An event that was of interest to many people who enjoy and appreciate antiques and collectibles took place July 12 in Wichita on. It was the "Antiques Roadshow," which washeld in the Century II Convention Center.
It was rather surprising to me that some of the people bringing items to the Wichita "Antiques Roadshow" came from as far away as South Dakota and other states that involved considerable driving distances.
It was well organized and well coordinated, which is to be expected since "Antiques Roadshow" has been traveling throughout the United States for several years. However, this was their first appearance in Kansas. The producers indicated there would likely be three programs produced and aired on TV from the day they spent filming in Wichita. They also indicated the TV broadcast time from the Wichita filming would be sometime between January and May.
During the required training on July 11 for the volunteers who helped make the Wichita show possible, we were told that there were 107 of us who would be working in various capacities at the show the next day. An often unknown fact about "Antiques Roadshow" is that even the appraisers don't get paid. However, they are likely to get calls to do appraisal work from various serious collectors throughout the country.
Several months ago, when asked which area I was interested in working as a volunteer at the Wichita show, I requested the triage work area and was selected. A triage worker escorts the guests who bring items to be appraised from the generalist appraisers to the correct line for a specialist on the set. As a triage area volunteer, one is exposed to the vast variety and quality of items being presented in all 25 appraisal categories all day long.
Some of my friends and acquaintances in the International Society of Appraisers have been appraising on "Antiques Roadshow" for several years. Hearing about their television experiences is always interesting. Other than volunteering their time free, there are two other insightful challenges they have shared with me.
One is that each appraiser focuses on a single appraisal category all day. Also, they often have show guests waiting in long lines with big expectations for a high dollar value on their perceived "family heirlooms."
Many items coming to their appraisal desk have great sentimental value to the owners but the time to adequately explain why many of their items don't have a high dollar value is often insufficient. However, focusing on the positive, I think almost all volunteer workers enjoyed the day. One unexpected bonus of the day for me was being asked to snap a family picture for the Keno brothers, whose family had come out to see them in Kansas.
It is not uncommon to hear comments from knowledgeable people working at the show to indicate that perhaps half of the items brought to the show have a minimal dollar value. Knowing that many items brought to "Antiques Roadshow" can have great sentimental value but very limited dollar value helps one to realize why only about 55 of all the items brought in will actually end up being on television on "Antiques Roadshow".
Marvin Mann, Plainville, is an accredited member of the International Society of Appraisers. Send questions to him in care of The Hays Daily News, P.O. Box 857, Hays KS 67601.