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Everybody has something in their house they know they shouldn’t get rid of but they’re not sure quite what to do with. Maybe it’s a piece of furniture, a painting, a collection of books or an old, ornate Bible? It’s something. And right now it hangs on a wall, or sits in a corner of the garage, or maybe it’s even locked in a cabinet. But it’s there. Always in the back of the mind, the question: is it worth anything?
There’s probably a family story about it. Maybe it was built by your many-times great grandfather in the 1700’s, or maybe your husband bought it at a garage sale and was certain he got a bargain. Maybe it’s been passed down for generations, or maybe it was just a beloved childhood toy. It’s something, and that question lingers.
Since 1997, Antiques Roadshow has been there to answer these questions. The show travels around the country and there people bring their supposed treasures to find out if they’ve been right to keep these things around all these years. Perhaps it can be safely thrown away or given to a rummage sale. But maybe, just maybe, it can pay for your kid’s college education.
In their visit to Saint Louis, the Roadshow experts look at a number of items that go back to the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, including the painting of a man displayed there as having the world’s longest beard. It’s an odd item, with a surprising appraisal. A woman brings an old family heirloom, a Lalique Vase, that she rescued from a pile her mother was taking to goodwill. Was it worth it to keep, or did she just make room for what amounts to another piece of old junk?
It’s an old formula, in place since 1997, but it’s a comforting one, and brings to the foreground a lot of interesting historical tidbits. In a lot of ways, the history of our stuff is the history of America. And who knows, maybe something there is a true treasure.
Antiques Roadshow: St. Louis premiers Monday, February 19th at 8:00 p.m. on KIXE Channel 9.