Metro Detroit residents brought their family heirlooms and antique items to be appraised by the Emmy award-winning “Antiques Roadshow.”
By Shelby Tankersley
Toting everything from books to couches, fans of PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow” came from all over Michigan to Rochester’s Meadow Brook Hall on June 14 to learn more about their family treasures and interesting finds.
Closing out the show’s 23rd season, Meadow Brook Hall welcomed over 2,50o people to have art, furniture, toys and more appraised or just enjoy the environment. Ticket holders were allowed to bring two items for free appraisals. If the appraiser found an item and its story especially interesting, the owner was invited to be interviewed for the show.
Volunteer appraisers looked at items throughout the day at 20 stations. Many of the appraisers are antique enthusiasts who participate in the show as much as they can. Dave Devereaux, a Roadshow volunteer and station manager for WRCJ 90.9 FM, says “Antiques Roadshow” is like “summer camp for antique enthusiasts.”
One Oakland County resident Chad, who declined to provide his last name for privacy reasons, brought several pieces of art for appraisal. One was a commercial print of a painting by Remi Cappelle that Chad bought while he was working his first job as a professor in New York City. At the time, he traded three video cassette tapes and a $20 bill for the colorful depiction of a Paris river scene.
At the Roadshow, he was told it could be worth a few hundred dollars and has seen other Chappelle paintings sell for as much as $1,200.
“It’s worth more than a couple of cassette tapes, so that’s good,” Chad says. “But it’s going to go right back up on the bedroom wall. It’s just a cool find — maybe we’ll move it out to the living room.”
Though the potential price of an item is enticing to attendees, many like Chad just came to find out the worth and history of something precious to them that they don’t plan on getting rid of any time soon.
One fan from Michigan, Kim (who declined her last name), came to get her husband’s grandfather’s small, purple accordion appraised. She says her husband’s grandfather worked as a farmer but also enjoyed playing in a band. With a few of the standard bass buttons missing and a broken strap, it brings Kim and her family joy to know the instrument was well used.
Because the accordion has such a strong family tie, Kim wasn’t getting the item appraised for the purpose of selling it. Instead, she wanted to know more about the item so she and her husband can share even more about it with their children.
“When you hang on to stuff like this, you want to know more about it so you can share it with your family,” she says.
Another Michigan resident, Steve (who declined his last name), brought in a bright orange vintage football helmet owned by his father.
When his high school was getting rid of old equipment, Steve’s father, who had played football in high school, got one of the helmets. Steve guesses the helmet is from the 1940s with its thin, leather-esque look, but he came to find out its age for certain.
“I can’t imagine it’s worth very much,” he says. “I’m just here to find out more about it and see what it might be worth. I think it’s pretty cool, and it would be great to know more about it.”
Rochester’s spotlight on “Antiques Roadshow” will air in three hour-long episodes on PBS stations across the nation between January and May 2019 as part of the show’s 23rd season.