Antiques Roadshow: Appraise The Roof! Part II
Part II of my Antiques Roadshow experience. Click here for Part I.
So here’s how it works: You show your tickets to get into the general timed entry line, which is very long. Once you get closer to the exhibition hall where the appraisers and lines are, you meet a generalist appraiser who gives you a ticket for the line you’re supposed to be, depending on your item. I brought a collection of Schaffenaker pottery, some jewelry, a book, and an antique wood carving buddha that I borrowed from a friend, hoping that it would be my ticket onto TV.
The excitement started to set in when I was able to see all the appraisers I’ve been watching on TV for so many years. I only started learning their names, through repetition of their appraisals on TV. There was the Asian art guy, the jewelry guy, the compote woman who does glass (she appraised a compote once, so it just stuck). Sports Memorabilia guy was very casual looking, and was walking around alot. But then I thought, what am I going to say to them? I like how you appraise?? You give good appraisal? And what would I say to Mark L. Wahlberg, other than to compliment him on his hosting abilities?
Now I consider myself a friendly person, but I am not a conversation instigator. I enjoy keeping to myself, people watching, and making mental observations that I can share with no one: She decided to wear THAT? He brought THAT to get appraised? Uh-Uh, they better not cut me in line! I would never say these things out loud. Unfortunately, these are the kind events that really bring out the talkers. People want to see what you brought, and are DYING for you to ask about their items. Seems like one of those situations where lifelong friendships are made. But I wasn’t about to befriend a porcelain Victorian doll collector.
I read on the Roadshow website that the Paintings line would be the longest. But my lines felt the longest. Some odd law of physics was in play, where the end of the line moved the shortest distance when it moved, yet when you got closer to the front of the line, moved quicker. So after a one hour wait in the general timed entry line, we were on our way to wait in more lines:
1 1/2 hours in the Asian Art line to find out this 19th century Chinese Buddha was appraised at about what my friend paid for it.
1 1/2 hours in the Jewelry line to find out that my mother’s ring’s stone is not amethyst or alexandrite, but glass. The appraiser seemed to like a mid-century modern silver brooch with cultured pearls that he would retail at $175 in a store, and a souvenir bracelet from the African Pavilion of the 1964 World’s Fair. He didn’t give me an appraisal for the bracelet, pendant, or other brooch, and I realized I wasn’t going to be on TV so I just wanted to leave. So I didn’t ask.
One hour in the Pottery line to learn that my appraiser never heard of Helmut Schaffenaker, and therefore dismissed my pottery as only having a “decorative value” of about $50 a piece.
One hour in the Books line to learn that my vintage picture bible from 1953 was worth $5-$10, which yielded the biggest percentage return, because I only paid $1. Click here to learn about my collection of vintage religious things.
As soon as I knew the appraisal was going nowhere, I just wanted to take my stuff and run. I felt like I was wasting their time. For the most part I would just grab my item and make a dash out to the next line. But this was hard to do when you just unwrapped 6 pieces of pottery. By my third appraisal I was going to call it a day, but brother Noqui Ero Mas encouraged me to stay. And I never got to see Mark L. Wahlberg.
But, I’m still hopeful for one thing. If I end up on TV in the background of an appraisal, I hope I sucked in my gut, and don’t look too sweaty.