Tracker Pixel for Entry

Antiques ROADSHOW: ‘A spoonful of sugar’

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | 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:

WATFORD CITY – A reported 10-gallon spill of liquid gold at the Garden Creek I Gas Processing Plant in 2015 – just before the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy – could now be renamed as the largest land spill in human…

The 2019 North Dakota Senior Games begin this Thursday, August 15 and will continue through Saturday, August 17. There are 20 events scheduled for the Senior Games, which take place at various locations around Fargo and West Fargo.…

Thursday, August 29, 6-10 p.m.This Skateshop, 625 1st Ave. N, FargoShop vintage, enjoy a complimentary drink, play some vintage board games, VHS movies will be projected on the wall. It’s predicted that it will be an epic night for all!


The power of song

by Sabrina Hornung

In this issue David Crosby said, “You know, music is like a lifting force. It makes things better.” Truer words have never been spoken. This week we decided to change things up a bit and offer our readers an exclusive music…

Basing Gun Control On Militia Muskets Is NutsThere was a picture of hundreds of colorful backpacks in the Fargo Forum that were distributed to children at the Fargodome a couple of days ago. It was part of the 21st Annual 2019…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThe High Plains Reader spoke to Ojata Records and the Dogmajal owner and operator Jeremy Swisher about the ever-growing Grand Forks record store and hotdog shop.HPR: We might as well get the elephant…

If you’ve ever craved an outdoor music festival where you can walk to downtown shops, do yoga or go fishing in between sets, you’re in luck. The Greenway Takeover Festival returns to two stages in the heart of Grand Forks…

By Scott Ecker notharrisonford@gmail.comLast Tuesday I joined many local artists and audience members for Theatre B’s season preview at the Hjemkomst Center. As one of their board members, I see Theatre B regulars very often. …


‘Local American epics’

by Sabrina Hornung

The US Postal Service recently released a set of stamps celebrating the New Deal era post office murals that were federally commissioned during the Roosevelt administration, though the mural that graces the walls of the New…

The annual mainstage summer musical, produced by Trollwood Performing Arts School and sponsored by Bell Bank, opens Thursday, July 11. This year’s performance is Disney’s “Freaky Friday.” Trollwood Performing Arts…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

If you’re from the region you may have sipped, sampled or caught word of a libation often referred to as “red eye” or “wedding whiskey” at some point. In fact some of our friends of German Russia descent swear by it. If…


Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights…The purpose of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of woman and man; these rights are liberty, property, security, and…