Antiques Roadshow – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 8/13/19

Welcome to Still Untitled the Adam Savage
Project I’m Will, I’m Adam, and I’m Norm and I’m Sam Farrell. Sam Farrell! Welcome to the show Sam Sam I’m so glad you’re joining us I
gave you about 45 minutes notice that you’re gonna be on the podcast and some
lovely Chinese food add some lovely Chinese food we just got
back from mission Chinese Sam and I know each other because we’ve lost a lot of
Emmys together Oh Sam is executive producer of the Antiques Roadshow and we
met at the at the schmemmys the creative arts Emmys that’s a battlefield
promotion I’m actually senior producer I just want to make sure everybody
understands that but that’s ok ok and so we met the first year that I lost I
think it was your you’ve lost way more enemies than I have where we’re coming
up for number 17 and that Susan Lucci territories she lost at 19 I believe I’m
sorry won the first one at 19 and with the 17th coming up I was looking at an
article the other day that showed us who is likely to win and who is who’s in the
way and that deserves to win that put us in third place and who is likely to win
they put us at 6th place so I’m not doing anything except crossing my
fingers okay just to belly ache a little bit about the television Academy when
you look at the list of nominees in our category which is scripted reality
structured writers yeah we are in structured reality yes right
unstructured reality is like is why play like Real Housewives of New York or
something I think you’re correct about that structured is like that someone did
get around to writing a script that we kind of follow but also in this category
are things like Shark Tank intervention the boss that Undercover Boss might I
know this drive-ins and dives basically it’s like five different
genres of television in one category hmm okay because while reality is half of
television it is literally like three categories of the Emmys well there’s
also informational so there’s there’s reality competition there’s structured
reality right unstructured reality and there’s also informational which you
know documentaries yeah actually informational is like Nova
no no it’s not it’s so last year it was Morgan Freeman I’m trying to remember
the title but the penguin films or something well anyway it wasn’t it was
documentary style but it’s not it’s not the the document news and Docs is on in
New York in in June I believe so so you’re saying that everything but
because diners and drives and dives is so every little of you know right
every Food Channel or a Travel Channel type show wherever someone going around
introducing you to places or that’s fits in this category man versus food I
before Dame is in your category right right no that no he was in a motivation
or he’s an informational oh that is a we were wounded Bourdain actually well
thank it very very it’s it’s very strange and the Academy is way behind
and sort of embracing reality television there are there literally more
categories for camerawork than there are for reality type shows now and more
categories of reality than there is I mean it just sounds like the phrase
reality as a category as a bucket is just described a way a show is produce a
way a team gets together – well it’s literally the opposite of fiction right
so we’re nonfiction right and we do not I mean there’s so many different ways to
be a nonfiction category which was where Nova was and Katherine Nelson who was
the director of Discovery’s PR when I started and it’s one of my closest
friends now she’s the one that got Mythbusters out of the category with
Nova and like the Kennedy Center Honors those things into reality where we had a
fighting chance and that’s actually why Ansari Deadliest Catch eventually won
because they were moved into that cotton round yes they were moved into that
country but they also bounced around all day place yeah I should give a plug for
WGBH here because Nova is also produced by WGBH and it’s a great pleasure to
work for the flagship public television station and that’s watching WGBH I even
knew as Sam was surprised that it stands for great blue hill I wasn’t surprised
at all okay I was surprised that you knew it no
that’s what I mean yeah yeah that was my I grew up watching Monty Python with my
parents and Julia Child and why don’t the radio shows out there too that we
have a radio station in fact we have a classical radio station and a news
station and we now serve most of New England with in some way or other either
in partnerships or directly that’s great very it’s fantastic and our is our is
Antiques Roadshow shooting nearby is that why you’re here are you here out of
just a family this is a family vacation but actually we were here in May and
we’re out of town for some reason yeah and we shot in Sacramento at the Crocker
Art Museum and we made some pretty good TV there it was exciting it was
Sacramento is a sweet city it’s it’s one of those one of the things I’ve
discovered about being on Antiques Roadshow is these smaller cities and I
hope Sacramento doesn’t mind me calling it that but yeah
Joe you were talking about Cleveland earlier Fort Worth these second cities
are where all the energy is it’s great you know obviously obviously the big
cities they’ve got their reputations everybody knows about them but they’re
kind of jaded they know what they are these smaller cities are fun to visit is
it part of how you decide the where you go and a season or well we we like to
spread ourselves across the country as much as possible and so you know if
we’ve been somewhere we have a rule that we will never return to that city in
less than five years the stuff doesn’t come in very different each time and you
know we know the people and so on so forth and if you if you go back to often
it it it loses its edge so I know that you must field all sorts of superlative
questions like what’s the weirdest thing but what I’m curious about is are there
are there objects or categories of objects that are weirdly regional well
actually the I hate to be contrary and my son is listening to us do this and
he’s the king of contrary and he always says well guess where I learned that
