The Antiques Roadshow, which airs on PBS, has made TV history as a set of bowls were valued at $1.5 million. However, the bowls are rather unusual as they are made from rhinoceros horn. During routine filming of an episode in Tulsa, Oklahoma one resident brought in a set of five bowls to be appraised by the experts, only to discover they are in fact, worth $1.5 million. This turned out to be the highest valuation made during the 16 years that Antiques Roadshow has been televised.
The unknown Tulsa resident has asked the Philbrook Museum of Art to put them on display so that everyone can benefit from their beauty. One visitor to the exhibition, Mike Jett said he wanted to come and look at something that was so valuable. Jett light heartedly opined that the owner of the bowls had probably kept them on his coffee table, which is exactly right as that’s just where they were displayed until now.
The correct name for the bowls is ‘libation cup’, and they were used for drinking. The higher classes of Chinese society would have used them back in the 17th and 18th century. Christina Burke, from Philbrook museum said:
“I think there probably is a shock value. Rhinoceros horn is not something that we in America think about or talk about every day. It’s quite an exotic and unusual material, and that’s what’s made it so valuable.”
It is possible to find unusual antiques much closer to home, although perhaps not as valuable. If you are looking for unusual furniture like antique cabinets, Ribble Valley has a host of antique dealers who stock fine pieces of furniture.
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