antique roadshow

{ brad brace } (
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 19:14:53 -0800 (PST)

There's a fascinating TV program on US public television called Antique
Roadshow: it travels to various American cities in order to publicly
assess people's "collectibles." Many hundreds of people show-up each
carting some family heirloom (a painting, a photo, a book, furniture,
furnishings, etc.), and presumably curious about its "established" history
and monetary value. The pride evidenced in the telling of the story and
personal heritage of the pieces always seems curiously at odds with the
appraisal of the assembled experts. I always think how these art-objects
would be instantly "devalued" if they _were_ to be sold to a
collector/museum and the held-passage of the object's story broken. And,
what maudlin "expert" deceit our cultural institutions offer instead...

It would be interesting to hear what object, members of this list might
choose to bring to such a show.

I'd only have a very small, pen-knife that belonged to my
great-grandfather as a boy; it's less than two inches long and has crude
mother-of-pearl insets -- a single, tiny dull blade.

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