from dad objects as we like to say have legs so
we were in Hawaii and found a fabulous piece of Boston furniture we were in
Boston we found a beautiful koa Hawaiian Bowl stuff is everywhere and
and and in the most surprising places you find the most wonderful things the
thing that you’re loved and and this is this is not a scoop or anything but we
haven’t broadcast yet the thing that your love is a guy came in who used to
work with I think it was with Doug Trumbull but he had was it George Lucas
anyway you’ll you’ll be able to tell me this I’m having he’s cursed it was
probably Trumbull I this was in Sacramento I’m having I’m having a brain
block here but anyway he brought in the dummy for the Ark of the Covenant
why yeah and his father had worked on the Death Star and and done all sorts of
bits and pieces he brought dozens and dozens of pieces in it in Sacramento I
have a photo of it I will show you oh my god please drum and so here we are in
Sacramento you have no right to believe it’s gonna show up in Sacramento or
anywhere else and and this thing shows up and it looks a bit like a sort of
band you’re a class a sculptor and model maker the person who put this together
would put some care on it but since it was going to be burnt as the prototype
to see how we gonna make this shot work and how are we gonna do this you had it
had no back it was black on the inside it had some sort of little ornament to
it but it doesn’t really look exactly like the actual arc in the movie but a
camera test for a camera test version yes and every object has those stories
really when we hear about all the time in the pop-culture world where you know
the Death Star model was found in the capi a nose shop and some garbage can
here and some person save it because it was going to be destroyed and that’s
love that’s so fun I mean that’s a great that happens a lot
that’s a great story this guy it was his dad’s and his dad had collected these
pieces as he had been a I guess a model maker and so and so forth and he brought
them with him and my decision which was one of the hardest decisions you have
all these pieces of the Death Star that you know some of which probably had been
featured in the film yeah and worth a lot of money and I said but everybody’s
seen Star Wars everybody knows it so well the arc is you know everybody’s
seen that too but they haven’t you know it’s not something you think of
immediately when you think of star when you think of movies and so on so it
seemed to me like it was the best the best thing to pull out of this and it
ended up being worth I believe I think $80,000 and this is not even something
that appeared on camera yeah no that doesn’t sound unreasonable given props
from Raiders command a really high price on the prop market and something like
that if it if it had a unbroken provenance then absolutely it would be a
amazing piece to have collected how what I mean one of the things always amazes
me about about Roadshow is that you all always have like the breadth of
knowledge of the experts that you have evaluating pieces is just astounding
like like you do you bring different I mean it’s it’s if you get anything
anywhere I guess you have to bring just a general group of folks everywhere your
brothers right that’s a brilliant expression we should keep that we have a
pool of about 150 current appraisers and I won’t say they’re the only experts in
the country there are certainly other people and they have to be involved in
the market because we’re talking about price so they aren’t museum experts they
aren’t academics most of them although a lot of them are academically trained the
one thing that they seem to have in common a lot is that they’re steeped in
is what they deal with in their families they just comes down generation to
generation half the time these are people with you know grandparents who
are in the business and so on so forth but it’s one of the most enjoyable parts
of my job is when we sit down at the beginning of the year trying to you know
we’ve asked everybody when can they come and we sit down at the beginning the end
we have to figure out how do we get 70 appraisers in each location and cover
out 770 but anyways right and then we cover the whole you know gamut from you
know folk art books furniture musical instruments posters paintings props and
so there’s that that sort of puzzle putting that puzzle
together is is one of the most fun other than the actual shoot day that’s one of
the most fun days there is and then when it comes to the shoot day what is the
layout of the space look like what winces of that show you brought up
something I mean my publicist will be just so happy you know we can talk now
about how we’ve changed it changed to using in we used to go to convention
centers and we’d set up a set that was roughly a hundred feet across and just
have everybody in a circle and we’d have three shooting locations and the cameras
because it was in the convention center could just truck easily from one
shooting location to another we shoot here the others are getting ready the
others being taken down a couple of handhelds and it worked really well it
was very efficient and then we were asked to consider changing it up and we
are now going to what we call distinctive historic and iconic
locations around the country and we’re shooting outside and we’re shooting
museums certainly mansions yeah houses of note we we went to a
racetrack we went to Churchill Downs there’s a lot of fun Wow and if you ask
me to remember all the cities we went to this year I probably couldn’t turn it
down like that but I’m just wondering if you have filmed it and out burn it we
certainly are considering it at some point but we haven’t yet it it’s one of
the it’s exactly the sort of thing that would be a lot of fun to shoot so I have
a wish okay this goes out onto the podcast in the front foyer of Mount
Vernon is a small converted Lantern in which hangs a key to the best deal that
was sent to Washington by his former aide-de-camp the Marquis de Lafayette
and it came with a letter that said you know from a defender of Liberty to the
