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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘Antiques Roadshow’ appraisers deliver surprise, disappointment

“Antiques Roadshow” on PBS is all about possibilities. Is Great-Grandma’s brooch worth some serious money or is its worth measured only in sentimental value?

Thousands of people got opportunities to learn more about their treasures Saturday as “Antiques Roadshow” set up shop in the Spokane Convention Center for the day.

Mike Lish carried a painting nearly the size of a dining room table out of the convention center to his car parked several blocks away. His grandfather got the painting in the 1950s and it has hung in the living room since, Lish said.

“He always gave us the impression it was worth something,” Lish said.

As it turns out, the painting is a copy of a piece by Adolph von Menzel titled “A Flute Concert of Frederick the Great at Sanssouci.” Its value of $150 was mostly due to its quality frame.

“It’s still going to hang in the house,” Lish said. “It’s a beautiful painting.”

Debbie Turnbull and her husband, Kurt, drove up from Oregon to have some art appraised. The key item, protected in a wooden box during the trip, was a charcoal drawing of three horses by the great-great-aunt of Kurt’s mother. She was 15 years old and already a schoolteacher.

“It’s been in the family for 150 years,” Turnbull said.

Inside the convention center, lines snaked back and forth as people waited their turn to see one of the 70 appraisers. David McCarron, an appraiser with EnservioSelect, was using a magnifying glass and a special natural spectrum daylight lamp to look at silver items. He turned a tarnished fruit basket with a handle over in his hands, trying to make out identifying marks.

The basket was mid-19th-century English sterling silver that could bring $400 to $600 at auction, McCarron said. “It’s still a nice piece,” McCarron told the couple who brought it in. “If you want to polish it up, it will be beautiful.”

Furniture appraiser Karen Keane of Skinner Inc. said one of the most unusual finds of the day was an early 19th-century mixing table. It has a pedestal base and a marble top, but the top was incongruous with the rest of the piece, Keane said.

“This top has got to go,” she said. “It’s all wrong.”

Keane valued the table at between $2,000 and $4,000, but said the value could increase by $1,000 if a replacement top was made with the right type of marble.

“You don’t have the original, so it will always be a facsimile of what it was,” she said.

Over 14,000 applications were received for the 3,000 pairs of tickets available for the event.

“We’ve found some great treasures,” said executive producer Marsha Bemko.

Someone brought in a pair of paintings by Amadeo de Souza Cardoso that were valued between $200,000 and $300,000. Cardoso died at the age of 30 during the flu epidemic of 1918 and his work is very rare, Bemko said.

“You will see that,” Bemko said. “It will make air.”

Producers usually record about 100 appraisals of the thousands done in a day. Of those, about 60 will be shown on television.

A woman who worked in the White House during John F. Kennedy’s administration brought in several items, including three speeches that included JFK’s handwritten notes, Bemko said. Her collection was valued between $60,000 and $80,000.

Saturday’s visit marked the second time the PBS show has filmed episodes in Spokane. The first was in 2007. Producers expect to get enough material to make three episodes that will be shown in the 20th season, which starts in January. Other stops on the summer tour are Tucson, Arizona; Omaha, Nebraska; Cleveland; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Charleston, South Carolina.

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