The famous Antiques Roadshow, exciting. A chance to have treasures you’ve hoped would be worth a million or maybe a couple hundred thousand, valued by professionals. Maybe you would be on TV?
We brought my low-end Sony camera. Jim took my picture headed for the end of the line. I was told they had 400 people registered to arrive for the day. My vouchers were for the 11:00 to 12:30 slot.You donate $150 for three items.
Because I had a small Chinese silk rug, we were sent to the Asian Arts room. It was interesting to see how it worked. Chairs lined up before three tables of evaluators.
Here I am, in second place and I’m excited, considering this a possible high value rug because I had a Turkish rug dealer tell me it was worth $25,000. He explained that Chinese rugs have over 2000 knots per square inch while Turkish rugs have half that. He said the Chinese didn’t know what they had until recently. Now their rugs sell for very high prices.
Isn’t it beautiful? This is the back of the rug.
This is the front of the rug.
The evaluator told me about the famous pictures. It is a scene called The Dream Of The Red Chamber, and, she said, “…it lacks the male villain.” There is a book about these figures and it was interesting to hear about it, but she doesn’t value rugs and I had to leave and go to the room for Decorative Art.
The evaluator was Deric Torres from the auction house, Clars. He dismissed my rug as not valuable, worth less than I paid for it at an estimated $800. He also said the Chinese mix in fibers and the silk may not be silk, and they are an untrustworthy investment. However, I have a tag, receipt and provenance for mine, so I would have no trouble proving it was pure silk. Now if it were a Turkish rug, said he, it would have some value. Oh, well. I figured the Turkish rug dealer exaggerated, but I didn’t expect it to be below the price I paid for it.
However, he got very excited about my Teka or Teca vase that he is holding. He showed me on the computer that it is worth $3,949 dollars, undamaged. I’ve had it for at least 20 years and last year my housemate hit it with a vacuum wand and chipped it and then vacuumed up the chip. This happened while I was gone so I couldn’t even retrieve the chip. Now the estimated value is 1700 to 2500 if you can get someone who wants it very badly. I think that is very unlikely, but it does validate my choices. I paid $12 for it at a Murphys second-hand furniture store in the 80’s.
The third item I brought, an Israeli vase, which is badly damaged, he valued at $600. I sometimes think they just want you to go home happy, if possible. It has an interest history, at least to me.
On a trip to Disneyland in 1986 with a bunch of exchange students, we stayed at my daughter’s apartment on Katella Blvd. not far from Disney. I stopped at a gallery and saw this piece priced at $300, way out of my budget at the time.
It hung in my mind and I drew it from memory, and this is what I remembered. Not very accurate but for whatever unknown reason, I kept the drawing as a reminder of it.
In 1988, I went back to Disney with a another car load of exchange students to my daughter’s apartment, and here was that Israeli vase damaged, badly glued, on sale for $75. I bought it and rolled up my little drawing and put it inside the vase where it has sat very much loved on my dining room sideboard.
Torres told me it would cost as much as its value to have it restored, so, my broken down vase, that I always referred to as my chess piece, is worth what I paid for it— maybe more.
After our long wait in the decorative arts room, evaluation over, we went to the Virgin Sturgeon for lunch, a place recommended by staff at KVIE.
From a window seat by the river, we watched the boats and took a leisurely lunch before the 2 hour drive home. It was a fun day, I learned gobs and I’ll probably go back next year and let them surprise me again with more “junk.”