Sunday, August 15, 2010

Antiques Roadshow trip

Ok, so I've been absent this week and left you hanging about my thimble I showed you here.
I wanted to learn a bit about it so it was the item I took to Des Moines to the Antiques Roadshow with my sister.  Here she is just before we went into the show.

We arrived at the Iowa Events Center about 9:15am with our 10:00am tickets to the show.  We got in line with hundreds of other people.   It was fun to see all the items that the people brought.
After getting our item specific tickets from the generalist we joined the Folk Art line and waited,
and waited,
and waited,
and waited some more.
When we got in line it was maybe 15 feet long but the longest 15 feet of my life!  We saw people that were in the main line with us and they had been through other lines and we barely moved.

Many of the people we talked to told us that they didn't really learn anything new about their item and 
some thought they knew more than the appraiser. 
The couple behind us in the folk art line split up for a bit and she went to another line to get her doll appraised.  When she came back she said she was told the doll was handmade and old....
I could tell that by looking at it!!
Plus she was told maybe she should take it to the folk art line to see if they could tell her more.... well luckily they were in the folk art line too!

When we finally got to the beginning of the line it got crazier.

Our appraiser was Marybeth Keene.  My sister asked if she should put her item on the table and was told yes.  She told Marybeth that the items was heavy so Marybeth stood up took a look and came around the table to get a closer look while saying 'that's large, that huge' and asking my sister a few questions about it.  She then asked the other appraiser if he had seen it.  He said yes, it's a counterbalance like she said and went back to his appraisal.
Marybeth does not say too much but asks us to excuse her and goes and talks to one of the Keno brothers who was just a few steps away.   At the time, we weren't sure if it was Leigh or Leslie but now I'm sure it
was Leigh

So he comes over and starts looking at my sisters item and whispering to Marybeth.  Then they step a few steps away and talking with Marybeth some more.   At this time my sister and I are pretty much in awe of what is happening. 
OMG this must be good.....
Marybeth comes back and asks my sister if she would be interested in possibly being taped for the show!! 
Of course it took my sister all of two seconds to get her jaw off the floor and said yes so we were asked to step aside and wait for a producer to come and take a look at it and make the final decision if they wanted to tape her or not. 
Before we stepped aside we asked Marybeth if she could take a look at a couple of out other items as they were not really sure what line we should be in.
She was very nice and did take a look at my sisters oil lamp and my thimbles. 
She told us what the base of the oil lamp was made of and that at one time it probably had a brass finish.  The value was maybe $35 but said she was not sure of the maker and the glass appraisers might have a better idea if we wanted to go in that line later.
She took a look at my thimbles.  I had the one I got a couple years ago and a new one I had picked up at a garage sale on the way to Des Moines.  She though the new one was speltzer and wasn't really sure about the other one and sent me over to the Metal and Sculpture line.   I almost got kicked out of that line but did eventually learn I probably doubled my money on the thimbles.... Doubled my money sounds good right??

Well, when you consider I paid $6 for them both and got a sewing case with that $6, I'm not going to get rich doubling my money. 
But hey, I didn't really think they were worth millions so finding out the values are a couple dollars each was ok with me.   I just wish I could have learned a bit more about the history of them.  I was told they were probably decorative and not for daily use.  I didn't learn what metal the one I had was made of and I was hoping to find that out, but hey they can't know everything.
Ok, but back to the real story of the day.....  a producer came over and asked my sister a few questions then had a set designer come over and see if they could display the item for recording.
Did I keep you in suspense long enough?
What was gather all of this attention?
A giant rooster.   Well when I say giant, I mean about 18" x 22" but it was the largest counterbalance that the appraisers had seen of this sort.  
This rooster set up on the top of a windmill and was the balance to the windmill blades.
This rooster is cast iron, had holes on each side and at one time had a post stuck in the bottom of it.

We were asked to step into the 'Green Room', which of course if not really green.  We went into the Green Room with apprehension and funny smiles on our faces.  We didn't know what to expect.   They wouldn't tell us anything about the rooster except that it was large.  They want keep the reaction for the TV taping.  I had heard one of the appraisers say that it was very 'visual' when we were walking by.  So at this time we don't know if they will tell us it is worth a couple hundred dollars or thousands of dollars.

So we wait and wait again.   Here is my sister in the Green Room after she had her makeup done for the taping.
We learned there were two types of taping and my sisters was called a 'formal' taping so she would be on the famous blue carpet and needed her make up done.  
There was an 'over the shoulder' or 'informal' taping and those people didn't need their make up done.
They couldn't say for certain that my sister would be on the show but I did hear them say that most everyone that is taped does end up on the show.  

The Des Moines event will not air until sometime next year but here is what it might look like.

I was able to watch the taping and take a few pictures while I was waiting in the green room.
I like this close up of the rooster.   I imagine this on the show with the value on the bottom of the screen.
What was the value??
$4,000 to $6,000
That was a pleasant surprise for what my sister had fondly thought of as 'junk' that was in her garage from her husbands family farm homestead.

All in all our experience as a good one and we would both do it again.   It was a lot of time waiting.   We arrived just after 9:00AM and left around 3:30PM and really only waited in one line for an appraisal.  We had tickets and should have went through four lines.
After the taping we decided we had our story and didn't need to wait in any more lines,
we learned enough and had a great story to bring home.

Bye, bye Iowa Events Center and Antiques Roadshow, thanks for the story.
I wonder how many pictures this guy ended up being in sitting just under the sign.

Thanks Iowa and the Antiques Roadshow....


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