When the Antiques Roadshow team set up in Boise, Idaho, a couple was patiently waiting among the thousands of visitors, all with items which they perceive to be of value. Nancy and Bruce were rewarded for their patience when they discovered that an antique chest, believed to be a Chippendale, had a value at auction of around $20,000 – but could be worth up to three times that amount at retail.
Around 90 items were chosen to feature for appraisal on the show, including the other items which Bruce and Nancy had brought along. A tiger maple chest and a needlework sampler, which was stitched by a relative 200 years ago, were among the pieces. Nancy admitted that her home was virtually a museum with all the heirlooms. However, although appraisers on the show do enjoy delivering the good news and some history behind the pieces, the news is sometimes unexpected, as the Idaho couple were to find out.
Nancy and Bruce believe that the chest was made or owned by Edward Holyoke, a relative who was Harvard University president during the 1700s. However, the appraiser John Nye said the style of the desk placed it 30 years after the relative had died.
Sam Farrell, the supervising producer of Antiques Roadshow, said that although people often had a colourful tale to tell regarding the items, the stories were often inaccurate. For many antique furniture collectors, an accurate date is important, which is why an expert opinion is sought for pieces like open bookcases. Cumbria has a number of reputable antiques dealers who can provide an accurate history of an item.
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