How exciting! Our tickets were for 2 PM. We arrived at 1:45 it was amazing how many people were there. Seems like they had given out 7000 tickets. Tickets are free. You get in line a very long line. It doesnt seem long because you are constantly moving the three hour wait went by well, not quickly, but it went. The items people had brought furniture, pictures, toys, grandmas pottery, it was mind-boggling all the different items. Waiting in line, you get to meet some of the people, hear their stories and that in itself was a highlight.
You finally get to the first tables. It is here that you unveil your treasure and are given a slip of paper with an appraisal table name such as: pottery & porcelain, metalware, glassware, weapons & militia, textiles, furniture, pictures, primitive, etc. You enter the production area and are assisted to your particular table. Some had long lines, others didnt. There were two - five appraisers at each table experts in that particular field. My first article was a perfume bottle and the appraisal went smoothly, no surprises there.
My second was a pottery item -- that line was long. A lady behind me had a Shawnee Smiley Pig pitcher and a huge plate. Since I've been a cookie jar collector for a long time, I do know something about potteries, especially the Shawnee Smiley Pig line. The lady knew nothing about what she had, so I began to tell her it was made by Shawnee pottery, out of Ohio. I told her the company dated back to the 40's and the pitcher was worth anywhere from $100 - $200. After about 30 minutes, she said she was ready to take my appraisal and leave.
I told her I knew a lot about that pitcher, but didn't know anything about that plate she had. Later on I saw her and asked how the appraisal went. She told me that the pottery experts (who are very well known from the TV show) told her it was worth about $45 and made by the Smiley Company. Now, I ask you, shouldn't a pottery "expert appraiser" know about the USA Shawnee Pottery Company? I was certainly surprised - to say the least.
My husbands experience was rather interesting too. He had taken his great-granddads pistol and of course, was sent to the weapons & militia table. The first appraiser told him it was worth about $1,500 and didnt know anything about it. Doug was not at all impressed with that appraisal (thought it was way too high) and decided to get back in line for another appraiser. The next appraiser told him who made it, where it was made, when it was made, how to take care of it and that it was worth about $500. He felt that was a much better appraisal! Doug saw another lady with a cookie jar and asked her about her appraisal. She said that the appraiser told her it was worth about $100 and didnt know who made it. The jar was Blackboard Saddle, made by American Bisque and was worth about $250 in good shape, which he proceeded to tell her.
This whole experience has certainly changed my opinion of the Antiques Roadshow. Not all the appraisers were quite as knowledgeable as I thought they should have been. I do realize that an appraisal is one persons opinion and that there are different values in different parts of the country; however, these appraisers are supposed to be experts in their fields and people believe what they say. Hopefully the appraisers we see on the TV show are more accurate! From now on, Ill be watching this show with a little more skepticism than before.
Thanks Antiques Roadshow for the lesson!
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