live within a certain distance they will pick up large items for you. I’d always wondered about the trouble people went to with the big pieces but now I know. I watched and read several articles about the roadshow, what to expect, what not to bring (or rather things that they see all the time and not very valuable).
I bought it at the Estate Auction of the lady I mentioned earlier. I paid $125. She had showed it to be before she passed away and said she thought it was a painting on a painting and was valuable. I didn’t know anything about it so I decided I would take that for sure. The second item I debated. I had several things that I wished to know more about so I took some time and did some internet research and could find out some info about those items so no need to take them.
We drove to Birmingham and started seeing signs quickly after we parked, that we were close to the show. A man was wheeling a large strange looking guitar to his car. We saw lots of firearms being toted about, a grandfather clock on a dolly, large doll legs sticking out of a quilt, violin cases, people hold boxes, pulling carts and pushing dollies. It was exciting.
When we got to the entrance they checked our ticket and we began the first of several lines. The 11 o’clock line was weaving it’s way through a gigantic room. As we walked we could see the goods others brought a little closer. We talked to a few people we would see each pass. This sweet man had his great grandfather’s call. It had the date of 1837 and a deer carved on the horn. I hope he got on the show!
We were scanned again before we could go into the actual Antique Roadshow room. We showed our items and were given a ticket based on our item and then escorted to the correct line. The collectibles, posters, and pottery lines were the very longest. Paintings, sports memorabilia, toys, and photography lines you could basically walk up to the table of appraisers.
Once you got inside the actual show there were four carpeted areas in a square that they were doing the actual filming of the show. I saw a man appraising a large silver urn on one of the carpets, while on the other they were setting up a wooden trunk to be filmed next. The appraiser tables were set up all around the outside of the filming area and signs hung above them as to their area of expertise.
I went to the painting line first, only having to wait a minute or two. A nice young lady looked at it under the lights and asked me what I knew about it. I knew nothing besides what Dotty had said. She couldn’t find a signature and said the value of pieces are based on knowing the painter. She said it’s a piece of fine art and has a lovely subject matter and is of age, and in good shape. She dated it early 20th century and at auction it would bring between $200 and $300. AND it was over.
I was there one minute maybe.
On to the next line.
They had given me a collectible ticket even though I think puppets were toys and after standing in a line for 30 minutes I was directed to toys because the collectible appraiser didn’t know anything about puppets. So I found myself facing a man I’ve seen many times on the show. Mustache, long grayish ponytailed hair. (we weren’t suppose to take pictures back here so I didn’t get one of him) He inspected the puppets and said they were from the Black Forrest region of Germany and were made in the 1920’s for children’s theaters, hand carved wood,etc… He said at auction he would estimate them to sell for $50 for the pair.
I paid $75 for them. So of course I don’t agree.
My mother in law, Pat brought a painting she had bought at an auction and she had printed out some history of it but they couldn’t confirm it was the original and suggested she trace it back from the last known owner, Lord So-and-so. It’s value could be $1,500 if not the original or $20,000 if it is. She is probably researching.
BUT it was so cool to be there and see all the behind the scenes. The volunteers were telling us about things that had been brought in and stories of how much it was worth. NASA brought it a lot of things from the Apollo or something like that and they all had on white gloves. They filmed them. And supposedly someone with $800,000 item. I could see the people they had chosen to film waiting in chairs as the folks looked over their items closely. They were smiling and elbowing each other. Such a great feeling I’m sure. I enjoyed talking to the people in line before me and hearing and seeing their pieces. All four of their items were from their great grandfather. I hope they heard good news.
Upon leaving I went through the feedback booth where they film you and your item. I signed a release and entered with my two puppets. The man behind the camera said you can do or say anything you want and be as creative as you want for two minutes but be sure and say your name and where you are from. I said what everyone says!! That my item is worth more to me than what they said!! Why did I say that? Not very original.
But isn’t that true? How many of us would part with a treasure anyway? I guess if you bought it at a garage sale and it has no meaning to you, you would, but that isn’t what most of us have and hold as treasures. All the people I talked to had brought things that had meaning to them.
So the show is going to air in January 2015. They had hoped to gather enough for three shows. I hope I see some people and things I saw while there.
FYI: It took us two hours from parking to leaving. A great way to spend two hours.