Hey all you Antiques Roadshow fans! Don’t you just love this PBS program? I know I do! Recently I had the chance to experience a behind-the-scenes glimpse, so if you ever wondered about your potentially valuable antiques and how to “do” the Antiques Roadshow, read on!
Valuable Antiques: A Day at Antiques Roadshow
Not gonna lie….I LOVE this show! If I can’t watch it as it airs, I record it. I am totally fascinated by the different objects folks bring to be appraised. And I’m rooting for every one of them to be one the valuable antiques that causes them (and me, truth be told) to shed a few tears of joy.
A Little History
According to their web site, “Antiques Roadshow ANTIQUES puts the reality in reality television! Part adventure, part history lesson, and part treasure hunt, Antiques Roadshow marked its 22nd season in 2018. A 16-time Emmy® Award-nominee and recent Critics’ Choice Award-nominee, Antiques Roadshow is PBS’s most-watched ongoing series.”
“Seen by up to 8 million viewers each week, specialists from the country’s leading auction houses and independent dealers offer free appraisals of antiques and collectibles. Cameras capture tales of family heirlooms, flea market finds and items saved from attics and basements, while experts reveal the fascinating truths about these items.”
I mean…what’s not to LOVE????
How to Participate
Step 1: The Antiques Roadshow website lists all the cities where filming will take place. If you’d like to participate, you must register on line for a lottery. I’ve been told that many many more people register for the lottery than are ultimately awarded tickets. If you are selected via lottery as one of the fortunates, proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Select your items to bring for appraisal. However, you really need to read all the restrictions for the show you plan to attend. Each filming venue has different limitations, so one site might allow large furniture on dollies, while another venue might only allow items that can be carried in by hand.
Remember friends, the intent of Antiques Roadshow is discovery. In other words, if you have an item that you KNOW what it is, and have already had it appraised….don’t bring it! This is not show-and-tell. Bring something that you THINK might have value, or that you simply want to learn more about. Then let those awesome appraisers educate you!
Step 3: With your armor of patience on, saddle up and bring your items on the designated day. During the behind-the-scenes at the San Antonio Antiques Road Show taping, I witnessed several steps. Those included, checking in with a ticket, and then a first stop at the “triage” table where general appraisers look at your item and determine which category your items fits in, like jewelry, sports memorabilia, paintings, or folk art.
Each of those steps includes waiting in line. Once you have been assigned a category, you move to another line to await your turn with an appraiser. The appraisers are the expert men and women you see on the actual TV show, so that’s exciting! At the San Antonio Roadshow taping, there were 30 or more appraisers working from early in the morning until the evening. Trust me…they are as excited as you are! They are hoping to see that amazing object, whose story is so unique, or value is so high, that it will make the cut to be filmed and end up on an actual show episode!
You can see all the appraisers who work with Antiques Roadshow by clicking here. You will note that all of them are notable dealers and appraisers in their particular field, book authors, own auction houses, or are otherwise knee-deep in the art and antique world. Trust me, these folks are the ultimate treasure hunters! They get huge enjoyment out of educating people on those potentially valuable antiques you drug out of a box in your attic, just for the Antiques Roadshow.
I enjoyed watching all the hustle and bustle, the dozens of film crew, Antiques Roadshow staff, and volunteers. More importantly, I particularly enjoyed the general “vibe.” There’s energy. There’s anticipation. There’s a sense of something big is about to happen. And I think that’s awesome!
One of my favorite aspects of the TV show is “The Feedback Booth, “ where participants have a few seconds to show their items. Sometimes their selections turned out to be valuable antiques. Other times, their selections ended up not being worth a whole lot, but the vibe is still positive even in the midst of disappointment. Everyone has fun at Antiques Roadshow!
Because, at the end of the day, it’s about hope, and possibilities, and memories, and family lore and tradition, and treasure, and learning and surprise. And there’s not one thing bad about any of that? Am I right??!!
Stay hopeful my friends! Never stop learning! And make plans to watch PBS’s Antique Roadshow on your local PBS station.
Special thanks to our friends at Antiques Roadshow for giving us a glimpse of the “magic”! Best day ever!!!
Lead Photo: Appraisers Wes Cowan and Allan Katz.