If you live in Lancashire and have an antique cabinet full of valuables, an “Antiques Roadshow” type event might look like the ideal way to find out what they’re worth. However, a US TV executive has warned owners to tread carefully, as these travelling events may be very different to the official version you see on TV.
Antiques Roadshow is a highly successful BBC series in which members of the public are invited to bring their antique dining chairs , fine artworks and other collectibles for assessment by experts. While items are often valued, no buying or selling is involved. The show has spawned several international spin-offs which follow the same format, including an American version hosted by Mark L. Walberg.
The name ‘Antiques Roadshow’ is a registered BBC trademark, meaning anyone wanting to use it must seek permission from the BBC. In the US, exclusive rights to the name are held by WGBH, which produces Antiques Roadshow under licence from BBC Worldwide. Unfortunately, it seems some people are prepared to violate trademark laws in order to turn a quick profit, leading executive producer Marsha Bemko to issue a warning – beware of imitators. She said:
“Anybody who is telling you what your object is worth should not have an interest in buying it.”
She added that a travelling show offering cash for collectibles may well deliberately undervalue them, and that owners should visit a local appraiser for an independent valuation instead.
If you have an antique mahogany partners desk in the Ribble Valley, your chances of seeing it on the Antiques Roadshow are slim; but a good antique dealer will always give you an honest appraisal.