Today was the big day. Antiques Roadshow Day! Let me start off by saying it was fun. Cool to be there and to see how the show works. First, we were herded like cattle through a bazillion mile long line. Once we made it to the end of THIS line, we went to an appraiser who looked quickly at our items and then told us which category to go to...so we could stand in line a little longer. THIS is the line you see people standing in when you see the show on TV. If the "real" appraiser feels you have an interesting item, you get to have it appraised on camera. No one must have had anything terribly interesting while we were there, as we never saw anyone being filmed during an appraisal. However we did see camera men walking around randomly filming in our cattle-herding line. The whole thing went by really fast once we made it "on set", so we might have missed it.
Mark actually did well at the Roadshow. He spoke only when appropriate and did so in an intelligent way. Yikes! That sounds bad...it will make sense when you read down a little further about what I said! One of his "junky swords" was actually a bayonet. His two items were worth 125 & 175 dollars. Very nice considering he paid 10 bucks for six various sword-y things at a flea market!
Having said that, here's this... I was worried about embarrassing my family. I should have been more worried about embarrassing myself! I took a Native American mortar and pestle that had been given to me by my brother in law. Now, although I may seem particularly chatty in the blog, I'm not. At all. Unless I know you well. Otherwise I'm pretty shy and awkward so I was a little nervous and freaked out about having to talk to the appraisers--they're TV personalities after all! And dear Lord, what if they ask me to share this on the air? I'll pass out! Or worse, I won't.
(My first item for appraisal. You can't see it in this picture, but there is an indentation in the center of the flat stone.)
I walk up to tribal arts table and two of the appraisers ask me what I've got. Trying to be funny, I said something dorky about having some rocks for them to look at. Then I showed them my item, all the while thinking (through my nervousness) they were going to say something like, "This is a really nice example of a mortar and pestle, and now we well tell you all of the remarkable ways the Native Americans used it."
The lady who was at the table said "looks like a chicken stone" a couple of times. TO which I say "a chicken stone?" She says, "Yes, a stone the chickens peck at!"
The gentleman, who'd probably been sizing me up based on that first dorky comment, must have decided that calling it a "mortar and pestle" would be far above my level of vocabulary comprehension, so he said "What you have here is a nut breaker". Only I didn't hear that. I heard NET breaker. So while he goes on to talk about all the remarkable ways in which the Native Americans would use this utensil to break nuts, I'm thinking "NET breaker? HUH? Why would Native Americans need a net breaker? What? How did they use that little thing to break nets? HUH?" all the while I have a mental picture of a Native American woman leaning over this little stone with a giant net hooked around it somehow trying to slice it with the other piece. All this running through my head while he's talking but I'm smiling and politely nodding. Then I actually hear the word "NUTS". I could have kept nodding, said "Thank you!" and moved on. But no. This is what I did...Me, loudly..."OH!!!!! You said NUT Breaker!! I thought you said NET BREAKER! Har Har Har!" And then I went on to repeat the above idiotic scenario. I actually said all of that to the Smarty-Farty Antiques Roadshow Appraisers. My fellow Kentuckians, I apologize.
I should say here that even though the mortar and pestle was appraised at 50 dollars, it's worth a lot more than that to me. It was a gift to me from Mark's brother. And there is much history...and apparently nut cracking...in its past. Besides the fact that was a gift, I love that it is SO very old as well as the historical value of it. I like holding in my hands something that was actually used by people hundreds of years ago. I've yet to take it to school, but this year I am definitely going to use it when we do Native American units.
Despite the fact that as I'm walking away from Tribal Arts table I am mentally smacking my forehead and saying "STUPID STUPID!", I decide to move on to the jewelry appraiser. I have a lindie star ring that I was curious about. I didn't find anything out about it other than it was worth what I paid for it. I only irritated the jewelry appraiser by interrupting her. Twice. I didn't MEAN to!! She paused too long! ;) I guess I was bent out of shape over what I said at the first appraisal and was trying to tell her what I knew about the ring so as not to appear an idiot this time. Unfortunately, I appeared as such anyway. D'OH! Before she could tell me what it was really worth I blurted out "I paid $85.00 for it!" She promptly handed it back and said "Then that's what it's worth!" I had several questions I wanted to ask, but I felt like like such a dork I just said "Thank You" and walked away instead.
Thank goodness they see 5,000-6,000 people per episode and hopefully won't remember me! Guess I'm lucky that I can laugh at myself now that it is several hours later! Surely they've had bigger morons wander onto the set.
Despite my display of dorkiness, I really did enjoy myself. If you get the chance, you should check out the antiques roadshow if it ever comes to your area!