father of Liberty as a small offering it was during the French Revolution
obviously anyway you’re not allowed to take pictures at Mount Vernon and so
there are very few good high-res photographs of this and that’s a piece
I’ve been working on for years making a replica of both the key and the box that
half lantern that it’s actually sitting in so if you get to Mount Vernon I have
a wish list of photos it’s not ever get that by the way if anyone works about
Vernon or lives there wants to get me some of
these photos I just say you can just say this out loud you don’t have to wait
until yeah but so to to continue that thought about these locations one of the
things it offers is this visual richness and a great background and a better
understanding of the places we are and it feels great in the crowd loved it and
surprisingly our appraisers mostly like it although some are not fans of having
to sit outside in the Sun or the rain yeah understandably that is one of the
great benefits of doing this now you’d asked about the layout of it so now
we’re you know we were at winter tur which is an old DuPont mansion a huge
place it’s now a center for decorative arts in America and they do a lot of
academic work and conservation in particular and they have a museum but
it’s laid out all over the place so we have – we have a fabulous staff and I
won’t mention any names because I will doubtless forget somebody but they’re
also brilliant they they put together a layout the crowd comes in here we’re
gonna have you know these tables here we’re gonna shoot here we’re gonna put
our sponsors truck you know we have a big 53 foot truck with all our stuff and
it was just wrapped with sponsor stuff on it we have the feedback booth which
I’m sure you love and we we got to work out where all this goes how it gets
powered how it gets serviced and then we we then you know I have to put up tents
and so on so forth every single place is now a completely different location that
sounds so far used to be we’d say here’s our CAD right of how you do it in a
Convention Center and the Convention Center has to have relatively
column-free space that’s got to be you know 80 by 200 rules rail in there right
a hundred thousand feet is our ideal and that’s what we used to say those were
all specs and what you see there many others too but now it’s like you know
how are we gonna make that work how do we fit that in here when you do it
different whatever it’s all different every year now then to each seat so we
went to five cities this year and each each location is very very different
what’s the I mean so if I bring my thing to the show what’s the process you you
do have producers and some kind of aiming people toward the appraisers that
are going to be the great things again so this goes back to
the idea of reality now and I wouldn’t want to say anything bad about any other
reality show but we’re the best one of the things we’re proud but proud of
pride ourselves on is that what you see on camera is the first time reaction and
the first time that guest ever hears that information and so we never do a
retake on a reaction we might do retakes and pickups and all the rest of it just
as any television show does but the reaction is what you see and we have to
edit it down for time but this is authentic and so when a person comes
into the show and they have I don’t know we always say Avaaz or sword or whatever
it is they they come in and they they go to this front desk which we call triage
which I always thought was it sounds perfect well you know it there’s there’s
less blood and guts involved you know we have a lovely crowd of people and who
are knowledgeable but are also versed in you know customer service and they know
how the show works and so on and they say well I’m gonna give you a ticket to
go to military and you take your sword over to military and you stand in line
again and then they tell military experts we’ll be there that usually be
three of them sometimes four and you know the person will go up to the desk
and they’ll have this sword now going back to earlier about choosing our
appraisers you know we have guys who know Revolutionary War guys who know
Civil War guys who know 20th century and so you know assuming this sword is you
know just a standard sword most of them will know everything about it it’s a bit
special they’ll say hey you know Rafe come over here and tell me what you know
about this or you know Joel is this you know is this from pre-veterinary stuff
and then they’ll give the appraisal and so on so forth and people go on their
merry way but if they took a look at it and they might give each other a glance
they’ll say to the guests excuse me but we’d like to see if a producer would
like to tape that okay would you mind sitting down over there and somebody
will come and see you hopefully soon okay and they’d wait and produce a lot
such as mice self or my boss Marsha or or Jill will
come along and we’ll interview the guests and interview the appraiser and
say to the appraiser well what makes this so special you know I’ve seen a
million swords you know what’s so great about this and the you interview the
guests how did you get it and all the rest of it and and what do you know
about it and we find out information and then we build a story in our minds and
we say okay all right well that’s good or you know it was so nice of you to
wait plain the appraisal will now give you his appraisal but if if we want to
record them they off off they go to the green room which is in the convention
centers it was always blue but now the Green Room is you know the the
children’s lunch room at a museum was and they’ll sit there do some paperwork
and wait for us to come and get them to take them everyone gets an appraisal if
they get to the point the first everybody gets a new item and it’s not
necessarily the monetary value that gets them selected it’s correcting the story
at the interesting this there was a fabulous piece which I happen to pick
and it it gives you goosebumps because this is especially this being shortly
after the hundredth anniversary of the First World War it was a peach can label
and this American GI had and you know resources were scarce so they had peeled
