Warhol, Wizards, and Dolls: Here's the Cool Stuff of the Antiques Roadshow in New York
It was hard to avoid comparing the New York stop of the Antiques Roadshow to a low-key casino without the seedy underbelly. The temperature in the Javits Center on Saturday was meat locker-freezing, Rascal scooters zipped by every few minutes (often with paintings and other wrapped ephemera jammed in to the footholds and baskets), bottled water was $4, and everyone was there with the hope of big money.
All photos by Nate "Igor" Smith Antiques Roadshow host Mark L. Walberg
Although people's possessions were (theoretically) among their most prized, most packing approaches were decidedly post-collegiate -- beer coolers, dingy towels, and Duane Reade bags seemed to be the vessels of choice for most attendees.
Perhaps the most surprising (and weirdly heartwarming) aspect of the Roadshow taping was that nearly everyone intended to keep his or her items, regardless of the appraisal outcomes. Either people are less dead inside than expected, or shows like Antiques Roadshow have turned us all into hoarders.
Here's a tour of the Roadshow's stop in NYC, which will divided into three episodes during the show's 19th season, which begins January 5. The full Season 19 order will be determined in the fall and posted at pbs.org/antiques or thirteen.org.
Check the show's list of upcoming episodes to see when it will air.
Firearm check-in sign. To the right of this was a table with three police officers and a police dog.
Location: Howell, New Jersey
These antique firearms, belonging to Chris's merchant marine grandfather, were the only ones spotted at the Roadshow. The plastic tags hanging off the guns are trigger locks, a mandatory security precaution applied as part of a rigorous check at the entrance.
Arms and militaria appraiser Christopher Mitchell examining an antique rifle stock that he ultimately valued at up to $10,000. "These guns aren't fireable, they're not practical, they're just collectibles. Technically, in this country, any firearm made before 1898 is just like buying a painting. In New York, Chicago, and a couple of other cities, they try to supersede it. Nobody's gonna hold up the 7-Eleven with a dragoon. I guess you could but you could also do it with an axe."
Antique: 19th century rifle stock
Anticipated value: unknown, paid $50 at a yard sale
Appraised value: up to $10,000
Buddy, a Connecticut gun enthusiast, had an inkling that this gun part was valuable but was stunned by just how much it was worth. Buddy was one of only a handful of attendees in the arms and militaria line and also brought an antique Louis Vuitton gun case (appraised at $400). Let no one accuse Buddy of being a basic bitch.
The filming and appraisal area, in which everyone was tripping over themselves to avoid an accidental toe on to the blue carpet (which delineated the filming zone).
Collectibles appraiser James Supp evaluates a distressing fur unicorn, which turned out to be made of dog hair (photographer's own).
More photos are on the next page.