I don’t watch much t.v. outside of the occasional sporting events, but as I get older I have caught myself watching more episodes of the Antiques Roadshow and American Pickers. I love watching folks make flea market finds or bring in something that has been passed down from generation to generation. Obviously, both shows tend to present the “big finds” for the viewing audience and share their associated history. In fact most often it’s the “story” I love more than the actual item itself. What is it about uncovering an unknown or “hidden” treasure that intrigues us so much? A few weekends back I was traveling to an auction to bid on a very rare Civil War clock. I had Michelle doing some research in the truck on the item and she ran across the Antiques Roadshow’s 20th anniversary season’s Top-10 items. I thought I would share, hope you enjoy the stories. If you have a family heirloom or item you have found and want to take it to the Antique Road Show be sure and visit their site early. I believe tickets for their summer events in Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin are already sold out. Visit their site HERE (Source: Antique Road Show & Entertainment)
Joseph Kleitsch Oil Painting: Appraised in New York in 2014, this oil painting by Joseph Kleitsch was dated around 1925 and originally purchased for approximately $100. Fine art appraiser Debra Force gave the owner quite the surprise when she offered an estimated gallery price of $500,000.
1907 Robert Henri Oil Painting: A woman brought a classic oil painting by American artist Robert Henri to the show’s stop in San Diego in 2010. She explained that it was given to her by her father and that the woman in the painting is her grandmother. Appraiser Peter M. Fairbanks told her that the family treasure should be insured for $250,000-$300,000, a total that was later raised to $500,000-$700,000 in 2016.
1896 Frederic Remington Portrait with Letter: A man was in for a surprise when he brought a painting of his great-grandfather, Lea Febiger, to Antiques Roadshow’s 2014 stop in Birmingham. The piece was done by a friend of Febiger’s, artist Frederic Remington, and included a letter from the painter to the subject. Appraiser Colleene Fesko told the owner his piece would likely sell for between $600,000 and $800,000 at auction.
Alexander Calder Mobile: A participant in Antiques Roadshow’s 2010 show in Miami Beach brought in a mid-20th century mobile by American sculptor Alexander Calder. Appraiser Chris Kennedy told the owner that her family heirloom could auction between $400,000 and $600,000 and even retail when Calder is trendy for $1 million.
Navajo Ute First Phase Blanket: A man brought in a piece of history to Antiques Roadshow when the show stopped in Tucson in 2001. “I don’t know an awful lot about it, except that it was given by Kit Carson, who every… I’m sure everybody knows in his history. Given to the foster father of my grandmother,” he said of the 19th century Navajo blanket in his possession. Appraiser Donald Ellis gave the owner a shock when he informed him that the item was valued at $350,000-$500,000 — a total that was raised to $750,000-$1 million in 2016.
18th-Century Qianlong Jade Collection from Qing Dynasty: In Raleigh in 2009, a woman brought in a stunning collection of Qianlong Jade, dating back to the 18th century. Appraiser James Callahan gave the owner her first idea of just how much the items were worth, offering an appraisal of $710,000-$1,070,000 at auction.
1904 Diego Rivera ‘El Albañil’ Oil Painting: In Corpus Christi, Texas in 2012, a man brought in a painting by Diego Rivera, which had been hanging behind a door in a family home. Dated to 1904, the ‘El Albañil’ work was authenticated and appraised by Colleene Fesko, who put the value at $800,000-$1 million.
1871-1872 Boston Red Stockings Archive: A woman brought some very special sports memorabilia to the Antiques Roadshow in New York in 2014. She explained to appraiser Leila Dunbar that her great-great-grandmother had a boarding house in Boston, where the Boston baseball team stayed in 1871. That relationship resulted in a family heirloom of original Boston Red Stockings baseball cards and a letter from the first lineup, a collection appraised at $1 million.
Chinese Rhinoceros Horn Cups: Antiques Roadshow saw one if its most valuable lots in Tulsa in 2011. A man said that he had been collecting rhinoceros horn carvings for decades and had a particular affinity for a certain cup, going on to purchase its full set. Made around 1700, the ornate collection was originally purchased by the owner for approximately $5,000. Appraiser Lark E. Mason gave the owner a significant margin when he appraised the set at $1 million-$1.5 million.
Patek Philippe Pocket Watch: A modern pocket watch from Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe can already fetch quite a pretty penny. But a pristine timepiece from the brand dating back to 1914? That’s Antiques Roadshow gold. The owner brought the treasure, which was handed down from his great-grandfather, to the show’s stop in St. Paul, Minn. in 2004. Appraiser Paul Hartquist estimated the auction value at $250,000, a total that was increased in 2016 to $1.5 million.
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