off the peach can label and he decided to write to the company that made the
can of peaches and he wrote this letter and at the end he wrote you know these
peaches are worth fighting for and it sort of gives you goosebumps
right and and it it was actually only worth $800 as an item you know that you
could buy and put in your collection as long so forth but it’s a human story and
it wasn’t even so the the guy had got it I can’t remember exactly how it wasn’t
some hugely personal object to him but it was hugely personal to all of us and
this is what I like to say about Antiques Roadshow is it is the story of
American identity everybody you can identify with some aspect of each
appraisal right it’s got to be so exciting when you when you realize
you’ve got one of the good one of the good stories yes like the moment
that you live or and you how many how many of them do you get a day like how
often does that happen well we’re recording somewhere around 60
or 70 items a day yeah with three three people three three shooting no we have
well we now have four teams shooting and we have a b-roll setup and we have a
digital team and so there’s there’s six and then we have the feedback booth as
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suitcase that back to the conversation I’m really curious about the crazies I
am sure that you have had to deal with people who are desperate to get on the
show and maybe gaming their arrival with objects
they think will entice you well yeah when we have Pete appearances so so I
wouldn’t want to suggest that anybody who comes to roadshow is anything other
than charming and I’m just saying from a producing standpoint there might be
headaches is what you’re talking about so so one of the things I’ve learned and
this is actually a lot of fun is interviewing technique and one day I was
actually shadowed by somebody who was a trained I want to say CIA
interviewer she I can’t remember how she was attached to the show but she came
and shadowed me for a while and we talked a bit about various techniques
and I’d already developed a number of techniques but one of the simplest
things I probably shouldn’t give this away people learn how to combat it but
it’s very hard people like to fill in the gaps yeah you
just you just are quiet quiet yeah and it’s unbelievable and if you can’t get
people to confess if they’re being doing something wrong by filling in the gaps
you say I’ll be right back I’m just gonna go and talk to him like there are
a number of times when I’ve gone to talk to an appraiser and say I’m just letting
him or her think about this a bit I’ve asked him the question I don’t think
they’re telling me the the full answer and then I’ll go back and they say well
you know I I did have it appraised actually yeah two years ago and and yeah
I know for this much and so it’s it’s nice thank you
you know maybe maybe that doesn’t ruin the appraisal or maybe they’ve just told
you enough that they’re not they’re not gonna show up as great guests on a TV
reality show where the response is very valuable well so a per year per year
thing of being quiet I interviewed aasif Mandvi a couple years ago on stage
and he was talking about doing the away shoots for The Daily Show which were was
a format invented by Stephen Colbert and so each time a new comedian producer
would go off to do in a way shoot for the first time Stephen would sit them
down and tell them the two important rules about doing that and one is
everyone loses 15 IQ points when you point a camera at them and the other one
was shut up and let them bury themselves you just be quiet as quiet as you can
and they will they will fill in the gaps and
then the last thing I remember years ago a friend of mine was owed money by a
film company for writing a script and there were like 10 months late in paying
him and his agent said here’s what you do call the guy whose number you have
and say I’m wondering where my cheque is and then don’t say another word in the
phone call until he said something sub son – and so my friend was like oh it’s
a violation of all the social norms he was like hey done I’m just wondering
where my cheque is and then there’s this pause it’s like 1015 seconds long and
that dunk starts going then because you can’t hang up yeah tell them or
something totally amazing Wow effective that is yeah so so we get that and you
know we also have I mean I have to say everybody is is almost a hundred percent
wonderful and we obviously but really has there’s someone whose picture you
have on the wall of the band that says don’t let this guy in funnily enough the
UK show I think I can tell this story the UK show has pictures of people
because they like to have people in the background we don’t generally have
people who are just standing watching the action the UK show has pictures of
people who make it a habit to come to the show and stand in the background and
they ask them to remove out of the show in front of you but you know we
occasionally get people we have a fabulous security guy Sean it was a ex
New York narcotics detective oh there you go okay and Sean takes care of us
and he likes to think it’s his show we we let him think that but he keeps us
safe and and if there are really crazy people and we’ve had one or two people
who’ve had to be escorted out yeah I have to imagine the Antiques Roadshow
audience is less likely to require bouncing than you know your whatever
more you know less PBS reality shows are maybe do you find the breadth of things
that people bring me not even the stuff that you show is representative of like
manufacturing in America throughout the 20th century and it has changed over
that’s a thread isn’t it I mean so there are all these threads there’s there’s
you know how people came here so we see you know painted chests from Scandinavia
we see magnifier training we see advertising that says
you drink cultural things you know we see but like you know if it’s typically
of a certain age group who inherit from their parents like 20 years from now is
it still gonna be the swords and the the cabinets in the chest or is it gonna be
