Discovering my treasurers… AKA a trip to the Antiques Roadshow

First, I should mention that I was NOT taped talking about the extreme value of my earthly treasures, so no worries there. BUT I did leave this particular story as feedback.

I mentioned a few weeks back that somehow I managed to get tickets to the Antiques Roadshow for when it stopped in Baton Rouge. In the same post, I mentioned my father’s beloved Indian drum that he’s had since his grandmother gave it to him when he was a very little boy of six or seven. I do believe I even mentioned buying him a book about said drum so he could research it and we could know what to say only instead of buying him a nice book about Indian artifacts, I bought him a romance novel! Yes, that’s my lot in life.

Anyway, so this past weekend The Antiques Roadshow was in Baton Rouge and like giddy teenagers, my mom and I attended. It was great. There were people everywhere. All sorts of old and interesting stuff. And of course a few weirdos for me to meet. My kind of place. (On a side note, I stood not fifteen feet away as the host Mark Walberg made his intro and closing. Of course I stared shamelessly at him while he did that, quite fascinated he was so close and had even done a take with a very interesting accent… But I digress. I watched him and when he was finished, he looked right in my direction and winked! Of course my mom saw that and we spent the rest of the afternoon arguing over who he winked at.)

Back to the story…

When you get tickets to the Roadshow, you and a guest are allowed to come bearing a total of four treasurers that have to be moveable by YOU. Let me tell you, there were carts, dollies, wagons, bungie chords, people pulling things on tarps. You name it, it was there. Anyway, there was TONS of stuff and hundreds of people. Some people even brought chairs to sit on because the lines were so long.

My items were an old book that I was misled about and my grandmother’s engagement ring. My mom brought in her grandmother’s watch and my father’s beloved drum.

First stop was checking the value of that blasted book that I get a bitter taste in my mouth each time I see it. Good news is, I didn’t overpay for it, however, it’s only worth marginally more than what I shelled out thinking it was a different book entirely.

The ring brought the appraiser up short as it has these spring-loaded pieces in the band that keep it from slipping around on the wearer’s finger. They’re very neat and the appraiser said he’d never seen anything like them before, however, it didn’t enhance the value. So basically the ring wasn’t worth much, either. Neither was the watch.

Now, the drum…

Well, a little history. They story I somehow had conjured up wasn’t the real truth behind the drum, and I only found out the real truth a few hours before going. But in short, the drum was given to my father by his grandmother who’d gotten it from a Navajo Indian tribe while she was living there as a missionary. My dad has been holding onto this drum for some fifty years and a few years back when my parents were writing up their will, my mom told me that my father wanted to have a special section in the will to leave this prized possession to me!  So it was with great care that we carted it to the Roadshow in a red rubbermade container, not wanting to take it out until it was time to give it to the appraiser.

We approached the table and with great love and care my mom removed the drum from the box and handed it to the guy, telling him that it’s a Navajo drum.

“No, it’s not,” the man says automatically with nothing more than a mere glance. “It looks Chinese.”

“Huh?” My mom then starts to explain how the drum ended up in my dad’s possession while the appraiser starts handing it down the line.

We walk over to the guy who now has it and try to explain that it’s not Chinese, my dad’s grandmother received it while on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.

“That might be, I’m not doubting your story, ma’am, but this is a Chinese drum. I don’t know how it got to the Navajo reservation, but it’s a Chinese drum worth–” drumroll, please…  “forty dollars.”

Yes, my poor father’s prized possession that he’s been safeguarding for fifty years because his grandmother knew he was a boy who could take care of this things and thought to leave in his will was worth forty dollars. My mom and I nearly dissolved into fits of giggles, compounded only when my dad sent a few texts asking if we’d had his drum appraised yet.  I will say though, he was a good sport and took it with stride. We had a great time chatting it up and talking about the fate of said drum. My dad even suggested taking it apart and selling the hide, for the forty dollars.

I took many pictures of Baton Rouge and had a great time. I’ll try to post pictures and maybe a few other stories later this week. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a good Monday.

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4 comments on “Discovering my treasurers… AKA a trip to the Antiques Roadshow

  1. That’s kind of sad about the drum. Sometimes, when I watch that show, I feel bad for those people who thought they had a real treasure when it turns out they don’t. I’m glad you at least saw some humor in it. :)

    • Rose Gordon says:

      I didn’t think that people who had something worth nothing were usually featured on the show. They appraise 10,000 to 12,000 items each of the event days and only showcase 54 so I’d think it’d only be the best 54. But yes, it was totally comical to us!

  2. I’m with Lauralynn. I thought it was sad about the drum. Not so much in how much it was worth but that it wasn’t made from the Navajos. But if memory serves, the Chinese came over to the western US in the 1800s and I can see how the drum ended up there.

    Wow on them appraising 10-12,000 items at each event. I can only imagine how busy that place was.

    Oh, and I was laughing that you had the book appraised. LOL

    • Rose Gordon says:

      The place was packed, however, I went in with the expectation that I’d be there for about four hours or more and we were actually done in about two or two and a half. So it wasn’t bad.

      The Chinese working on the railroad at the time is what I’m suspecting for the origin of the drum. Either way, it’s a fun story.

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