Well, the Americans seem to think that there is. According to a report in the Dallas Morning News recently, the American version of the Antiques Roadshow has metamorphosed into something different from its British cousin. Mariana Greene, writing for the Dallas Morning News, suggests that the US version of the hit TV programme is much more laid back than its British equivalent where she describes British guests on the show as: ‘primly dressed’ and who: ‘absorb the appraisals stoically or frowning slightly, as if being given bad news by a surgeon in a hospital corridor.’ She goes on to suggest that American guests are less self effacing than their British counterparts and are altogether more laid back about the whole thing. She continues: ‘American viewers…… see guests often dressed informally, wearing shorts and flip-flops,’ and that: ‘appraisers are known to go on camera in loud Hawaiian shirts.’ She also suggests that the American show focuses more on the unusual and quotes an example of a potato man which looked like Richard Nixon.
The cynics amongst us could say that the UK version tends to focus more on ‘proper’ antiques rather than the bizarre because there still exists a huge amount of them in the UK to unearth. Also, the British take their antiques very seriously indeed where through shows like the Antiques Roadshow the general public is increasingly gaining knowledge about them. There perhaps is a difference therefore between the British taking something seriously where there is some knowledge and an expectation of value, where the element of pure fluke taps more into the American penchant for the bizarre and the uncertain.
Certainly any piece of antique furniture purchased through dealers in Lancashire, Cumbria and across the UK will carry with it a provenance that should satisfy the most discerning of purchasers.
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