Who doesn’t love the thrill of finding out that something you own is valuable? Antiques Roadshow, the most watched ongoing PBS Series, has eight million weekly viewers to prove this. Our very own Hotel del Coronado will be featured on three hour-long segments, starting Monday, February 18, and continuing February 25 and April 1 at 8pm on KPBS. (Check local listing for channel) The Del was one of five stops for the 23rd season which highlighted distinctive historic venues. On May 29, PBS came to The Del to have their 65 appraisers evaluate nearly 6,000 items in 23 categories, and now the chosen items will be revealed, along with interesting historical facts about The Del. Councilmember Bill Sandke, who got to attend a preview screening of the first show, said that even though he has been associated with The Del for decades, he learned something new about the existence of a haunted room he’d never heard of (watch the show to find out the room number).
Marsha Bemko, Executive Producer of Antiques Roadshow for 20 years, shared that there are generally three types of people who bring items to be evaluated on the show. The first are people with inherited items. Many have been told by their parents never to sell the item, but they have no idea of its true value. The second are people who are collectors and discover that an item is worth more than they imagined. The third is what she calls the “Roadshow Fantasy” where someone buys an item for $10 at a garage sale and then it turns out to be worth a mint. “Statistically, guests don’t tend to sell their items even after they learn their value,” says Marsha.
She shared some of her favorite items that were appraised at The Del and will be featured on the upcoming shows. Here is a preview of some of what you can expect; this is just a glimpse.
Students of political history may be familiar with “The Kitchen Table Debate,” one of the most iconic moments of the cold war, but the table’s story may be a revelation to many as it was Marsha. Apparently, the table’s owner, Susan, was watching a newsreel on Vice President Nixon and Soviet Leader Nikita Krushchev at the movies and recognized her family table. She came home and asked her dad Karl about it and he acknowledged that he had built the infamous table that was used in the 1959 U.S exhibition in Moscow where Nixon and Krushchev debated capitalism vs communism. She also had a photo signed by Nixon. “This family heirloom had all the wounds of being a well used family table, something you wouldn’t have spent more than $10 on at a garage sale,” says Marsha. But with it’s history, John Sollo appraised the table for a whopping number that will be revealed on the show.
Both women and men can appreciate the Fortuny dress that Michael bought for his vintage clothing collecting wife. The 1920’s era dress had the trademark “Fortuny pleats” which no one has been able to replicate to this day. Marsha said, “These dresses couldn’t be laundered, dry cleaned or sat in for too long without ruining the pleats and look of the dress. The stunning look of this dress truly makes it a woman’s dream dress.” This exquisite dress is now valued between $15,000 and $18,000 by Appraiser Katy Kane. On the show you’ll find out how much Michael paid for the dress.
Peter Loughrey, a Los Angles appraiser, was delighted to see a 1962 John Baldessari painting that he valued at $90,000. “The painting entitled ‘Sign for Rothko and Albers’ was an early tribute to those giants of the painting movement. Little did he know that he would go on to become a forefather of modern art.” At the time, Baldessari offered his paintings for rent or sale. The back of the canvas indicates that it could be rented for $3 per month. Watch the show to see how Pat from National City acquired it.
Appraiser Laura Woolley got a most unusual item to appraise in the form of paperwork that Joan Crawford had written to her nanny. The nanny’s grandson A.J. brought in the collection which had specific details and instructions including scheduled bathroom time. Stay tuned on hour two for more details on this interesting find.
Another of Marsha’s favorite finds was a jewelry collection that belonged to a woman named Jane’s mother that included art deco pieces. A compact evening bag exceptionally made with 14k gold mesh and a diamond and emerald clasp was appraised at $20,000 by Lucy Grogan. On the show you’ll see the whole collection and its total value.