you know right as people are changing and and one of the sad things I think is
sad and I don’t think it’s sort of worth crying about I did I think it’s like you
said it’s the the death of the sort of dinner table experience but that has
meant a major change in how Americans communicate and and it maids as made a
major change in the decorative arts so for instance if you have a wonderful
China set that was passed down from your grandmother you probably won’t be able
to sell it but if you do it’ll be worth almost nothing on the other hand if you
want to buy a replacement piece that’ll cost you money yeah but but it’s that
sort of thing or what we call Brown furniture is no longer you know
sought-after because kids a lot of people into their late 20s and 30s are
living with their parents they don’t have spare space to put furniture or
even collect stuff so there’s a there’s a big shift in that but that being said
people like interesting looking things people like Beauty people like things
that relate to their childhood and relate to the history and the culture
and there’ll always be stuff that people want the values may go up and down but
it everything will always remain collectible so how many weeks a year you
guys in production pre-production and production it’s hard to tell because it
sort of blends from one into the other right yeah so so I are well how many
episodes are in a season well alright so there are this year 15 new episodes
three themed specials and six of what we call vintage where we have repacked
shows from 15 years ago and updated the prices and that’s a lot of fun to watch
and we play that game yeah and as as Marsha will tell us tell people when
she’s giving presentations we all try and get
when we’re in the screenings you know up or down and we are not much better than
50% some what’s up is posted online to do you take into account like the things
you that might go viral because in our audience has special attachment to order
you think well so I happen to know that one of the things that went viral was a
Rolex watch and I think it had 5 million hits that’s the one most people in
Germany’s original paperwork that the guy bought at the PX right yeah and so
there are one yeah and and that’s one of the collectibles now you
who’da thought it the things that are going up in value so Rolex is from the
60s and 70s who’d have thought but they’re now worth you know ridiculous
sums of money in fact we saw one sorry yeah go ahead
we saw one in Fargo we were in Fargo talk about different limitations we were
in Fargo this reconstructed Old West town with buildings from different eras
and and you know 1840s print shop and a telegraph shop and all this earth anyway
we were in Fargo and this guy came in and you’re gonna want to watch the Fargo
episodes they’re our first episodes it tells you how exciting they are I think
that our first I may have made a mistake there but anyway this guy brings in a
Rolex it is phenomenal and his reaction I mean he’s completely flawed and when I
say that you will see when you watch it it’s a this thing is worth over half a
million dollars and it’s just phenomenal Wow are there cases in which you and
your crew have become experts at things that are chronically under or overvalued
on ebay that’s an interesting point the the people come in expecting well I saw
this on eBay and so on so forth and I like to say where we differentiate
ourselves is it’s all very well you can you can categorize things you can even
catalogue things but it takes an expert to spot the really special things and so
they come in with this and they say well I know it’s worth you know ten thousand
dollars easy well it would be if you know I mean you you’re in the
in the Star Wars collectibles you know if what is that there’s the Chara with a
okay hello yes yes fine okay I mean you know the difference and we discovered
that this year so there are little bits and pieces but that can be faked and so
an expert can say well I can tell the fake because it’s got it doesn’t have
the same signature yes exactly and and so an expert can do that and somebody in
eBay usually can’t and where we are you know able to to help people out is the
the eye the human eye this eye that is bred
through hours and hours and hours countless hours sort of melt Malcolm
Gladwell’s you know 10,000 hours doesn’t do it justice you know of seeing this
stuff day-in day-out and you know what’s right and turn until somebody picks up a
piece of supposedly Tiffany FEV real glass and says no it’s wrong because it
doesn’t feel heavy enough do you shout to you
and try to be part of the show and what do you look for I’m adding to that group
that’s a good question they do reach out we have a lot of
veterans and I mean that as people who have been loyal to the show not just
been there for a long time and it’s hard to find a space for new people but we’re
always looking and we want to bring in people who are in areas that are
exciting to young collectors and to to help you know increase the breadth of
the kind of audience that we can get and so on so forth but essentially what the
main criterion well there were two or three but is that they are well
respected experts in their field and that any anybody I called in their field
would say yeah I know and when I respected Steve’s okay well the fact
that everyone comes and gets an appraisal is an amazing thing in and of
itself because I have a friend old friend who was an antiques dealer for a
long time and he used to very sour least like talked about people coming in and
wanting free appraisals number one which is costly for an expert to do and then
saying free appraisals are actually most of the time
worth what you paid for them which is to say you know it’s like I remember
telling him about some you know some news show in New York did a thing where
they took jewel they took an antique around to a bunch of antique stores and
watched and hidden camera as it was chronically undervalued right now buy
this from you 4x and my friend was like why would you get mad at that that’s
literally America buy low sell high and we love stories about I bought this at a
garage sale for 5 bucks and sold it for $150,000 to get upset about you either
