Antique Roadshow

On November 13, we had our third antique roadshow of the year. Like the ones people are most familiar with on TV, we hire local appraiser Al Bowen to come in for an afternoon. Our appraisal shows, started in 2003, are rather popular here in the Tri-Cities, with almost all of them sold out.

Al Bowen, with a great sense of humour, doesn’t just tell you the monetary value of a work. He goes over its history, puts it in perspective to larger historical events and gives advice on how to care for the antique.

At this last show, Al really nailed in that everyone should be diligent about using acid-free paper. The danger otherwise is discolouration and fading.

Then there is the fact that an item’s value goes up if it is kept with its pair or in its set. One lady brought in a statuette, whose companion piece went to her sister. Families tend to lose things, is the lesson we inferred.

Al also applauded a lady who kept her great-great-grandfather’s sword together with his photo (again it adds to the value of the sword), but added that she should write down the stories passed to her as well.

We saw some very interesting antiques: a sketchbook from 1920s Shanghai, a Russian enamel cigar case, jasperware, a travelling medical kit, a coronation album, and other beautiful heirlooms. A personal favourite was the series of dogs playing poker. We’ll write more about that later.

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