Tracker Pixel for Entry

Antiques ROADSHOW: ‘A spoonful of sugar’

News | June 1st, 2019

After shaking hands with the owner, appraiser Jeffrey Shrader transfixed on the Holy Grail of World War I helmets - photograph by C.S. Hagen

FARGO – The copper snake knife came with a warning in 1984: never touch the blade; it was poisoned. For decades the knife was kept in grandpa’s nightstand touched only under his watchful eye.

After being inspected by PBS’s Antiques ROADSHOW, the mystery dissolved, but the heirloom became no less important. The blade and handmade bamboo sheath were $25-dollar trinkets that islanders sold soldiers during World War II in the Pacific Theater. The decorative Hitler Youth knife made by WKC Steel and Metalwork Factory was worth far more, about $125.

Arms and Militaria appraisers Fafael Eledge and Joel Bohy checking out World War II era knives - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Most who attended the Antiques ROADSHOW on Saturday went away knowing their family treasures weren’t worth as much as they imagined. Some, however, such as the unnamed owner of a World War I painted American helmet, were worth small fortunes, appraiser Jeff Shrader said.

He has “goldfish memory syndrome,” meaning he frequently refers to information he’s been collecting on the more than 1,600 similar helmets he has sold so far, but Shrader said he found the “Holy Grail” with the North Dakota find.

“This is the nicest one I have ever seen,” Shrader said. “This falls into the masterpiece level.”

After an initial appraisal, Shrader pitched the helmet to producers for camera time and to be viewed in the show early next year. He was able to investigate the original owner’s military records and shed light on more than the helmet’s worth: the owner’s history during World War I.

Lines for the Antiques Roadshow began at 6 a.m. at Bonanzaville on June 1, 2019 - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Not all treasure owners are featured on the television series, which is in its 24th year, Hannah Auerbach, senior account executive for national marketing said. Paintings worth more than half a million dollars have been turned down for the show because pricing is not the only aspect of what Antiques ROADSHOW is trying to do, she said. An equally important part is to reveal the history behind the art, the photographs, the knives, the snow sleds, the Indigenous carvings, and other family treasures, Auerbach said.

This year’s nationwide tour is the second time Antiques ROADSHOW has chosen historical places like Bonanzaville to film the show. For years, television crews worked from gymnasiums and roofed-in buildings. Originally slated to be filmed at the FargoDome, Fargo City Commissioner John Strand lobbied for the show to be filmed at Bonanzaville instead, Auerbach said.

“This place is different, it feels very American and is visually interesting,” Auerbach said. “This place is cool.”

“This is a big change being able to be in Bonanzaville, it is a big deal,” the show’s long term executive producer, Marsha Bemko, said.

Filming outside where lighting, the weather, and noise can change quickly and may affect quality is a challenge worth taking, she said.

Antique Roadshow cameras at the ready - photograph by C.S. Hagen

The first show produced by Boston’s WGBH producer Peter McGhee 24 years ago, was filmed with only a few hundred people participating, Bemko said. The second show attracted so many people that police had to show up to help navigate traffic. By the fifth year, the show – which started with help from the British Broadcasting Company – was topping charts. Much more than an infomercial, Bemko seeks ways to keep viewers interested by teaching history and answering questions.

Many of the 150 appraisers affiliated with the show started at the beginning, and remained, Auerbach said. Trips during the spring and summer touring seasons are paid on their own dime, but appraisers achieve name recognition for their work on the show, she said.

Associate Director of Photography, Deborah Rogal just finished inspecting a photo album from D.F. Barry, a historically important photographer who worked with Natives and U.S. soldiers in the 19th century in the Dakota Territory.

While appraising photographs she looks for more than signatures, which luckily the collection she inspected had, but also photographic styles. She also inspects and appraises photographs of historical significance.

Antique Roadshow appraiser inspecting a painting - photograph by C.S. Hagen

“And I do give value to a really good snapshot,” Rogal said. “It could be worth $100 or $5.”

From the first episode of the Antiques ROADSHOW producers have sought to teach viewers that one piece of furniture could sell for seven figures, Marsha Bemko said.

“Knowledge is power and you should be aware of that before you give your things away,” Bemko said. “We’re teaching history with a spoonful of sugar.”

Appraiser Nicholas Lowry investigating a print - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Recently in:

By Maddie Robinsonmaddierobi.mr@gmail.com This article discusses topics related to mental health and suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org. …

Need more events? Check out our July 2024 and August 2024 calendars. (They're cleverly split up to save you some scrolling.)MaySpring CrowsNow - June 28, Spirit Room, FargoForty artists display works centered around a crow theme.…

June 2211 a.m - 3 p.m. and 3- 6 p.m.Words To Live By Bookstore819 Center Avenue, MoorheadThe Moorhead Friends Writing Group (MFWG) is a group of 40 writers in 13 states and Canada. They have recently published their third…

The WFF Unified School District?By John Strandjas@hpr1.com Both the Fargo and West Fargo School Districts are strategizing their futures. This is necessary, because of immensely challenging financial and geopolitical changes facing…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comShould ‘The Chosen One’ be Sentenced to Spend Months at each Level?It’s not unusual on this planet, we have had hundreds of men and a couple of women who have used religion to become…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

HPR chats with Bob Carpenter of the Nitty Gritty Dirt BandBy Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com When asked if it was fair to consider the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as “the godfathers of contemporary Americana” during our interview,…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

New Minnesota sculptures include artist’s largest trollBy Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com According to Danish artist and environmental activist Thomas Dambo, “All trash is treasure.” So far, he and his team have built 138…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Jim Fugliejimfuglie920@gmail.com I am an old man. I have been a politics junkie most of my life. I have been involved in many campaigns, but have not run for office myself. Each time someone has suggested I do that, I tell them…