get it one way or the other bonanno’s well and it all came back around as a
way of me understanding how much love and time and effort goes into being an
appraiser and giving your deep heartfelt real educated opinion about what’s going
on with this thing in front of you it’s very much worth paying to have stuff
appraised and it’s great that you guys provide that service well I thank you
and I and we we always like to say that we provide a verbal approximation of
value and not an insurance appraisal we’re not giving somebody a written IRS
appraisal but we are lending the knowledge and expertise and I think most
of the people on the show agree that you know you can be short-sighted about this
and say I’ve got a charge for everything god damn it I’m not going to give up any
of my expertise for somebody who wants it for free but most of them are
generous and helpful and and want you to know more and and hopefully you know
maybe you’ll become a customer of theirs mobile you won’t but it it helps the
whole community I remember at one point the same friend who’s one of his
specialties was African art he at dinner at one time he said here let me give you
a test and he handed me these two objects and he was like one of these is
fake and one of these is real tell me what you think and it was very difficult
but I got it right and it was because I it was this ephemeral aspect of like the
dirt here just feels somewhat contrived whereas this thing just seems to have a
lot deeper history and he was like you’re he’s like you’re getting to the
soul of how difficult it is to appraise things plus so this is one of the key
things that I’ve learned is and I’m sitting here in a shop with it’s almost
like an antique store yeah you know I could I could look around here and say
ooh and are things and and recognize some of them i
if I’m in an antique store I would find it very hard to pick out one phenomenal
piece but when I’m called to a table by our appraisers and they’re holding this
or the guest is holding this I know there’s something they’ve seen write
something so I can become immediately they’re much more clever than I would be
in a store and I’m looking at this thing saying okay and I can frequently gasps
oh it’s you know this March or it’s a fake or whatever because of the way
they’re looking because of everybody so so I get to cheat a lot on that and I
think if you left me alone in an antique store I would fail miserably every time
that’s a lie so I I think one of my my as many people did I started watching
this with my parents 20 years ago because they’re really into like
Appalachia and frontier era furniture from like the early 1800s late 1700
stuff like that and they used to watch it looked like fast-forwarding through
to get to those business which made me crazy that’s all a different story and
one of the things that my mom loves is when and and I think is fabulous is when
somebody finds something that’s a fake that was made in an interesting period
of time that’s still incredibly old so a lot of times people will have rep what
were you know eighty year later reproductions of furniture that was made
in the you know early 1800s but that was made like the the post-civil war
basically well there was that famous case of the sideboard in which they’d
stripped off the original fake mahogany lacquer it was on your show well let’s
see I remember good blue it was it was a it was the 18th century piece of
furniture if I remember correct Adam did you just saw episode C 31 – it had this
it had this bad finish yeah like this dark lacquer over it and they had they
had removed the lacquer and they were informed that the lacquer was original –
exactly exactly it was supposed to be an imitation it let go of veneer probably a
vanilla yes it was a veneer 20 years earlier and then if they hadn’t removed
it it would have been worth like over a hundred grand and it was a druid it was
worth 20 yeah yeah that happens a lot I would but they’re there so there’s an
interesting distinction between a reproduction and a fake right and the
fake is made intentionally to deceive and there’s and everybody should go out
and look I can’t tell the story nearly as well
but there’s a fabulous story of this guy who made a 60 oh sorry 17th century
armchair called the Brewster chair and and then I was reminded this I was
trying to think of things to talk with Adam about he was a maker and and he he
was also in the in the business and and he thought I’m gonna I’m gonna see what
happens and he built this chair and he did everything to the wood and the chair
he made it out of green wood great he didn’t use properly dried wood which is
what would have happened back in the 1640s 1660s he he he used original tools
and he made this thing and then he threw it in the sea and he buried and he burnt
it and he did all sorts of things to make the thing really go through the
aging process and he stuck it in you know where he knew antique dealers were
you know Godfather’s okay and eventually somebody picked it up and then
eventually it ended up in a museum and then eventually there was an argument
and I don’t remember the full details but he said well that no that’s a fake
and they said no it’s not it’s we know it’s right and so on so what he said no
I made it and and they said no you didn’t he said well I tell you what I
used one modern tool in one part of this and if you x-ray it here you’ll see this
is you know shows the mark of a modern tool and I think it was a spade bit or
something like that Wow and and sure enough you know he proved
him and I think there was there was a back story of a sort of an axe to grind
against certain people I see I remember this story I believe was a long-form
article yeah a very long article and it’s a brilliant story but so that’s a
fake of a different I mean there’s a brilliant construction most fakes are
made to deceive to try to get money off people and there’s a fabulous book
called what color his name was per any and I was out of the deal but that
wasn’t it yeah out of the steel possibly but anyway here you have faked by philip
de montebello about El Mirador either right famous art forger which is a
