April 13, 2009

Do-it-yourself Antiques Roadshow

Everyone seems to be looking for fun, family activities to do on the cheap. I love a good story so I am naturally drawn to anything with a past...especially antiques. It seems I am not the only one, what with the rise in popularity of the PBS program 'Antiques Roadshow.'

Years ago, one would have to be a knowledgeable antiques dealer or appraiser to identify the origin and value of your antique treasures. These days, all you need is a computer and dedicated ethernet services that connect you to the world wide web. With the power of Google at your fingertips, you can locate and identify just about any attic treasures you may have.

This weekend, my folks and I whiled away the hours of an afternoon playing our own version of Antiques Roadshow, going through my mom's china cabinet and looking up different pieces of her collection to see just what they were and how much they might be worth.

Of course it helps to have a house full of antiques at your disposal. We were able to identify a set of Hazel-Atlas glassware in Moroccan Amethyst that belonged to my dad's mom just by Googling 'purple vintage glassware.' We also found out that the vintage brown canister set (that lives above the microwave) is the Moon and Stars pattern made by Smith Glass Co. We may not have a Rembrandt in the attic and score that million dollar find, but we have a ton of other stuff. And it can be pretty neat to learn how things ended up in the china cabinet.

Are you a collector of things like this? Have you ever thought about taking your collection on the Roadshow to see just what it is worth? You never know what treasures you might have!