The beloved PBS television series Antiques Roadshow premiered in 1995 in Boston, and this June the show returned to its home city.
Skinner appraisers have been part of the show from the beginning, and for the June 9 filming, eleven antiques and fine art appraisers from Skinner shared their expertise with Boston area hopefuls who waited in line for hours for the possibility of a few minutes of fame and fortune.
Here are a few of our favorite stories from a day behind the scenes at Antiques Roadshow:
Karen Keane, Skinner CEO
We started our day on the set at 7:30 am and finished filming late in the day. Regardless of how long people wait in line, they all say, “I’m just so thrilled to be here.” There’s such an upbeat feeling in the air. Just before 7:00 pm, a gentleman brought in a charming pastel folk art portrait of a toddler in a white bonnet and dress. The child had piercing blue eyes with an intense gaze. The piece was uniquely New England and full of family history.
Kerry Shrives, Vice President
Combine thousands of eager guests with their prized possessions, seventy appraisers, crew, and teams of event volunteers, and you get an antiques event with hustle, bustle and lots of noise. During my day at the metalwork & sculpture table I saw a bevy of decorative objects electrified for lamps, copper cookware, and a collection of chastity belts that created a buzz. A highlight of local interest was a great quality Gorham foundry bronze casting of Cyrus Dallin’s Appeal to the Great Spirit, known to us in New England from the statue at the entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Stuart Slavid, Vice President and Director of European Furniture & Decorative Arts
I spent the day at the silver table. A mother and daughter came in with a very nice but typical sterling tea and coffee service. They said that several generations ago, when an aunt was 18, she became engaged. Her father offered her the tea and coffee service if she would break the engagement, which she did…..and never, ever got married. Stories like these make the objects come to life.
Gloria Lieberman, Vice President
The jewelry table was continuously busy all day long. People were enthusiastic and genuinely happy to be at the show. It seemed to me that many people weren’t really there for the actual appraisal of their items – they just wanted to come to the Roadshow. Some of these fans have been watching for sixteen years, since it all started in Boston.
Stephen Fletcher, Executive Vice President and Director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts
I was looking forward to the Boston show because it’s where I grew up, and this is a city with a rich history of wonderful antiques and art. A young couple brought in an extraordinary scrimshaw tooth that had been in their family. Both sides of the tooth depicted vivid, detailed whaling scenes, and a ship’s whaling log from New Bedford, MA accompanied it. The log was in great condition, complete with whaling stamps. It was the quintessential scrimshaw tooth, and I appraised it for $25,000.
All of our appraisers saw fantastic items, and the best of the best will be featured on Antiques Roadshow when the Boston episode airs next spring. We hope you’ll be watching!