Antiques Roadshow is a time-suck for just about everyone, not just art aficionados, because it taps into our desire to be worth something, ultimately. By virtue of being associated with the items, we in turn become part of the story, part of the worth. It’s a fantasy capitalized on in television and film time and time again.
‘Buried treasure’ is more appealing than most other kinds of windfalls, I think. There’s a romanticism that comes from owning pieces of art, using them for practical purposes even, only to discover they are wildly valuable. It’s what drives so many antique markets, estate-sale hunters, and thrifters who are secretly looking for that one piece. It also drives so many of us to start looking at that weird vase our grandmothers gave us that we absolutely hate but can’t seem to part with just in case.
Here to make you reconsider putting that horrible lamp aunt Myrtle gave you on a top shelf is an older collection of Antique Roadshow’s most surprising appraisals and reactions (hold out for 40min for the tan-grandma losing her shit).
After this aired, Antiques Roadshow appraised some Chinese rhino horn dishes for a whopping $1-1.5 million dollars to which the owner said “well, I guess I don’t need to rely on social security anymore”. Bless him.