This is why I could get in:
It was the Charleston, WV filming of the Antiques Roadshow, and I worked as a volunteer. I heard a call for volunteers on public radio and thought, why not? I hesitated a second when the lady I contacted told me we started work at 6:30 am, and worked until 5:00 pm, with a 30-minute break for lunch and a 15-minute afternoon break. But I knew I would not get this opportunity again, and I could always rest the next day, right?
|Some of the people in my "quad" during training|
|With our Production Supervisor, Judy. She was great to work with and so supportive.|
No photos were allowed during the actual show day, so all my pictures were taken during and after training. It's easy to see why--if everyone took pictures, why would anyone want to watch the show?
|The film crew getting set up|
|A segment on this chest was filmed during our training. We didn't get to hear what was said about it, or what it was appraised for, but it certainly got a lot of attention.|
|Some other larger pieces of furniture were also in place Friday evening. I believe the show sent trucks out to pick these things up.|
|Would you like to have this in your living room?|
Everything from mundane to fantastic, valuable to valueless, gorgeous condition to ragged and stained, handmade to Tiffany came through the doors.
|I really liked this long table, and it's top showed years of use so I would guess it's fairly old.|
Late in the afternoon volunteers could take their items in for appraisal. I brought four small things because I did not want to walk all the way back to my car for anything that I could not carry on me. I could only have two of the four appraised, and it was a tough decision. I finally settled on a watch that my father gave me that had belonged to a great aunt and a small book by Washington Irving that I had never been able to track down to find out what it was worth.
The book appraiser took about 30 seconds to tell me my book was worth....two dollars! I had to laugh! It was copyrighted in 1910, but he said it was a gift booklet, an inexpensive item at the time it was printed and not worth much even today. Ah well. At least I know.
One thing I noticed about the appraisers is that they really took their time with people. They didn't rush you along--even after he told me the value of the little book, the appraiser took time to talk to me about it, and that was nice.
The watch proved to be more interesting. This watch, I learned was made about 1901. It is like a small pocket watch and hung on a long, double gold-colored chain. It was engraved with my great-aunt's name and 1916, so that must have been when it was given to her. I knew the case was 14 carat because it was stamped, but I did not know if the chain was gold, or simply gold-plated. As it turned out, the chain is also gold and the value was based on the value of the gold, and not on the watch itself. I was surprised when he quoted an appraised value of $1200. (It's now back in the safe deposit box at the bank).
|The Quad 2 Team at the end of the day--tired but still smiling and satisfied with a good day's work|
If you hear of the Antiques Road Show coming to a place near you, I highly recommend volunteering. It's hard work, but a great experience and the people with the show are among the nicest you'll ever meet.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.