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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Antiques Roadshow- Record Appraisal

A popular show on PBS, Antiques Roadshow is a program in which fortune always seems to be just around the corner. Keeping afternoon television viewers occupied for hours, the program leaves most with a sense of curiosity about the value of the objects that surround them. On the air for 13 years, the program appears in different towns and allows locals the opportunity to have their family heirlooms or recent acquisitions appraised by experts. Many seem to be shocked at the value given to an object that has spent so much time in their china cabinet or on their wall while all are amused by the prospect at learning more about the background of their mysterious piece of art.

The program recently made headlines with its most recent visit to Raleigh, North Carolina. Although the program has been on for so long and visited so many locations, the show has never given a value of one million dollars or more to a piece, until now that is. The program, filmed on June 27th and airing on January 4th on PBS, features a collection of small jade objects with an appraised value of $1.07 million. This value, appraiser James Callahan calmly noted, was conservative, and many others have predicted that if the objects were to be sold they could fetch far more.

The lucky owner of the pieces had gotten them from her late father, a military liaison in China during the 1930s-1940s. Little did he know that these moderately priced souvenirs were from the 18th century and that one of the pieces had been made for the Chinese emperor himself. The owner and her husband have now placed these objects in the care of their bank vault as they contemplate just what to do with the pieces now known to be too valuable to be left out in the open.
This revelation is one much anticipated by Antiques Roadshow Executive Producer Marsha Bemko. Interviewed after the appraisal, Bemko noted that such an outcome was the “Great White Whale,” much anticipated but ever elusive. With a veritable army of appraisers, the staple television program has been on the air for 13 years and has visited more than 100 cities. These experts have seen pieces that they have valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars but never such an astounding find as this.

Even though we will have to wait until January to witness the moment of the million dollar surprise, the Antiques Roadshow’s website has a strong collection of items recently featured on the show, enough to keep you occupied until the winter. The website features pictures of the items, their appraised values and even the person responsible for suggesting the value. It is an interesting site to visit but lacks the personal stories and expectation experienced in the television version.

The program, besides being entertaining and surprisingly suspenseful, highlights the important but often overlooked service of appraisal. Much research goes into the values and historical significance of what the appraisers highlight on show. There is no need to travel to their latest shoot or wait for the Roadshow to appear in your town. MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. can offer expert appraisal advice five days a week with a scheduled appointment. The recent Antiques Roadshow find is an inspiration to all who seek out the hidden value of their objects that they have almost forgotten about.

MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.
307 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-8510

Works Cited:
Steiner, Ina. “Antiques Roadshow Records Highest-Value Appraisal in 13 Year
History.” Auction Bytes Online.

Thomas, Mike. “ ‘Roadshow’ Appraisal Finds Million-Dollar Trinkets.” Chicago

Related Websites:
Antiques Roadshow Online


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    Chicago, Illinois, United States
    Welcome to our blog site! MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. is a fine art and personal property appraisal company dedicated to serving clients throughout the United States and abroad since our incorporation in Chicago in 1994. We specialize in the multi-faceted field of appraising fine art, jewelry, antiques, and decorative items. We also provide professional fine art restoration and conservation treatment for various media, including but not limited to, artworks on canvas, board, masonite, and paper. We offer professional and precise appraisal services carried out by our team of accredited appraisers for the purposes of insurance coverage and claims, charitable donations, estate planning and probate, equitable distribution and fair-market value. We started our art commentary blog site as a venue for colleagues and fellow art enthusiasts to share their experiences within the art community.