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# Monday, July 23, 2012
Behind the Scenes at "Antiques Roadshow"
Posted by Diane

The PBS series "Antiques Roadshow" was filming in Family Tree Magazine's hometown of Cincinnati on Saturday, and I and our intern Jen were lucky enough to see what goes on behind the scenes.

Something like 37,000 people entered the lottery for 3,000 pairs of free tickets for the Cincinnati event—a show record, from what I understand.

I'll write about the experience and my interview with "Antiques Roadshow" producer Marsha Bemko in an upcoming Family Tree Magazine, but we won't have room for all the photos I took. So I'm sharing some of them here (you can see several on Facebook, too).

First, an overview: Here's the line of folks waiting for the "triage" area, where each person got a ticket to see the pottery or prints or folk art or other appraiser. The triage folks would spot unique items and decide whether an item's appraisal would be filmed. The person who brought it was sent directly to the Green Room (off limits to press) until the appraisal took place.



Here's where those lines for various types of items converged. Appraisals and filming happened in the screened area.



A big part of the day for guests was waiting in line.



These crew members are setting up to film an appraisal.



Here Wes Cowan, who's been with the show for years and also stars on PBS' "History Detectives," examines a framed photograph. Cowan is from Cincinnati, but appraisers came from everywhere for the event.



We were invited to bring items for appraisal, too (and even lucky enough to bypass the line in my first photo above), so I wrapped up this glass bowl in plenty of bubble wrap. It was a wedding gift to my great-grandparents in 1908, and I don't want to be the one to break it.



The glassware appraiser told me it's called a bride's basket, and this one's style actually dates it to earlier than 1908, from the Victorian era. So it may have already been an heirloom when my great-grandmother received it. It's not worth much money, which is fine with my mom and me—we want it to stay in our family forever. The appraisal was over in a few minutes. I got the feeling the appraiser has seen a lot of these.

Do want to make sure your family heirlooms are preserved for posterity? Here are some resources for you:

Family Heirlooms | Genealogy fun | saving and sharing family history
Monday, July 23, 2012 9:21:36 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Thursday, July 26, 2012 5:19:28 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Our tickets arrived today for the Antiques Roadshow in Seattle. I am still trying to decide what to take. As I work on my families genealogy and I come across a picture or artifact I add it to my list of possibile items to take for appraisal. We are so excited about going and can't wait for August 18.
Jo-Anne Huber
Friday, July 27, 2012 8:40:24 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Congratulations on getting tickets, Jo-Anne! I was told the items most likely to be selected for filming are unusual ones that aren't often seen on the show, and items that have neat stories behind them (about how the item came into the family or being associated with a public figure, for example). Also perhaps something you're not able to find much about by searching online? Have fun!
Diane
Monday, July 30, 2012 10:16:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I was lucky enough to go to the Roadshow in Miami in 2001. There were so many people there, but the folks have it all figured out. Even though a lot of time was spent in line, the line kept moving so it felt like I was making progress. Like Diane, nothing of mine was worth a lot of money, but I was after information, not money anyway. It was a very interesting experience overall and I'm so glad I had the chance to go!
Kim
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