To Auction...Per Chance To Dream...
Half Shakespeare. Half Me. I think we know who the better writer is. Although I did fare better than Hamlet at the recent Antiques Roadshow in Richmond, Virginia at the Convention Center downtown.
I had prepared to stand in line for hours. Nothing doing. AR has their act down to a science.
If only our republicans and democrats were as well organized and facilitated. There is hope... AR was scheduled to hit Washington, DC after us. Its a tribute to their staff and workers that a “once in a lifetime” event for so many of us unwrapped so effortlessly.
From the moment I stepped into the Convention Center, you could feel the vibes of anticipation, the invisible but very tangible waves of excitement. If shoppers running home with their treasures populate the imagery of Silver Bells in December, the speedwalk of intended treasure hopefulls buzzed with its own August intensity. An air of cordiality pervaded every hallway and every staffer I passed. Not being a morning person, passing through continued boundaries of affability was oh so welcome.
For years I’ve hoped AR would stop here (the show had not yet been discovered by me when they last visited in 1998). It was a major surprise when I heard the news. The only aspect to excite me more would be finding a '53 telecaster in our parking lot.
It was a challenge to decide just what to bring. Musical instruments? Hand painted Chinese Furniture? My Lotus with vintage plate KAR120C? Ok...most of this is true.
My decision relied on my need to know...and where else could I ever get info from bona fide experts. I chose a mantle set and carved elephant my Dad sent home from Africa in WWII. Athough he had been stationed in France, England, Ascension Island and the Congo--I only recall art collected from the latter, fascinating native works sold to GI’s when stationed there so many decades ago.
The British appraiser I spoke with was generous with his time and seemed to genuinely enjoy the interaction. For me, it was a thrill seeing someone with a level of expertise way off my own radar. He and the other panel members knew instantly what I had wondered about for years. They had been in our family for so long--items around the house--I never asked my late Dad very much about them.
With his passing, the mystery deepened as each year went by. Then...in the space of one hour in a sea of people...I had my answers. And the joy of being an Antiques Roadshow veteran.
Photo: Ami Kim