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Something like 37,000 people entered the lottery for 3,000 pairs of free tickets for
event—a show record, from what I understand.
I’ll write about the experience and my interview with “Antiques Roadshow” producer
Marsha Bemko in an upcoming Family Tree Magazine, but we won’t have room for
all the photos I took. So I’m sharing some of them here (you
can see several on Facebook, too).
First, an overview: Here’s the line of folks waiting for the “triage” area, where
each person got a ticket to see the pottery or prints or folk art or other appraiser.
The triage folks would spot unique items and decide whether an item’s appraisal would
be filmed. The person who brought it was sent directly to the Green Room (off limits
to press) until the appraisal took place.
Here’s where those lines for various types of items converged. Appraisals and filming
happened in the screened area.
A big part of the day for guests was waiting in line.
These crew members are setting up to film an appraisal.
Here Wes Cowan, who’s been
with the show for years and also stars on PBS’ “History
Detectives,” examines a framed photograph. Cowan is from Cincinnati, but appraisers
came from everywhere for the event.
We were invited to bring items for appraisal, too (and even lucky enough to bypass
the line in my first photo above), so I wrapped up this glass bowl in plenty of bubble
wrap. It was a wedding gift to my great-grandparents in 1908, and I don’t want to
be the one to break it.
The glassware appraiser told me it’s called a bride’s basket, and this one’s style
actually dates it to earlier than 1908, from the Victorian era. So it may have already
been an heirloom when my great-grandmother received it. It’s not worth much money,
which is fine with my mom and me—we want it to stay in our family forever. The appraisal
was over in a few minutes. I got the feeling the appraiser has seen a lot of these.
Do want to make sure your family heirlooms are preserved for posterity? Here are some
resources for you:
Detective Maureen A. Taylor shares the story of her heirloom watch (free article)
Caring for old
letters and heirloom
Christmas ornaments (free articles)
suppliers (free article)
to preserving 10 types of family heirlooms (article download available in ShopFamilyTree.com)
Preservation Made Easy on-demand webinar (available in ShopFamilyTree.com)
Your Family History value pack (available in ShopFamilyTree.com)