Thursday, June 26, 2008

Antique Roadshow's Internet Freebies

Living in Mexico, lacking satellite TV (maybe next year), I haven't seen "Antiques Roadshow" in quite a while. But the popular show has a very informative Internet presence as well, available without subscription or fees, including a handy glossary of terms that could at least get you started talking like the cognoscenti ("people who are especially well-informed on a given subject").

Admittedly, the glossary is somewhat limited...only one word for the letter "N." But take a look, see how many terms you already know, and you might pick up a few new ones.

"Tips of the Trade" with articles on everything from Asian Art to Toys and Games is packed full of useful and interesting information, including historical background that always grabs my attention, and sources that can help identify the genuine article and rule out fakes. I could easily squander an afternoon on this section alone.

'Tres Personajes' by Rufino Tamayo. Image from a blog titled 'The Brooklyn Days: An Artist Wanders Around Brooklyn' which includes a short account of the painting's discovery in a trashpile on the street
Then there's a section of short videos of Roadshow segments. My favorite: the tale of a long-lost painting, "Tres Personajes" (1971) by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) that was dumped on a street in Manhattan and later sold at a Sotheby's auction for $1.049 million. It had been originally bought by a Houston couple, later stolen from a storage facility, and ended up years later between two garbage bags on the curb, to be found by a writer and admitted "dumpster diver," Elizabeth Gibson. She walked by, almost passed it up because it was too large for her apartment, then grabbed it a scant 20 minutes before the garbage truck arrived.

1 comment:

The Tattered House said...

I know, it is so great to hear stories about how one acquires their antique items. My good friend had bought a pile of vintage jewelry for $5.00. She brought it to me to check the pieces for marks etc. Well, it had happened, in that pile was a 32" strand of salt water pearls with a 14k white gold filigree clasp. The pearls from the 30's-40's with an appraisal certificate of $2000. This is why so many of us are additicted to the thrill of the hunt.

Thank you for sharing your article.