lovely book but but this guy Perini had started out faking Dutch masters and
then he moved into early American painting and he said you know people
bring these things down from their attic and nobody has any provenance of those
things and he actually said and I don’t know if there’s a true or not but that
the amount of fake art in him out there in the world is somewhere between 25 and
40 percent running out of old masters well there’s a museum in Texas devoted
specifically to fakes of a couple of forgers you know there’s one whose goal
was never to steal money he would donate the sketches he would do that looked
like Chagall’s and other other artists at the time so the act is the art yeah
and he would show up in a vicar’s color New Yorker did a long piece about him
and he donated hundreds of pieces to museums all across the US and like one
cut and he would never received any money for this
so it’s weirdly it’s this weird non-crime although he commits a crime I
believe there is a statute that he’s violating a misrepresentation took a
long time to find him and his pieces are reading all of these American there also
have two species of limitations and it was always a bit of theater around it he
often did this in a vicars collar and would have this long story about how my
grandfather knew bla bla bla bla bla anyway would like these to go somewhere
sounds dangerously close to performance art to me it does like a little bit like
jsb Boggs and his dollars and his money then you just put it through a shredder
at the end and you make a halfway house shredder has to fail yes yeah so fake
fake antiques is one of the significant plot devices from the Goldfinch I don’t
know if you read Donna Tartt’s I’m halfway through I’m afraid I haven’t I
keep so much it’s not the one they’re turning into the movie I think they are
yes yeah it’s already cut yes I can’t really told us that he’d seen a cut of
it yes but so what he talked about was you build something his particular
expertise was taking not valuable pieces of furniture from a time and combining
them with others from the same time to make weird like unicorn hybrids that
someone who knew enough about furniture would know that’s something special and
what he do is he would turn the vacuum cleaner in reverse and just
Oh dust on it and then sit in the corner of the shop where no one would notice it
for months and then when someone did they would feel like they done covered
something and he gently sell it for what they thought was a steal but was in fact
him sold them on the experience which is why one one of the criteria that we
value perhaps most value in our appraisers his integrity in its it’s a
it’s a great business and there’s some fabulous stuff when you learn a lot
about culture and so on so forth but there’s also you know not maybe a nun a
disproportionate number of people are out there who might want to make more
money than they were properly allowed out of whatever it is they’re selling
the thing my mom says is you always have to beware of a junk shop owner wearing a
tie or an antiques aura you know in the South the junk shops antique stores
called say the same thing yeah just level of quality of goods inside and she
said if he’s wearing a tie you have to be really careful that’s always a worry
that’s always overwhelm I discovered touring around the country that the best
thing to look for in each town is an antique mall yes those are fruitful loka
TSA’s of lots of different things in my experience you have to walk a long way
in an antique mall to find something good thank you yes I’m usually looking
for tools which aren’t very collectible and I mean I have a piece a little
folding ruler a little folding Stanley ruler that a gentleman might keep in
their pocket and this one’s silver plate and ivory and I picked it up for 40
bucks somewhere you know these tools aren’t being looked at a lot and
unassailable in California Oh a problem oh right yeah I have a couple I have
actually a piece of ivory my grandfather gave me in here Oh actually this is a
lovely piece hold on headphones he’s gonna be very awkward Adam just went to
the bookshelves he’s grabbing something he’s open to cabinet he’s opened a can
of worms oh yeah yes yeah this is awkward for everyone now all right you
get a peanut Ward picture tested common hand is a what looks like a sort of a
divan or lounge that’s miniature on which lies a
and carved in ivory if you look closely at her face she seems to be of Asian
descent at least from that side of the Pacific and it she’s sitting on a inside
a little plastic the Train do you do you know what this is Sam you have an idea
there are children present madam do I know what this is you know my
grandfather it was given to my grandfather by a grateful patient as a
present my grandfather was a surgeon actually a fairly renowned surgeon at
this time well as as a representative Antiques Roadshow I’m I’m probably gonna
do more one of the things I know is that I
frequently get these what is it things wrong oh but I don’t mean to put you
under but that’s okay but I I have a suspicion that your clearance is it
something more than just a curiosity it is in fact if you if you were a woman is
what I understand is and is if you were I think this is Japanese and if you’re a
woman who went to the doctor in the nineteenth century you’d never be so
untoward as to mention body parts or talk about your body
but if you had an ailment this reclining figure and the way it’s posed allows you
to point to where it hurts without having to be so uncouth as to say the
words I I would suggest that that’s a very nice story but highly unlikely is
it really I I’m that it doesn’t it this approach out this time on the podcast I
am NOT an expert this doesn’t look to me like anything
other the decorative objects okay so so I but I know exactly the person you need
that’s awesome I would loved it if you if you give me the download will we’ll
post it in the comments here that’s amazing I think there’s no better place
to end this than that that was fabulous thank you so much thanks for coming by
Sam it’s been a great pleasure thank you Sam see you soon come on babe you

