They are epic gifts.
Some of the most incredible items — all once given as presents — are the focus of the season finale of “Antiques Roadshow.”
“We try to find a theme that connects all of these appraisals,” executive producer Marsha Bemko said.
“But we like to do it in such a way so that it’s a little different. It’s a very practical concern for us, we’re not going to do a whole show on something
like chairs,” Bemko said.
For the show’s 16th-season finale of PBS’ addictive orgy of appraisals — airing Dec. 17— they settled on gifts.
On the show where people bring family heirlooms to experts to find out their worth — the most valuable item of the episode turned out to be a 1937 Clyfford
Still oil painting of the Grand Coulee Dam worth $500,000 that was given as a housewarming gift and a 1990 pen-and-ink drawing by famed pop artist Wayne Thiebaud worth $30,000 that was given as a wedding gift.
“Still was a painter who lived in Washington state,” said Bemko, adding that other works by the artist have sold for as much as $21 million.
“But when he gave this painting to the couple [in the 1970s] he wasn’t very well known. But decades later the woman who brought it in knew he had become an
artist of note,” she said.
Other highlights include a 1960 watercolor painting by famed actress Katharine Hepburn that she gave to a man who worked at a theater where she was
appearing in a play.
It’s estimated worth was about $15,000.
But what struck Bemko the most is that “99.9% of our guests don’t ever sell their items,” she said, explaining how the show follows up with people who have
appeared on it.
“No matter what it’s worth, the pieces go back on the wall, back on the mantel or back in the jewelry box.”