It’s not realistic to drag a dining room table to the upcoming Charleston taping of “Antiques Roadshow.” But on-screen appraiser Andrew Brunk strongly endorses bringing a dining room chair.
“You’re going to have to wait in line,” says Brunk. “Bringing a chair means you always have a place to sit.”
Decorative arts specialists such as Brunk, who works for his father’s auction firm in Asheville, look forward to visiting Charleston because of the area’s wealth of 18th- and 19th-century dining objects. In addition to chairs, Brunk and his colleagues hope to see attendees armed with significant pieces of china and silver.
“So many people there have family heirlooms,” Brunk says.
While not every Charlestonian has a Chinese export serving tray or 18th-century silver wine funnel tucked away in a closet, Brunk urges audience members to make a thoughtful object choice.
“Sometimes people just grab something on their way out the door,” he says. “What we’d be excited to see are things with great family history.”
Brunk also cautions that manufactured reproductions are unlikely to bring much joy to appraisers, or money to their owners. While pieces don’t have to be very old to be very valuable, Brunk suggests carefully examining forks or plates before turning them over to an appraiser.
“People have seen moments where we find a label, so they’ll say, ‘It has a label!’ but the label says Grand Rapids, Michigan,” he says.
In urban centers such as Charleston, dinnerware crafted for well-heeled patrons is more common than butter churns, but “Antiques Roadshow” has featured a number of food-related objects that aren’t so ritzy. A compilation show entitled “Tasty Treasures” included an ancient Korean bowl and chopsticks, an 1812 waffle iron imprinted with the U.S. seal, a Jazz Age punch pot, a print commemorating the 1915 opening of a Burlington, Iowa, brewery and poi pounders from Hawaii.
“Rummage about in those sideboards,” Brunk advises.