The Antiques Roadshow TV show is a 60 minute reality series on Public Television (PBS) that travels to various locations and offers free appraisals to those attendees who bring items that they hope are valuable. The appraisers typically offer interesting insights into the history of each item and estimate the value of each one. There are alway thrills when an item turns out to be far more valuable than the owner suspected and sometimes a few disappointments when their treasure turns out to be a fake or the value has been greatly diminished due to improper care.
Antiques Roadshow Cast
Chris Jussel (1997-2000)
Dan Elias (2001-2003)
Lara Spencer (2004-2005)
Mark L. Walberg (2005-)
Leigh and Leslie Keno .... Furniture and Folk Art
Rudy Franchi .... Collectibles and Pop Culture
Gary Sohmers .... Collectibles, Pop Culture, and Toys
Other expert appraisers are supplied by auction houses including Christie's, Doyle New York, Freeman's, Skinner, Sotheby's and Swann.
Antiques Roadshow Trivia
Antiques Roadshow began as a BBC documentary that aired in 1977 where a London auction house was touring the West Country in England. It was originally intended to be a one time show but the audience response was overwhelming so it became a series. The American version began in 1997.
In addition to this American version of Antiques Roadshow, nationalized versions have also been broadcast in Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Antiques FYI was a spinoff series introduced in 2005 which explored items seen previously on the Antiques Roadshow in more detail and covered general information on antiquing and collecting.
The most valuable appraisal on the Antiques Roadshow TV show as of 2010 was for four pieces of 18th century Chinese carved jade including a large bowl that was especially made for the Qianlong Emperor. They were appraised conservatively at over $1 million but actually only brought $494,615 at auction.
For the most avid Antiques Roadshow fans, the BBC puts out a monthly magazine, "Home & Antiques" that offers information on how to determine the value and authenticity of antiques and gives advice on buying them. There's also an American version of the magazine, "Antiques Roadshow Insider".
If you enjoy watching this series you may also want to check out the History Channel series "Pawn Stars" where people bring their items into a Las Vegas, Nevada pawn shop. The items on that show are often valuable or disappointingly not just like on Antiques Roadshow.
Antiques Roadshow visits six cities each year during June, July and August. To find out where the nearest location they will be visiting to your hometown, check after January at their site online. If you plan to attend an event, you must have a ticket!
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