Based on the popular BBC series running since 1979, the PBS Antiques Roadshow combines history with discovery. Each year, the show visits a handful of cities to appraise items brought in by viewers. Are these items worth a lot of money, more than the visitors expect? To be fair, this concept has been copied again since, with East Tennessee Public Television's Treasures In Your Attic, but WGBH/Boston, always the pioneer PBS station, will say their derivative came first.
Part 1 of 3. Season 16 begins in Tulsa, where items include a signed note from Mother Teresa; an 1894 Winchester rifle; and a collection of late 17th-, early 18th-century Chinese rhinoceros horn cups that are valued at more than a million dollars. Also: a visit to the Pawnee Bill Ranch highlights show-stopping Wild West posters.
Part 2 of 3 in Tulsa features a 1960 first edition of "To Kill a Mockingbird" inscribed by author Harper Lee; a collection of bronzes that may or may not be Remingtons and Russells; and a 1924 Gibson F-5 "Lloyd Loar" mandolin valued at $175,000. Also: a visit to the Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve highlights vintage petroliana collectibles.
Conclusion. In Tulsa, items include an 1826 English gadget cane that's equipped with both a pistol and a telescope; a 1931 Oscar Mayer in-store display; and a circa 1600 Ming Dynasty cast bronze guardian figure. Also: a visit to the Philbrook Museum of Art highlights housewares, appliances and electronics that were turned into functional art by 20th-century industrial designers.
Part 1 of 3 in Eugene, Ore., includes Ty Cobb-autographed memorabilia; an original "Rosemary's Baby" drawing by art designer Clem Hall; and a 1919 oil painting by Norman Rockwell that's valued at $500,000. Also: a McKenzie River fishing expedition; the antique fly fishing gear market.
Part 2 of 3 in Eugene, Ore., features a circa 1800 New England Chippendale chest-on-chest; an 1846 map of Western America; and a Russian Imperial officer's sword from the reign of Tsar Nicholas II that is worth between $75,000 and $100,000. Also: collecting wine glasses and decanters is discussed during a visit to the King Estate Winery.
The Eugene, Ore., visit concludes with tin toys, including a circa 1938 Marx car and a battery-powered dump truck; a circa 1861 Civil War cavalry guidon that may have been used in the Battle of Shiloh; and a 1960 jeweled gold moretto. Also: collecting wineglasses and decanters is discussed at the King Estate Winery.
Part 1 of 3 in Pittsburgh features intimate letters between Cole Porter and actor Monty Woolley; a circa 1920 silk Kashan rug; and a 17th-century rhinoceros horn cup, purchased for one dollar at a flea market, worth between $350,000 and $450,000. Also: a visit to the Andy Warhol Museum.
Part 2 of 3 in Pittsburgh includes a 6.5 carat yellow mine cut diamond ring; a North American Indian club and pipe that may have belonged to Sitting Bull; and three Charles Darwin first editions, including "The Voyage of the Beagle," "On the Origin of Species" and "The Descent of Man." Also: centuries-old jewelry fashioned out of steel and iron.
Conclusion. In Pittsburgh, items include a collection of letters between members of the Kennedy family and JFK's former personal secretary; a circa 1928 art deco jade sapphire ring; and a 1946 oil painting by Rockwell Kent, along with an inherited letter from the artist. Also: a visit to the Carnegie Museum of Art highlights the work of glass artist Maurice Marinot.
Part 1 of 3 in El Paso features a 19th-century Fiji split whale's tooth necklace; Andy Warhol's 1966 artist's proof of a Jacqueline Kennedy print; and a signed 1937 first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" that's valued at $80,000 to $120,000. Also: a visit to the Centennial Museum highlights pre-Columbian pottery from the Casas Grandes culture.
Signed Andy Warhol soup cans and pop art; a collection of signed Cormac McCarthy first editions; and a circa 1570 "Lotto" Oushak rug.
Conclusion. In El Paso, items include a 1775 Revolutionary War canteen; the 1834 last will of Alamo fighter Ben Milam; and a 1787 Debbe Poor sampler that's valued at $40,000. Also: a discussion of Texas spurs, including their styles and construction and what collectors are willing to pay for vintage spurs.
Part 1 of 3 in Atlanta features a decorative egg with a Fabergé mark that was purchased for $15,000; a 1787 land grant signed by Benjamin Franklin; and a New York Chippendale corner chair, circa 1760, that is valued between $250,000 and $300,000. Also: 19th-century examples of Palissy ware (aquatic-theme plates and vases).
Part 2 of 3 in Atlanta features a circa 1939 copy of "Gone With the Wind" signed by author Margaret Mitchell; an 1875 Persian turquoise-diamond bracelet; and a circa 1930 painting by Impressionist Mary Elizabeth Price that's valued between $40,000 and $60,000. Also: a visit to the Coca-Cola archives focuses on three lost Norman Rockwell paintings that were commissioned by the company for advertisements in the late 1920s and early '30s
Conclusion. In Atlanta, items include a circa 1961 Willie Mays jersey and pants; a 17th-century Ming bronze guardian figure; and a circa 1861 Confederate officer's sword that's valued at $50,000. Also: rare photographs of Sherman's 1864 March to the Sea and the burning of Atlanta are examined at a collector's home.
Part 1 of 3 in Minneapolis features a chair that could be worth $50,000; a 1900 McKinley-Roosevelt poster; and a 1976 fancy intense yellow-diamond ring that's worth $140,000-$160,000. Also: Mora clocks are discussed at the American Swedish Institute.
Part 2 of 3 in Minneapolis features a 1956 Elvis Presley standee; a sketch by George Gershwin as well as letters from the composer to the owner's mother; and a circa 1885 Franz Roubaud oil painting that's worth $100,000. Also: WWII animation propaganda made by Disney Studios is discussed.
An 1863 Ulysses S. Grant letter; a circa 1950 Charles Shulz Li'l Folks original cartoon; and two paintings - one by Victor Higgins, the other by Spencer - purchased together for $5, but valued considerably higher. Part 3.
Flash forward from 1997 for believe-it-or-not ROADSHOW moments in Phoenix.
Updates on items appraised in 1997 Secaucus, N.J., including a circa 1900 folk-art ship model that was worth $5000 to $7000 but now fetches just $300 to $500; and a gaming table originally valued at $200,000 to $300,000 that has doubled in price.
Find out what the future held for some of the treasures ROADSHOW corralled in Houston in 1998.
See how some of ROADSHOW's Atlanta discoveries have fared since 1997.
Discover which treasures the market favored since ROADSHOW's visit there in 1998.
Take a look at what's happened to some Pittsburgh ROADSHOW finds since 1997.
Appraisals from Season 16 visits to El Paso, Atlanta and Minneapolis. Included: diamonds and a sapphire from Tiffany; Dr. Seuss' signature; and a Missouri Regiment Colt pistol that's valued at more than $22,000.
Feline- and canine-related items are appraised, including an original Hush Puppies mascot, dog portraits and bronze cat