59 Replies to “Antiques Roadshow – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 8/13/19”

  1. There was a podcast episode… I want to say 99 percent invisible… But I may be wrong… About that female figure statue for medical purposes. I can't seem to find it. Pretty sure it's legit Adam.

  2. There is some great images of the Key to the Bastille here…

  3. …pitched a show once called “Collecting Collectors”. Every episode would cover one individual and the history they put together. The amount of content there literally endless.

    You could still do separate episodes on different individuals with similar collections and it would still be radically different.

  4. As far as I know those figurines aren't japanese but chinese. And yes there is the story about them beeing "Doctors Ladys" for exactly that use, that Adam mentioned. But just a little bit of research says that historians actually doubt this to be true. But believe them to be either erotic art and/or an oddity sold in chinese contract harbours.

    Prof. Charlotte Furth teached chinese history at the University of Southern California and researched into it with no evidence of them beeing used as those doctors tools.

  5. WGBH was also This Old House was it not? I don't think we had that channel in Canada but we had content from it.

  6. 36:50 we call those people The Refinishers. 🙂

    But as i recall it was maybe a Cherry High boy with a faux finish that made it look like mahogany made in the US 1800's or so. When telling this story I would tell people at the time cherry was like particleboard of today, nothing special. Refinished it was 70k without refinish 250 to 300k and just a proper cleaning. I recall the two appraisers, the twin brothers, were sort of heartbroken. 🙁

  7. Adam should listen to the podcast put out by Mount Vernon. One episode talked about the key and I’m sure if he reached out via the podcast he could get what he needs. Maybe a joint collaboration?

  8. Awesome episode, guys! I have a question about collecting: I recently won some costumes (Karen Page's casual outfits) from the PropShop Marvel TV auction. If they had been props or a superhero suit, I'd have an idea of how to display or store them and their potential for future appraisal. So, my question is this: what are any collecting 'faux pas' that I should avoid (especially for these more casual items)? Thanks and keep up the great work!

  9. Adam says that the ivory figure is posed to allow identification of the entire body. Antiques road show guy immediately looks for the butt hole. 😁🤣😂

  10. I really love the content in this show.

    Unfortunately I am unable to understand most of the content due to my hearing loss. I have very powerful hearing aids but I still have problems understanding some words. What is needed is Close caption CC.

    I have committed on this subject before and didn’t get a response from anyone so far.

    Other YouTube channels provide close capture, I feel this channel should as will. It would increase your viewership I’m sure!

    Thanks guys hope to hear from someone soon.

  11. I am only about 11 minutes in so I don't know if this question is going to get asked later one thing I would like to know is does something ever come in that they don't have an expert for

  12. there's a really good old tool stall in an antique mall in Temecula Adam if you ever get the chance. prices are ok from what I recall but the guy labeled everything really well. Found some old Lufkin rules and a Starrett block plane, which I didn't know they made

  13. I have a safe full of military medals and war trophies that were cast off by the heirs of those who won them because they simply did not care about their heritage. Even worse than the loss of the item to the family is the loss of the story that is behind it to all of us.

    these seem like really high res images

  15. The street view of your shop is five years old. How about, for your fans…you update the shop street view….

    Most of us can't bang on the door, to your shop, we are too far away.

    Google might do it for free; for you, being you status in the world, and with your fans.

  16. I found an article about the fake brewster chair:

  17. Anyone know about the iron giant bust?
    Is it a kit? Or custom?
    I really like it and would like to know.

    Thanks Colin

  18. the ivory reclining lady is pretty much what Adam said but, A it is Chinese, not Japanese and it was made for the Dutch-French-Italian- and german markets somewhere between 1740 and 1840 (there are earlier versions from Italy)
    ladies in 18th century holland weren't supposed to undress so they took these figurines when they went to the doctor this story in ongoing folklore is always incorrectly placed in the orient (china or japan)
    now these anatomical figurines dit not always come from china there are also local versions made of wood metal or clay doctors would sometimes have their own version which could be taken apart to show the insides and the inner anatomy these are mostly from the 19th century.
    as a decorative item, they were made well into the 1930s in various materials.
    I have seen many of these figurines in my 30+ years as an antiques expert and collector.
    also, we have a local version of the antiques roadshow named tussen Kunst and Kitsch (between art and kitsch) and they featured these with the above explanation at least a couple of times since 1984.
    value varies greatly with some fetching just pennies and others demanding thousands of dollars.

  19. well imo whether its fake or not doesn't really matter, IF! You bought it cause you like it and its not overprice, and the seller is NOT! masking it as if its real and you your self know its fake or you dont care then cool. if you bought it an intend to sell it or keep it and was scammed saying its real but in matter of fact its fake then well lol. Hope you punched in his/her face really really hard when you see him/she again.

  20. I found this on Google Images from

    Bastille Key: George Washington's Liberty Key: Mount Vernon's …

  21. Hi from sunny Cape Town South Africa! Most interesting episode so far, listened on your podcast, who knew, Antiques Roadshow nogal! Can't wait to know what that figurine really is…

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